You know the classic advice on interview preparation. Go over your preparation questions. Look professional. And… get on the treadmill? That’s right – it might sound strange but physical exercise can actually improve your chances of getting a job, and improve your performance once you’ve got one. Here’s how.
Improved mental performance
Psychologists have found that exercise improves the performance of the brain. It improves your ability to concentrate, enhances memory, and even triggers the production of new brain cells. All of this will help you while interviewing, especially in jobs with a tough interview protocol, such as technical jobs. So put the Sudoku down and pick up your trainers!
Almost everyone gets nervous when going through the recruitment process. Even though interviewers understand this and make allowances for it, nerves can still affect your performance. However, scientists have found an unlikely solution – exercise! Studies show that people who exercise regularly experience lower levels of daily anxiety and are less likely to consider themselves anxious people.
Better performance under pressure
You know the experience of being “on the spot” and not being able to think of something? Or how your performance suffers as your workload piles up? Exercise can help with this. Researchers have found that people who undertook an exercise programme performed better on challenging tasks while under pressure. Scientists believe that, because exercise is technically a form of stress, it helps the body learn to deal with it. Kind of like stress training.
Regular physical exercise reduces your risk of many debilitating illnesses, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. But it also has a strong protective effect on your immune system. In fact, people who exercise three to four times each week take up to 35% fewer sick days than those who don’t. You can’t get a job if you’re too sick to attend the interview.
You don’t need to be training for the 100m sprint record to get these benefits! Moderate exercise a few times each week will improve your mental performance, composure, and physical health. Of course, exercise isn’t a magic bullet and it doesn’t guarantee you a job. But if it can give you a little edge over the other candidates, it’s worth doing.