Sleep specialists recommend that the average person, even high-powered recruiters, should be targeting 7 or 8 hours of sleep per night. But, things don’t always work out that way. For whatever reason, it could be jet lag, a bumpy flight, sick children, stress, noisy neighbors, insomnia or simply a product of a busy life, many of you will wake up in a sleep-deprived state on the day of intensive interviewing or meetings.
So, what are your options? Wearing shades to conceal your bloodshot eyes? Too weird.
Coffee? You don’t need me to tell you that, and caffeine is not everyone’s cup of tea anyway.
And you can’t postpone the interviews at this late hour. You just have to soldier on, but there are several steps you can take to operate more effectively in sleep debt and sail through the interviews and these are shown below:
Light and sunshine are thought to stimulate the brain areas associated with attention, arousal and emotion – according to a 2006 Belgian study reported in health.com – and are thought to combat afternoon drowsiness. So, try and expose yourself to as much sunlight as possible on a day you are facing sleep debt and need to perform. Can you walk or cycle to work, or get outside between interviews and lunch time? Most importantly, make sure the interview room is well illuminated, e.g. lights are on and blinds are open, if possible. Set the room up so you, the interviewer, are situated near the window and being exposed to sunlight.
A University of Bristol study, titled Exercising at Work and Self-reported Work Performance, found that workers have better mental and interpersonal performance (needed for interviewing well) on days they exercise. So, try to get to the gym before work, during lunch time or cycle to work, if possible.
Standing up and moving around releases epinephrine, or adrenaline, and stimulates the brain to be more active and awake. Ralph Downey of Loma Linda University suggests that moving can help to override the sleep drive. So, ensure to have a good walk in between each interview, and consider incorporating an office/department tour element into each interview to help get you moving around.
4. Drink Water
Lack of water during the day is a cause of daytime fatigue, exhaustion and drowsiness, revealed a study from Tuft university. So, drink plenty of water through the day, but sip rather than glug as super hydration is not a state you want to be in when confined to interview rooms for much of the day.
5. Avoid a heavy lunch time meal
You can feel tired after a large, heavy meal as blood moves away from your body to your stomach to aid digestion. So, if you are interviewing throughout the day into the afternoon, avoid a heavy lunchtime meal. Rather, eat several smaller meals spaced out through the day.
Sara C. Mednick ,PhD., suggests that a 15 to 20 minute nap can give you a boost of alertness and increased motor performance. So if you are interviewing throughout the day, and your company supports it, take a power nap, perhaps, just after lunch to give you a boost going into the afternoon interviewing session. Google, Intuit Canada, Newsweek, Time Warner and many others support power napping as a means to increase productivity.