Interview Preparation By Doing Yoga.... Say What?

Getting the invitation to interview with a top choice employer is ALWAYS exciting — but the second that post-interview invitation glow wears off and the pre-interview jitters set in, it’s all downhill from there. Anxiety builds and builds, and by the time of the interview, your stomach is in knots and you are a ball of nerves. And let’s face it, first impressions matter. So let me help you…here are a few steps you can take today to ensure you are not a sweaty mess for your first impression and rather walk into your next interview calm and collected.

To prevent our interview jitters and nerves from taking over, Mark Balfe-Taylor, the director of yoga at TruFusion, says there are some simple poses you can do before a big job interview that will help keep you cool, calm, and collected.

“When we’re nervous,” Balfe-Taylor tells Business Insider, “our sleep patterns can get broken, obsessive thinking patterns can dominate our minds, and fears may arise.” These beginner-friendly yoga poses will only take about 15 minutes, however, they will enable you to relax your overactive mind.

“These poses cover all the bases: They wake up your nervous system, get your heart pumping, tap into your personal strength, and help you feel grounded.”

Here are the four poses to try the morning of a job interview:  

1. The bridge pose

This is an easy pose to start with,” Balfe-Taylor says. It will help wake you up and get your blood flowing — which will ultimately make you feel more energetic (a good way to feel the morning of a job interview!).

“Bridge pose enables you to wake up your spine,” Balfe-Taylor explains. “The movement of energy will then disperse across your body. After sleep it will help to relieve any stiffness, and will also stimulate your legs. You can add the shoulder stretches by interlocking your fingers if you have the flexibility. I recommend adding an undulating movement to the pose and moving naturally with your breath.”

Here’s how to do it:

  • Feet should be parallel and hip width apart.
  • Inhale, and lift your hips.
  • Palms face down; arms shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your chin just off your chest as you look up.
  • Inhale, lower your hips slightly, then exhale and lift.
  • Repeat several times moving calmly with your breath.
  • Keep your hips up and try to interlock your fingers.
  • Get shoulder blades flat and breathe.
  • Keep your feet wide and then let your knees drop left and right while looking the opposite way for relief.
  • Repeat.

2. Dancer’s pose

This yoga pose builds energy, gets the heart pumping, deepens your concentration and balance, and strengthens the back, says Balfe-Taylor.

“It will help you forget all your stress, as it requires you to be mentally present,” he adds.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Root down through the four corners of your left foot.
  • Stabilize your knee with some activation in your thigh. (If you have hyper flexibility across your knee joint, then a slight bend will protect it.)
  • Focus on one point in front of you.
  • Calm your breath.
  • Grab your right foot from the inside at the ankle. (If you are unable, then grab the outside, but know that eventually your chest will open more with an inside grip.)
  • Bring your knees together as you establish balance on one leg.
  • Left arm up.
  • Kick your heel away from your buttock resisting your knee turning out to the right.
  • Slowly stretch your left arm forward as you continue to kick until your hand and foot are at the same height. The force of the kick will lift your chest (backbends are stimulating) and by maintaining the kick and the stretch you will be forced to work hard to continue your balance.
  • About five deep breaths when you are balancing in the pose will suffice on each leg.
  • Repeat two times. The second time around, go more smoothly to your end point and focus on lifting your chest (and possibly your leg) higher.

3. Warrior 2 pose

This one opens your chest and lungs, energizes tired limbs, develops balance and stability, improves circulation, and — maybe most importantly for a job interview — builds stamina and concentration. “It will make you feel like a champ,” says Balfe-Taylor.

He says you should think about this pose as an opportunity to develop your determination and resolve. “You will get the job and no difficulty you are experiencing in this pose or during this interview is going to stop you!” he says. “You are powerful, you are strong, you deserve the reward of your efforts.”

Here’s how to do it:

  • Soften your knees and step your left foot back about four feet.
  • Bend into your right knee and keep your left leg straight.
  • Heels can be in one line.
  • Front right foot straight, weight evenly dispersed, and back left foot turned about 60 degrees.
  • Keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet.
  • Lift the inner ankle on your left foot to prevent it from collapsing and activate your left thigh to feel your muscles hug the bone.
  • Try to bend into your right leg enough to get your thigh parallel to the floor; widen your stance more if you need to.
  • Stretch your arms apart.
  • Keep you hip points even if possible to avoid collapsing your hip bone onto your thigh bone.
  • Lift up through the four sides of your torso.
  • Suck your navel toward your spine.
  • Pull your tailbone down toward the floor and restrict your rib cage opening out. (This helps to avoid anterior tilt of the pelvic girdle.)
  • Shoulders down and arms strong.
  • Look forward over your right middle finger and try to avoid tilting your head.
  • Lift your pelvic floor and pull your navel in back and up, and imagine drawing power from the earth toward your mid-section.
  • Close your eyes and now visualize all your worries dissolving as you tighten and squeeze your muscles to maintain your stance. Imagine the source of your power being centered in your mid-section. The more you tighten, the more powerful you become. Remind yourself you are strong and capable.
  • Repeat for the other side. Do it two times.

4. Tree pose

This pose will improve balance, strengthen your legs and glutes, and improve confidence and self-esteem overall, he says.

“Tree is a relaxing balance pose. As you finish this sequence with the tree, you can gather your self-esteem, feel good about meeting the challenges you have just faced, and let that transfer to your day. It is important to try to find some ease in this pose as you end the routine.”

Here’s how to do it:

  • Again, take the weight onto your left foot.
  • Distribute your weight evenly across the four corners of your foot.
  • Stabilize your knee with some activation in your thigh. If you have hyper flexibility across your knee joint, then a slight bend will protect it.
  • Bring your right foot onto your left leg, preferably above the knee on your thigh (but if you need to, place it on your calf muscle).
  • Keep your hip points even and try to avoid tipping your pelvic girdle forward (tailbone down and rib cage restricted to avoid anterior tilt).
  • Suck your navel to your spine.
  • Lift up through your torso.
  • Raise your arms over head, keep your shoulders in their sockets.
  • Imagine ease and calm as you root your stretch.
  • Gaze can be forward or up.
  • Take five calm breaths.
  • Repeat two times on each side.

The power pose:

Your uncontrollable mind obviously has a lot to do with getting worked up over an interview, but as it turns out, your body has some control over this, too. According to Amy Cuddy, professor at Harvard Business School, positioning your body in stance of power or powerlessness actually impacts the way you behave. To take advantage of this, do a “power pose” for two minutes (watch this video) for samples of poses prior to your interview. You’ll magically be more calm and charismatic. 

Think this is silly? Check out Ted Talk through (this video) on why all this “crazy” works.


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Interview Preparation By Doing Yoga…. Say What?