You put a lot of time and effort into preparing for your interview, and when you’re in the hot seat you want to make the best impression possible.
Even if your resume is filled with great credentials and tons of experience, employers often look for candidates with skills like confidence, communication, and the ability to think quickly under pressure.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to let your light shine. Nootropics for job interviews can give you that extra sparkle that catches hiring managers' eyes and helps you land your dream job.
Key Cognitive Functions for Job Interview Success
Some cognitive skills that every good job candidate needs for a successful interview include:
- Working memory
- Verbal communication
- Stress management
- Quick Thinking
- Social Skills
Working memory is a specific type of memory that allows us to remember and use pertinent information on the fly. It is essential to everything else on our list.
During interviews, working memory helps you:
- pattern verbal communication according to the available position
- respond to impromptu questions quickly and accurately
- apply appropriate social skills to match the job culture
- stay calm and manage stress
The prefrontal cortex - especially the dorsolateral PFC - is involved with working memory functions.<1> But these functions are not limited to the PFC. The verbal working memory tasks that you’ll use most often during an interview are processed in the posterior parietal cortex and in Broca’s area – a region in the left frontal cortex responsible for language processing.<2>
Whether it’s over the phone, online, or in person, the majority of most job interviews are conducted verbally. The ability to speak clearly and concisely – without rambling – can make or break your rapport with the interviewer.
How you speak and what you say in an interview can make or break your career.
Verbal communication requires a collaboration between both brain hemispheres. The left brain allows us to understand and learn language, while the right brain helps us use it pragmatically.<3>
Good neural communication equals good verbal communication. And it can mean the difference between getting a job offer or a polite rejection letter.
Job-seeker's guide to good communication
- Speak clearly at a comfortable volume
- Avoid filler words like uh, um, ah, so, yes, etc.
- Speak in short, complete sentences.
- Don’t ramble – stay close to the topic at hand
- Be honest and positive
- Ask relevant questions
- Enhance neural communication with brain boosting nootropics
Job interviews can be super stressful, especially if you’re heavily invested in getting the job. Although stress is a regular part of almost any job, your potential manager wants to know that you won’t crack under pressure.
Good verbal communication is important, but this is where non-verbal cues can give you away. There are dozens of ways hiring managers can spot physiological “tells” like sweating, rapid pulse and breathing, restlessness, excessive blinking, and other tics you aren't even aware of.
The stress response begins in the amygdala, which sends a threat signal to the hypothalamus and activates the sympatho-adrenal-system (SAS). The SAS pumps the stress hormones epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol throughout the body and starts to shut down cognitive functions.
Deep breathing, pre-interview yoga, tai chi, and meditation, or mentally repeating a mantra like peace or calm, prayer and visualizing a tranquil setting can help soothe your brain in stressful situations. And some nootropics are good for stress relief too.
Thinking On Your Feet
No matter how much you prepare to answer the most common interview questions, there’s always a potential curveball. That’s when you have to think quickly.
Thinking on your feet is a type of problem-solving.
Thinking and problem-solving are executive functions that stem from the frontal lobe, a brain region that spans both hemispheres at the front of the brain including the parietal cortex and Broca’s area.
Quick thinking requires good levels of brain energy along with a relaxed focus on the question or “problem.”
- Researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London found that too much brain energy and intensive focus (indicated by high gamma rhythms in the parietal cortex) can interfere with thinking and problem-solving.<4>
High gamma could cause you to stutter out a less-than-impressive response. But nootropics for job interviews promote alpha brain waves that inspire creative problem solving combined with effortless alertness so you can shine when you’re put on the spot.
Most jobs include working as part of a team, and the interviewer wants to hire a candidate that can work well with others. Strong interpersonal skills show that you have what it takes to get along with coworkers, clients, and everybody else.
Aside from the cognitive skills we have previously discussed, the hiring manager may be looking for these important social skills:
- Leadership – do you have what it takes to organize projects, oversee coworkers and manage resources?
- Sensitivity to others – being able to empathize with and understand the needs of others is crucial to any position
- Social intelligence – can you influence how others perceive things in a positive way?
- Diplomacy – controlling your words and actions under stress is imperative for a productive workplace
- Listening – never underestimate the power of a good listener. Do you listen or do you merely hear?
Soft skills are developed at the intersection of dual learning systems in the brain. The cognitive learning system enlists the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobes, while the behavioral skills learning system taps the basal ganglia, just above the limbic system.
Though social skills utilize cognitive functions, they are also learned traits. So don’t get too nervous if your social skills aren’t as seasoned as you would like them to be. A little soft skills training could help you land your dream job.
Nootropics for job interviews can give you the mood support and cognitive spark needed to embrace those skills.
Mind Lab Pro® Nootropics for Job Interviews
Rhodiola is one of the fastest-working nootropics for job interviews. It's an adaptogen herb that improves stress resistance and can help ward off the stress-related mental fatigue that can sap your brilliance just when you need it most.
- Unlike some other nootropics, rhodiola is effective after a single dose. High quality rhodiola's brain energizing, stress-reducing effects can become noticeable in just 45 minutes to an hour and can last for up to 6 hours.
For job interviews, rhodiola works by soothing the short-term stress response in the sympatho-adrenal-system (SAS) during high-pressure situations. By combating stress, it improves mental performance and clears out brain fog fast so you can be at your best.
Bacopa is another stress-busting adaptogen herb, but this one has a bonus - it supports recall and working memory. Remember, working memory is the precursor to all the other key cognitive functions we've talked about.
Plus, it supports GABA and serotonin in the brain, helping you keep your cool even when the questions get tricky.
Like rhodiola, bacopa may work quickly after one dose, although studies show its nootropic benefits can increase with supplementation over time.<5>
L-Theanine is the amino acid that gives green tea its reputation for promoting attentive relaxation. L-theanine boosts alpha brain wave activity, clearing out noisy beta and gamma waves to impart serenity without sedation. The alpha state bolsters creativity, mental clarity, and calm composure.
L-Theanine encourages dopamine and serotonin in the brain, boosting your sense of well-being. A calm, confident mind state can heighten charisma and make you seem more competent and leader-like, and that is what most employers are looking for.
Could your pre-interview coffee cost you the job?
Maybe. You never want to appear anxious or hyper at a job interview. If you're already nervous, coffee could exacerbate those jangling nerves.
- Taking L-Theanine can help moderate the jittery effects of caffeine and keep you calm and cool under pressure.
Better yet, skip the pre-interview coffee and consider a milder caffeine boost from a soothing cup of green tea.
The best choline source for nootropic supplements, Citicoline is identical to the organic, naturally-occurring molecule CDP-choline that's found throughout the body, especially the brain. In both nootropic and natural forms, its neuroprotective properties help defend and repair brain cell membranes.<6>
Besides maintaining brain cell integrity, citicoline boosts brain energy and improves neurotransmitter communication, enhancing working memory and mental focus.
In addition to choline, citicoline supplies Uridine, one of the compounds that make up ribonucleic acid(RNA). Along with DNA, RNA carries information to every cell in your body. On its own, Uridine's bioavailability is too low to boost cognition. But citicoline harmonizes Uridine with choline for a perfect brain-boosting partnership.
In a nutshell, citicoline can optimize brain energy and communication to help you think fast on your feet and come up with quick answers to sticky questions.
NALT is an amino acid that sparks dopamine and norepinephrine activity in the prefrontal cortex, enhancing executive functions and improving working memory. NALT is one of the best all-around cognitive enhancers, and its combination of relaxation plus energy-inducing signals could help you think better in stressful situations - like multi-person interviews.
- One human study assessed the effects of tyrosine on military cadets during a rigorous week-long combat training course. The results of the study showed that supplementation with tyrosine may reduce the effects of stress and fatigue on cognitive task performance, including multitasking.
If tyrosine can boost cognition under those extreme circumstances, think of what the enhanced-and-advanced N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine form could do for you during a high-stakes interview.
Mind Lab Pro® nootropics for job interviews help you exhibit the quick thinking, communication and charisma that all hiring managers are looking for.
First impressions are hard to shake. With Mind Lab Pro®, you can boost cognitive functions and effectively manage the impression you make on hiring managers for a better chance at not just advancing your career, but landing the dream job that brings you the quality of life you deserve.
Better still, once you have secured your ideal job, Mind Lab Pro® can help to promote creativity, attention, inner drive and other cognitive functions that help you sustain your professional success throughout your career.
- Barbey, AK, Koenigs, M, Grafman. Dorsolateral prefrontal contributions to human working memory. Cortex. 2013. 49 (5): 1195–1205. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2012.05.022
- Smith, EE, Jonides J, Marshuetz C, Koeppe RA. Components of verbal working memory: evidence from neuroimaging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Feb 1998. 95 (3): 876–82. doi:10.1073/pnas.95.3.876
- Van Lancker D. Brain Structures in Verbal Communication: A Focus on Prosody.
- Sandkühler S, Bhattacharya J. Deconstructing Insight: EEG Correlates of Insightful Problem Solving. Plos One. 23 Jan 2008. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001459
- Benson S, Downey LA, Stough C, Wetherell M, Zangara A, Scholey A. An acute, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study of 320 mg and 640 mg doses of Bacopa monnieri (CDRI 08) on multitasking stress reactivity and mood. Phytother Res. 2014 Apr;28(4):551-9. Doi: 10.1002/ptr.5029.
- Grieb P. Neuroprotective Properties of Citicoline: Facts, Doubts and Unresolved Issues. CNS Drugs. 2014; 28(3): 185–193. Doi: 10.1007/s40263-014-0144-8