The Interview Brew 🍵

Interview Preparation, Productivity,
Illustration: Hachibu

Illustration: Hachibu

Introduction

As software engineers, we have to frequently participate in challenging multi-step interviews in order to secure employment. Given that interviews can be strenuous on the brain, how can we ensure that our brain is ready to perform?

One component of my pre-interview ritual is a beverage that I concocted called “The Interview Brew.” Each ingredient has been unscientifically selected for its positive impacts on cognition and transmission of thought.

Green Tea for Calm Focus

Green tea contains caffeine — a well-known stimulant — but it also contains L-Theanine which is an amino acid found primarily in green tea and black tea. The L-Theanine in green tea helps to balance caffeine’s stimulatory effects [1] . So, you get the benefit of caffeine without the jitters.

Electrolytes for Communication Between Neurons

Electrolytes are minerals that are required for important bodily functions such as nerve impulses, muscle contactions, hydration and more. Electrolytes found in the body include sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, phosphate and bicarbonate. Brain cells (i.e. neurons) rely on these electrolytes to faciliate the transmission of nerve impulses — especially sodium [2] . So, your brain will be ready to think quickly and solve problems.

Honey for Communication Between Brains

Besides writing code during interviews, we also have to talk through our thought process. The throat is essential for transmitting thought via speech. If the throat is compromised, our speech will be noisier (i.e. limited vocal range and endurance, coughing, clearing the throat). Honey is a sweet substance made by bees which has been used for ages as a homemade remedy for sore throats and coughing. So, you will be ready to talk for hours during back-to-back onsite interviews.

Recipe

Ingredients
  • Green tea powder
  • Electrolyte powder
  • Honey
Directions

Add 1 teaspoon of green tea powder, 1 teaspoon of electrolyte powder and 1 teaspoon of honey, pour 176°F (80°C) hot water, and steep for 30 seconds.

  1. Role of L-Theanine in Green Tea
  2. Why Your Brain Needs Electrolytes (especially Sodium)

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