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Interview Exhaustion/Illness


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As in person interview season really starts to pick up, does anyone have any tips to avoid exhaustion/illness/burnout through this process? I have heard the horror stories of people getting really sick, suffering exhaustion, or just burning out from so many interviews in a row particularly while trying to maintain other aspects of life (e.g. school, work, etc.).

A few big tips I have heard is to remember to take vitamins, stay hydrated, and get a full night of sleep before leaving for interview weekends (even though anticipation and anxiety may make this difficult). Any other tips, tricks, or advice are much appreciated!

Good luck to everyone going on interviews in the upcoming weeks!

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I'd say if you take any prescription meds then have a watch or timer set for whatever time in your timezone you take them so you don't get off track.  It is very easy to overdose because the time change confuses you.

Things I did include......

  • Hydrating the night before flying to prevent majorly dry skin and fatigue
  • Cutting back on sodium because flying also can make you bloated and puffy.  Plus interview days may mean lots of hotel/airport food which can be high in salt.
  • Stayed on my time zone whenever possible.  The way my interviews were structured I had no problem attending all activities without disrupting the sleep schedule I have for my time zone.  Eating was a little more challenging, but it helped to have snacks in my purse.
  • I took extra vitamins each day I flew, had hand sanitizer, and didn't go anywhere near those plane bathrooms 
  • I also had fiber supplements if I couldn't go or needed to stop going so much, a stomach ache supplement, and something for gas just in case
  • Brought a neck pillow and blanket on the plane and wore compression socks
  • Minimal caffeine and ate extra servings of fruits and veggies whenever possible
  • I also stretched and walked often to ease my muscles after being cramped in airline seats or the constant sitting on interview days
  • The day after it was all over I sat in my house on my rear refusing to do much of anything and didn't care who was peeved by my selfishness
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8 minutes ago, MarineBluePsy said:

I'd say if you take any prescription meds then have a watch or timer set for whatever time in your timezone you take them so you don't get off track.  It is very easy to overdose because the time change confuses you.


Such a good point. Thanks for mentioning it! 

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I thought of it a lot like taking the GREs. Be hydrated, bring a snack, get good rest the week before (melatonin is great if you're having difficulty sleeping), and don't stress yourself out trying to cram last minute (night before/morning of) because it likely will not make a difference.

One thing that really helped me on my last interview was getting to know the graduate students at the dinner before. It made the actual interview day much less stressful, and we all know that interviewing is mentally exhausting enough without being extremely anxious/stressed all day. So just prep before and once you're there, focus your energy on getting to know the program, students, and faculty! You're trying to assess their fit with you as much as they're assessing your fit with them, which is hard to do if you're trying to memorize questions or facts for your interview.

If you need to take a personal day or two off of work/school, DO IT! Self-care during this process is important. Plus, think of how much time and effort you've put into this. The interview is for your potential future career, and I'd hope your professors/boss would get the importance... but if they don't I'd still say take off a day (just try to make sure it's not a crazy day at the office/in your class if possible, maybe a day where there's not a whole lot going on and you can easily make up the work if needed).

As far as avoiding illness, I have been drinking Emergen-C every other day (if not every day) to avoid catching a bug going around my office... so far I'm the only one who hasn't gotten sick! *fingers crossed* I think exhaustion by the end of the interview day is unavoidable though unless you're literally a robot. On the bright side, it's a long day for everyone so you definitely won't be the only one who's tired.

Good luck! :)




Edited by ko29
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