Travelling to your interview can be as big (and nerve-racking) an undertaking as the interview itself. Stressing about how early you should turn up to your interview while you try to navigate your way through a sea of already-employed commuters might mean you show up to the interview as tired as if it was already over. However, you can turn this journey of terror into a stroll in the park with one simple tool: music.
Music can help us to relax and to see our surroundings in a more positive light. Maximise the benefits of this by creating a playlist specifically for your interview commute. Perhaps you want your pre-interview music to trigger memories from a time when you didn’t have to worry about your job search (think Disney’s inspirational tunes), or maybe you’d rather be pumped up like you’re preparing for battle (think Survivor’s ‘Eye of the tiger’, aka the Rocky theme song).
Regardless of what music you go for, prepare your playlist the night before. At this point there’s nothing else you can do to ensure success apart from getting a good night’s sleep, so this is a fun task to occupy your mind and help you to unwind.
Here is our model pre-interview playlist to help you prepare for that first handshake.
Lovely day, Bill Withers
The world might feel like a scary place when you take that first step out your door. The first song you need is a slow, comforting tune to assure you that ‘the world’s alright’.
After listening to this song, you might want to repress the urge to tell the interviewer, ‘I’m like chardonnay, get better over time.’ There’s no harm in thinking it, though.
Hakuna matata from The Lion King
If you’re a Disney fan, there are plenty of motivational songs to choose from, but Timon and Pumbaa’s motto of no worries may be just what you need.
Don’t stop me now, Queen
You’re a tiger. A racing car. A satellite. There’s no one like Freddie Mercury to make inspirational lists, and what he clearly means is that a shooting star like you is doing the world a favour by even showing up to interviews.
What could be more convincing than Madonna whispering, ‘You’re a superstar, yes, that’s what you are, you know it’. I do know it. Thanks, Madonna.
My shot from Hamilton
Hamilton is a rap-musical with tunes for any occasion and, if you’re feeling like the underdog, the witty lyrics will help fire you up.
Happy, Pharrell Williams
Listen to this song once and a choir will be chanting ‘happy, happy, happy’ in the back of your mind for the rest of the day.
Don’t be so hard on yourself, Jess Glynne
This upbeat song is bound to keep your energy up and, while the lyrics are more about love than careers, it’s a timely reminder to not put too much pressure on yourself.
Don’t stop believing, Journey
You shouldn’t refrain from including the classics on your playlist. Glee covered this song for a reason.
This is me, Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman)
How can you not be inspired by Keala Settle belting out the lyrics ‘Look out ‘cause here I come and I’m marching on to the beat I drum’?
Take a chance on me, ABBA
This is exactly what you want – for an employer to take a chance on you. Take your pick between the original and Julie Walters’ and Stellan Skarsgård’s rendition for Mamma Mia!
Respect, Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin’s attitude in this song is the mother of all attitudes.
Shotgun, George Ezra
Even if you’re at the back of the bus on a rainy Monday morning, George Ezra singing ‘I’ll be riding shotgun underneath the hot sun’ is sure to transport you to a happier place.
Shake it off, Taylor Swift
This song serves as a catchy reminder that no matter what happens, you’ll be OK: if Taylor Swift can deal with the ‘dirty, dirty cheats of the world’, you’ll cruise your way through this interview.
Good day, Nappy Roots
There’s nothing like a reassuring chorus to finish off a playlist. The rapper quartet, backed by a children’s choir, is determined to convince you that you can make today a good day ‘instead of waiting for a good day to happen’.
These tunes should get you through your interview commute with less hand sweat and more self-love. Just don’t get carried away and speak to the interviewer in song and dance.
As soon as you come out of the interview, you’ll be free to go back to your own little world of music. You don’t need to return to your inspirational playlist if you feel a bit tired and overwhelmed. The likes of Lewis Capaldi, Morrissey and Adele are there to feel it all with you.
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