You are of age, it could ease your nerves, or help you to fit in with others who are drinking so you think, “why not…” drink alcohol during an interview or professional setting? Well, think again because according to research, drinking alcohol can increase your chances of looking like an “imbibing idiot…,” or at least, less intelligent and less hireable (see Rick & Schweitzer’s article, The imbibing idiot bias: Consuming alcohol can be hazardous to your [perceived] intelligence).
Although it is likely that others will be drinking at a dinner interview, office celebration, or conference gathering, you should think twice about it when you are around potential employers, coworkers, or professors who you are applying to work with in graduate school. Professionals have different opinions about this issue and your own mentors may give you different advice and say it is okay to have one, alcoholic beverage – at least at professional gatherings that are social in nature. I would not recommend drinking at all on a job interview.
At social events where you are mingling with professionals, it may be okay to have one if it is offered to you and “everyone’s doing it.” Yet, after one glass of wine, you may think it’s acceptable to have two or three and before you know it, you could be doing shots, showing everyone there videos of your kids or cats that they don’t care to see, walking on your hands, singing bad karaoke, grinding with the wrong person’s partner, staying longer than anyone wanted you to, or…you get the picture. When you drink alcohol, you lose some of your filter and may say or do things that seem great at the time…and even though you may be getting high fives from others there, they may be more likely to hire the individual that went home early and sober. Thus, if you DO drink alcohol in some professional setting, limit it to ONE and that is only when it is offered to you, you are of age, everyone else there is drinking alcohol, and you feel comfortable with even one drink; if you do not normally drink, are a lightweight, or feel hesitant for any reason, don’t drink at all!