Etiquette Tip: Rules of interviews and alcohol


interview alcohol

When it comes to interviews and alcohol, first thing’s first. If you don’t drink, don’t drink.  In business, it is better not to have alcohol, because you want to keep a clear head. Never walk around an event with a glass of wine pretending.

Here are some of the rules of interviews and alcohol:

While waiting in a restaurant for your interviewer to arrive, do not order alcohol.

If the interviewer asks you if you would like an alcohol beverage, ask first, “Are you having one?” (In an interview meal, the interviewee orders first and the interviewer orders second.)

If the interviewer is not having alcohol, you do not have alcohol either.

If the interviewer is having alcohol, you may join him/her… or not.

If the interviewer is throwing back three and four alcohol beverages, do not join him/her.  Stop after the first.

An interviewer downing multiple cocktails is a red flag.  Remember, you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you.

If you do order alcohol, get a glass of red or white wine.  Only because I care, will I tell you not to order white zinfandel when out on business. It’s considered a little on the tacky side.  If you want to keep the ball in the box in your fridge at home, that’s fine.  I promise not to tell anyone.

There are plenty of non-alcohol beverages behind the bar: soda, soda water with a lime (looks like a cocktail), or cranberry juice.  Again, better to keep a clear head in business.

Thanks to the Culture and Manners Institute for the tips!


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