Skip Navigation

← Back to the News

Etiquette Tip of The Week: Rules of interviews and alcohol

Mar 12, 2014

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 or 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.

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

The Etiquette Tip of the Week may be forwarded to others who really, really need it, pinned to billboards, taped to the water cooler, blogged, Tweeted or used to fill that last little hole in your newsletter. Giving credit to the Culture and Manners Institute at is the polite thing to do.

The Culture and Manners Institute is all about respect. Therefore, your email address will not be sold, traded or gifted to other parties, as that would not be a polite thing to do.