When it comes to interviews, there’s a generally held belief that emulating your future boss is a good idea. For example, stay standing until they sit. If your interview is in a cafe or restaurant setting, order something comparable to what your interviewer orders. But there’s one big exception to this rule: alcohol. Even if your potential employer orders an alcoholic beverage first.
New research conducted by Scott Rick from University of Michigan and Maurice E. Schweitzer University of Pennsylvania shows that people perceive you as less intelligent when you drink, even if they are drinking also. Their finding are published in a paper titled “The Imbibing Idiot Bias: Merely Holding an Alcoholic Beverage Can be Hazardous to Your (Perceived) Intelligence.” They simulated interviews and then asked observers to comment on them. Even with the dialogue unchanged, observers found anyone holding an alcoholic beverage less intelligent. If the conversation was a job interview, they found drinkers to seem less hirable. They found that the bias applied to drinkers of both beer and wine, and was unchanged by the gender of the drinker.
“Although alcohol consumption often impairs cognition, we identify an implicit association between alcohol and cognitive impairment that causes people to over-generalize this link,” Rick and Schweitzer write. In short, if you’re in any situation where you’re being considered for a job or promotion, stick to water or coffee.