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This will be my first interview. I'm just about to complete my final year graduation (BSc. Computer Science), and soon I will be attending interviews for placements.

I don’t have any experience with interviews, so I was wondering if it’s OK to have a couple of shots of vodka before going into my interviews?

It gives me a bit more confidence, and kind of openness.

So, is it a good idea? Or could something happen that I am not expecting?

UPDATE

I am asking this because my brother suggested it to me. His words: "I have done this many-a-times... Worked always for me". That is why I wanted to ask this, and wanted to know if any one here had any good/bad experiences related to it.

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Not the best idea. If I, as the interviewer, smelt alcohol on your breath I'd likely make the assumption of the worst and that you are always drunk. Which needless to say would severely hurt your chances of getting the job. You will be face to face with the interviewer, speaking directly to them, they will be able to detect the smell. –  Jeremy1026 Feb 22 '13 at 12:24
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possible duplicate of How do I overcome my nervousness while facing an interview? –  gnat Feb 22 '13 at 12:37
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Hi Joey, I've edited your question a bit to try and get it reopened. It's definitely a bad idea to drink before an interview, however I can see why some people may think it would help their confidence and nerves, so I don't think this is a bad question for the site. I've voted to reopen it, but it still needs a few more votes from other community members to be reopened. Good luck with your interview :) –  Rachel Feb 22 '13 at 14:38
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This may be a dumb/obvious question, but I don't think it qualifies as "not real". I'd say it's definitely answerable in it's current form. You may think it's trolling, but you don't know that. And even if it is, a clear and consice answer to why you should not show up drunk at an interview is still a valid piece of information, especially if you've never been in contact with the professional workplace before. Voting re-open. –  pap Feb 22 '13 at 14:42
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Questions should be evaluated on the quality of the content and not how good of an idea it is. –  JeffO Feb 25 '13 at 1:25
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6 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

I think the answers pretty obvious to be honest.

Don't!

You will be working for a long, long time and there will be many occasions on which you will be nervous. Even if drinking does help you perform better when you are nervous (and I'm not even remotely sure it does, though it might feel that way), do you intend to stash a bottle in the desk for every occasion?

Nervousness is a problem, but it is a natural problem that all of us deal with on a daily basis. Learning how to deal with it properly is also a necessary part of life.

While you might be a fresh graduate and doing this for the first time, I'm sure there have been many occasions in the past where you have been nervous in your social/family life. Think back to how you dealt with it in the past and try to apply it to this situation.

Lastly, don't worry too much about being perfect because there is no such thing. Being perfect doesn't mean you will get the job anyway, since we all have different definitions of perfection. Being less than spectacular is also no guarantee of failure and you might still land the job that you want.

Just be yourself, experience the event, digest it and become better regardless of whether or not you get the job.

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The points in the top voted answer are good but obvious."do you intend to stash a bottle in the desk for every occasion" +1.Got it.The root cause is explained well.Thank You. –  joey rohan Feb 23 '13 at 16:17
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It is a good idea to calm your nerves before an interview.

Using alcohol to do it - bad idea. Most work places have policies against drinking during working hours - drinking just before an interview would be a red flag to any interviewer. You may very well be dropped if the interviewer detects a hint of alcohol.

Apart from that - there is the issue of impaired judgment whilst drunk. You may very well not perform to your usual standard or show impaired judgement while under the influence - these are also good reasons to not drink before an interview.

Consider methods that do not include alcohol - meditation, clearing your mind, having a walk before hand - anything that relaxes you.

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What if i use mouth wash, or some refreshment stuff after that? –  joey rohan Feb 22 '13 at 12:38
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@joeyrohan - What if you get caught? What if you spill a bit on your shirt? What if you start slurring your speech? It is not a good idea. –  Oded Feb 22 '13 at 12:39
    
Got it..Nice answer :) +1 –  joey rohan Feb 22 '13 at 12:42
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Jesus no man. Can you imagine the reaction if one were to smell alcohol on the breath of a potential employee during an interview?

There are dozens of different ways to prepare that are better than this here are three off the top of my head:

  • Read up on common interview mechanisms/questions
  • Be prepared. Talk through an imagined instance of interview with yourself beforehand. Just imagining yourself in that situation will fill your subconscious with the memories of what to say and make the actual experience less alien to you.
  • Apply for many interviews so each one counts as less (making you less nervous about missing the only critical position)
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I'd recommend against it.

First of all: yes, you're nervous. Interviews are stressful for everybody. I've been working for nearly two decades, for a number of different companies, in several different cities in two different countries. I've been to a lot of interviews. Most of them have gone quite well, I think. But even just writing this answer reminds me of the nervousness I've always felt going into an interview.

Having said that, because interviews make everyone nervous, interviewers expect you to be nervous. They're not going to instantly think "goddamn, this guy is obviously useless, if he knew his stuff he wouldn't be nervous!" Doesn't happen. Well, OK, I'll concede a few cases, but not in Computer Science related fields. If you're interviewing for a sales role you'd probably need to come across as completely confident.

So you really don't want to risk swapping a problem that is normal and expected (nervousness) for one which is not normal, not expected and will totally tank your chances of scoring the job. Such as, as Jeremy1026 pointed out in his comment, the interviewer smelling alcohol on your breath. Or you saying something stupid. Or forgetting something you should know, or losing your train of thought.

Best cure for nervousness in interviews? Practice. Even if the first one is terrifying, in time, you see the patterns and it starts to feel a lot more normal. If you do a bunch in quick succession while jobhunting, you will get jaded to the feelings of nervousness.

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You better have a lot of feedback from very objective sources about your ability to handle alcohol. Consuming enough to remove your inhibitions won't go unnoticed.

Find an alternative. Practice interviewing. Getting involved with a public speaking group may help as well.

For all those who have such extreme notions that this is a sign of subtance abuse need to ask themselves if they've ever waiting until the effects of drinking set in before asking someone to go out on a date or have a dance. Hopefully, you don't think finding a job is more important than finding a mate.

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There would be very few people that are naturally good at job interviews, I would imagine even few of these people would be software developers so the only way most people improve at interviewing is the same way you improve at anything, Practice.

Go on as many interviews as you can, even if you don't want the job (some may say this is unethical but I disagree), just to put yourself in that situation. Try to get people that you respect to role-play interviews with you, its no where near as good as a real interview but it can help.

Another thing that may help is not being so outcome dependant, You are probably getting nervous because you are worried you won't get the job because of something you do in the interview, Put the outcome of the interview out of your head and focus on enjoying the interview for what it is, a chance for people to get to know you and you are there to see if they are a good fit for you as much as they are checking you are a good fit for them.

Also if the placements are entry level then you will be competing against people that probably have as much experience as you do at interviewing so will likely be just as nervous, don't believe them if they say they are not, so don't worry about it.

To answer your question, No you shouldn't drink before the interview because it impairs your judgement and relying on substances like alcohol to get you through difficult but standard life occurrences is a slippery slope.

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Hi user, welcome to The Workplace! There's great information here, and you clearly put thought into this, but can you also address the issue of whether it's a good idea to drink before an interview? You sort of side-stepped the issue, and the goal of our Q&A format is to be more direct in answering questions. Hope this helps, and again, welcome to The Workplace! :) –  jmort253 Sep 20 '13 at 5:24
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