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Your potential boss may order a drink, but you shouldn’t…

Daryl Paranada Aug 11, 2010

Have you ever been on a job interview and ordered an alcoholic beverage because your potential boss has? You think, maybe I should follow my boss’ lead. Yeah, that may not be such a good idea.

Researchers at the Universities of Michigan and Pennsylvania have been conducting experiments that suggest you’re less likely to be hired if you’re a job seeker who drinks in a social setting where a prospective boss is checking you out. Even just holding a glass of wine or beer may affect how you are perceived. During the study’s six experiments, researchers found that job candidates were seen as less intelligent and less hirable — but not less likeable, honest or genuine — if they ordered alcohol in stimulated interviews.

And get this — prospective employers may have a bias against potential job candidates ordering alcohol even if they also ordered a drink themselves during the interview process. Regardless of what the manager ordered, job seekers were perceived as less worthy candidates — seen as less intelligent, scholarly or intellectual — if they ordered, say, a glass of Pinot Noir. The study’s authors have dubbed this phenomenon “the imbibing idiot bias.”

If you’re looking for more tips on how to land a potential job, one place to start is your resume. Check out our interview with’s Jason Ferrara on how to improve your resume and see a list of 10 ways to get your resume noticed.

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