So you’ve interviewed well, possibly gone through two or three rounds of formal interviews and now you’ve been asked to go for some social drinks with the team.

It’s obviously great news as you are getting closer to the finish line, but for many it can actually feel harder than the interview because at least you knew with the interview what the ground rules were!

It is however standard practice for many firms, particularly for those which work in social industries like headhunting. It’s therefore really important that you approach this opportunity in the right way to maximise the likelihood of a job offer, so that you can be prematurely celebrating your new job rather than drowning your sorrows!

When you’ve been asked for a drink, it generally means, assuming you ‘click’ with the team, that you’ve got the job. For many companies it’s really just to check that you are a good fit. As one client put it “Assuming they don’t start throwing the glasses around, they’ve got the job!”

Most clients are not looking for a huge character, just someone who can fit in well. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for you both to get to know each other on a more personal level. For most of our candidates, going for a drink is actually a very enjoyable experience and something that leaves them even more excited about the opportunity ahead.

From our experience, the key mistake that graduates make is to approach a social drink like an interview. This significantly increases the challenge of what should be a very simple part of the process. Whilst being professional and considered can work well in a formal interview, it will almost always be a poor strategy when going for a drink.

The key is that you open up and enjoy it and, to do this effectively, you need to mentally prepare by reminding yourself of the truth – that it’s a great opportunity for you to meet new people and for them to meet you. And that you wouldn’t have got this far if they didn’t already like you!

So in summary, treat drinks with the team as an opportunity to show them the real you. And by that I don’t mean drinking to excess or trying to hog the limelight! Just let things unfold naturally and, with a little luck, your phone should be ringing with a job offer the following morning.