Smoking or Non?

This question is usually asked when we enter a restaurant. And I will always turn to the interviewee and ask, "Which do you prefer?" Whether you smoke or not, always respond, "It's up to you." And if you do smoke, do not smoke, even if your interviewer smokes.

Smokers beware. Smoking is at an all-time low on the acceptance scale. You are not a protected minority—and you are definitely in the minority. Even the smell of smoke on your clothes can count against you. If you smoke, do not smoke the day of the interview. In fact, do not smoke after your last shower prior to the interview. And wear fresh clothes that are free of the tobacco smell. Tough rules? Possibly. But there are enough sensitive noses and prejudiced minds out there that you should do your very best to avoid any and all potential negatives. And smoking is one area that most in modern society look down upon.

Smoking could be hazardous to your career health.

If you do smoke, there will likely be an advantage to kicking the habit before you begin work—ideally, before you begin interviewing, given the potential negative impact it can have on the job search process. Many companies now force employees to smoke either in a designated smoking room or outside the building (which can be especially rough in northern climates). The amount of time necessary for even the average pack-a-day smoker to get their nicotine fix can amount to over 10 percent lost productivity. This fact is not easily ignored by the average manager. And it may eventually work against you, either in your job search or in your professional career.

If you have been looking for an incentive to quit, this may be your opportunity.