If it's anything like the pre-interview mixers back when I was in college, just get ripped and try to make-out with the female members of the interview panel (or the male members, your choice).
OT - Interview and mixer
The interviewee banged a cougar from the mixer. Next day, to his surprise, the cougar interviewed him.
He got the job offer.
And no, unfortunately, I was not the interviewee.
You werent the cougar were you? lol
Mixers can give employers the chance to meet their candidates in a more casual atmosphere, and attempt to get to know them on a more personal level. This can be especially useful for sales positions as employers can make more informed decisions on how this person, regardless of credentials, will interact with their customers both existing and prospective. Personality, the ability to engage in conversation, and the ability to connect with others are vital to any sales force. These types of events can be very useful in the hiring process since many people know how to give a great interview, know what to say, and how to answer your typical cliche questions...what are your best qualities, what's you biggest weakness, etc.
You should be a little careful though. Some companies will offer alcoholic beverages and you don't want to be the person who gets hammered and acts a fool. Good luck though!
I've been to a few and have conducted a few. Some quick pointers (off the top of my head)
1) have 1 or 2 drinks max, but always keep one in your hand to be social;
2) research the company now/ tonight to know who top clients are, where growth (customers, products, countries...) is expected to come from;
3) talk to the interview coordinator and ask about the dress code. It it is business casual, wear a suit (dress 1 level up);
4) treat this as one long extended interview, so ask many questions, have an elevator pitch about your background and why you should be hired;
5) be very polite and don't be a gunner; and
6) save something (project descriptions, teamwork examples...) for the actual interview. This may require leaving slightly early because of a "prior appointment".
But basically, it is a chance to see you act in a more informal setting -- will you get hammered, do you have polite conversation on general topics and table manners, etc.
I have been to a bunch of these during law school. Every firm that interviewed on-campus would hold these things. Basically, show up, be yourself, and make sure you talk to the person who will be interviewing you the next day. The whole point of these things is for them to try to find out about your personality. If you have the interview already, your resume has gotten you in the door and you're qualified. Thus, take this opportunity to be a normal person/be cool, etc. And since it's a sales job, I am assuming personality is a MAJOR factor. So go there and charm the shit out of all the people you meet who work for the company, so that when they're discussing candidates, everyone knows you and likes you. It's basically kind of like an interview, but not at all formal. They just want to find out how you are in a social setting. A LOT of what goes into hiring decisions is the simple question, "would I mind hanging out with this person? because chances are, at some point, I'm going to likely have to spend forced time with them. Therefore, I want someone cool." If the answer is "yes" from the person making that decision, that's huge for you.
Now go get 'em.
don't do it! it's a trap!
I had one of these for the company I'm currently working for. It's a primarily engineering company, so everyone, including the interviewers, got trashed since we were all bussed in from the hotel. It was a good time, I met one of my interviewers, hung out and drank Guinness with him for a while, and he hired me the next day.
Interesting. Ive been in sales for 12 years and havent experienced something like a mixer. However, my advice would be to be very social, have a smile on your face and be glad to be there. Have your facts down cold about your resume, the industry/product and the company that you are interviewing with. Also, have some current events or social things on your mind other than business because you will probably spend at least half of the time talking about things other than business. Also, I would not drink any alcohol there at all...just stick with water and soft drinks.
The alcohol/no alcohol thing is a tough question. My experience with these types of things all center around grad school/post grad school type things, where they are looking to see if you "fit in" with the rest of the class and the school in general. So, my rule of thumb was always a beer/glass of wine followed by Coke. That way, you aren't the square who doesn't drink, but you're not That Guy who gets hammered and makes an ass of himself. Being on the Interviewer side of things, I can definitely pick out the people who I would rather not represent my school in a professional setting, especially when alcohol is involved.
I just try relax and act like I would if I were meeting my girlfriend's father for the first time.