Do you have any thoughts on using laughter and humour in a job interview? I’m a big joker in my personal and professional life and love to laugh. Do you think this talent will help me with winning the job offer?
Signed: Funny Interviewee
Much of the research on humour confirms that using humour and laughter in communicating is one of the most powerful relationship builder tools at our disposal. However, I must warn you about using humour in your interviewers who are usually strangers. Referring to Amy Levin-Epstein’s article on this topic on Moneywatch, humour can help you in the interview; some of the benefits include putting the interviewer at ease and showing them that you are fun and easy to work with.
But, the writer warns, consider the following tips before using humour in your next interview:
1. Balance humour with content.
Make sure that the laughter and fun doesn’t interfere with your presentation of your skills, experience and education which make you the perfect candidate for the job. Show the interviewers that you are smart, results-oriented, team player who can “roll with the punches”, states Levin-Epstein.
2. Be prepared.
As I have written in past articles on this subject, being prepared for the interview makes a huge difference. Researching the company, communicating accomplishments and strengths in response to behavioural questions are some of the tasks that you can do to make sure you are ready for this interview. The laughter and humour should be a secondary and natural response from all participants in that interview, rather than forced.
3. Don’t make jokes.
Humour is highly complicated and culturally defined. What is considered funny in one culture, may be deemed as offensive in another. People’s backgrounds play a huge role in the way humour is perceived. Stick to the facts and your accomplishments in the interview. The interview platform is not your stage to perform, and don’t turn it into a comedy show. Unless you are being interviewed for a position as a stand-up comedian, the interview is very serious and you must remain professional the whole time.
4. Assess the non-verbal cues.
As one who loves to use humour and laughter, I always wait to see how the other person acts first. Remember, you are being interviewed. It’s a test. Try to assess the personalities of the interviewers. Learn what your interviewers think is acceptable. If they are serious, rigid and official, then you should try to do the same. Always wait to see how they respond and act first. If they are laughing and joking, then I would respond. Let them take the lead. Unwelcomed joking or laughter can ruin your chances for a job offer.
Best wishes for your job search.