The Value of Work Humor: How to Use Humor in a Job Interview

The Value of Work Humor: How to Use Humor in a Job Interview

Humor is a great way to make an impact, stand out from the crowd, and come across as laid-back and approachable. It can relax you and the interviewer and demonstrate your collaboration skills. However, it can also make you appear unprofessional if done wrong.

So, what should you do if you want to use job interview humor to strengthen the impression you make? Read the list of tips below.

How to Show Your Sense of Humor in a Job Interview

  1. Be professional yet casual

    It's important to remain casual during an interview because it helps the interviewer gauge how personable you can be. However, being casual doesn't imply that your interviewer is a close friend. Be careful not to sound disrespectful or too friendly. You can crack a joke, but it all comes down to word choice.

  2. Get your timing right

    The main goal of your job interview is to present yourself as the best applicant for the position. The best method to break the ice and start the conversation off on the right foot is to make lighthearted remarks that also mention your prior experience. Using work humor makes it possible to strike a balance between pleasant and professional.

    Even if you had a seemingly enjoyable hour-long talk with your interviewer where you giggle, you wouldn't get the job unless you have really strong credentials. And even then, you'd have to be the 'hands-down' best.

  3. Know your audience

    Learn to read the interviewer's personality, attitude, and body language. Feel free to join the conversation if they begin the conversation with jokes in an approachable way. On the other hand, if the demeanor is all business, you might want to hold off on punchlines.

    Be sure to not talk about your previous employers in a bad light. It'll not sit well with your interviewer as they'll potentially be your next employer. They will assume that you will talk badly about them in the future

  4. Mind your manners

    You can use job interview humor to make your points. Try to give an example and establish your credibility as a pleasant professional. Don't make jokes about gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, politics, religion, ethnic background,and any other matter that can offend.

  5. Connect it to the interview

    To make what you say relevant, interesting, and actionable for everyone—including your interviewer—avoid joking without context. Capture a phrase or a story turn and use it as your hook when you answer.

The Value of Humor in Work Culture

A good sense of humor can relieve the burden and help you gain confidence during the interview. Companies want someone who can ease the tension with a laugh. Work humor goes a long way to lighten the mood if you use it right. It can put everyone at ease, smooth over an awkward moment, and show people your personality.

The secret to using humor effectively in a job interview is balance; a lighthearted moment or a joke beginning with a truthful account of your qualities provides the hiring manager a complete picture of you as an all-in-one package.

A Double-Edged Sword

Telling a joke during your interview isn't wrong; you must deliver it at the best time. Be careful not to sound boastful or disrespectful. Learn to read the room. While the tips above are meant to guide you on using work humor to your advantage, it's still a case-to-case basis.

Keep your sense of humor working, find the source of good jokes, and keep the laughter up. Being relaxed and keeping it natural during the job interview is the best way to execute your punch lines and emphasize your personality; if you want the best interview tips, head on to!

Written by Career Specialist May 11, 2023
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