When discussing interviews, we usually picture them as formal and nerve-wracking conversations. Because of this, it’s hard to imagine cracking jokes during interviews.
After all, this is your make-or-break opportunity to get the job. If you mess this up, you won’t get a second chance.
That said, there are situations where cracking jokes during interviews can help make a great first impression on your interviewer. When done appropriately, it helps lighten the mood and shows that you’re confident in your interpersonal skills.
So how do you use cracking jokes during interviews to your advantage? And how do you know whether cracking jokes during an interview would be inappropriate? Let’s find out.
Is It Okay to Crack Jokes During Interviews?
Depending on the situation and the interviewer you’re facing, cracking jokes during interviews can help or hamper your chances of success. So be very careful and analyze the situation before you speak.
If done well, the right jokes can help you establish rapport with your interviewer. If you can make them laugh during your interview, that’s a good sign that they feel comfortable around you.
However, not everyone may react well to your jokes, especially during an interview. Some may just find your humor to be cringey or annoying. While others may take offense at your jokes, ruining your chances of getting hired.
So, tread carefully.
Read the Room First.
Before you start cracking jokes, ensure that your audience would be receptive to your humor. And the best way to do that is by analyzing your interviewer’s facial expressions and body language at the start of your interview.
Let your interviewer set the atmosphere first so you won’t appear presumptuous. If they responded positively to your jokes, then you can carry on.
However, if they don’t react to (or worse, appear uncomfortable because of) your jokes, you should stop immediately lest you negatively affect your chances of getting hired.
Avoid Joking About Sensitive Topics.
Sure, dark or controversial humor can be a great source of humor between you and your friends. However, your interviewer isn’t your friend, and a job interview isn’t a casual conversation.
Thus, avoid joking about controversial topics. These include politics, gender, religion, or someone else’s appearance.
Besides these topics, never crack a joke at someone else’s expense, especially if that someone is a former boss or co-worker. Doing so shows you’re someone your potential employer can’t trust; who knows what you could be saying behind their backs?
It’s All About Timing.
Part of what makes a joke funny is the timing of its delivery. Don’t just crack a joke at random times during the interview. Instead, use them when discussing your experiences (or lack thereof) and segue to your ability to quickly learn and adapt, for example.
Doing so helps downplay your weaknesses and highlight your strengths. But remember, your jokes shouldn’t be the only thing you’re good at. You should still be able to back it up with serious skills.
Practice, Practice, Practice.
If you’re feeling nervous and unsure of yourself before your interview, it’s a good idea to hold a mock interview with someone. This someone could be your friend or a family member, so long as they can provide objective feedback.
Besides helping you answer potential questions, holding a mock interview can also help you be more confident in cracking jokes. It allows you to find the right time and situation to crack one and to adopt a new approach if necessary.
Don’t Force Things.
During your interview, always remember to be honest with yourself and your interviewer. If you know you’re not comfortable with it, just avoid joking during your interview.
On the other hand, if your interviewer cracks a joke, try not to laugh too hard. Doing so might make it look like you’re faking your reaction, which won’t do anyone any favors.
Let Your Sense of Humor Help You Land a Job.
Interviews don’t always need to feel so tense and serious. Sometimes, you can crack a joke or two to ease the tension or even help establish rapport with your interviewer.
That said, take special care with the topics you’re going to joke about. Saying the wrong joke at the wrong time can cost you.
So, are you ready to test your jokes in an actual job interview? Then head to Remote Staff’s job portal and apply for the job best suited for you. Good luck, and remember to always smile!