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The Art of Telling Jokes: How to Get a Job with Laughter 


Laughter, people said, is the best medicine and sometimes can be a powerful weapon when we have nothing left. No wonder, many often advise: “Don’t take life too seriously and it is not wrong to laugh at yourself, sometimes.” 

According to studies, laughter not only helps us stay young but it also boosts intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates heart and muscles, while enhances the endorphins released to our brain altogether. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in our body and thus improve our moods. That’s why, laughter can help lessen depression and anxiety - and most importantly, make you feel better overall. The question is: since laughter helps us feel better, is it okay to tell humour during a job interview to lessen the tense atmosphere? 

The good news is Yes. As a prospective job interviewee, you can use humour to help you stand out, be more memorable, and leave a positive impression. However, make sure not to use it too much during an interview as it might make you appear unprofessional and not suitable for a role you are applying for - well unless, you’re applying for a clown job. 

See also: 5 Interview Etiquette Tips for Job Seekers 

The best way to use humour is to master the joke and balance it. Understand the best time to say the joke is also crucial. Here are some proper ways to tell jokes during interview: 

Don’t force it 

Humour is not gifted. It can be learned just like any other skills. Yet, there are individuals who are naturally funny while some others are not. So, before you embarrass yourself and get into an awkward silence because of a “joking error”, you should knock your confidence. Make sure to play to your strengths regarding humour. 

Once again: understand the timing 

When using humour, you will want to make sure it backs up the message you are trying to deliver to those hiring you. For example, whipping out some self deprecation remarks that are light in nature, but reference previous experience can soften any kind of awkward exchange and break the ice. All in all, jokes should come at specific points where you don’t want to be too stiff but you also don’t want the recruiters to think you are not serious enough with the job. 

Observe the recruiter and situation 

Although most people love jokes and laughter, there are certain types of individuals who will never accept jokes under some circumstances. Thus, make sure you know who you are talking to and how their characteristics are before shooting your best joke ever. Also, listen to the atmosphere around you: is it friendly? Are the people happy and already cracking a few funny statements themselves? If so, then feel free to let your humorous side show. It might give you advantage if that’s a part of the company culture you are applying. 

Use it as a weapon 

Oftentimes, interviewers would ask you to provide real life experience to some questions. This could be your chance to share a -real-life experience as well as an opportunity to lighten the mood of the room. For instance, you can incorporate a funny story into an interview question you’ve been asked. You can also incorporate how your sense of humour has helped your team in difficult circumstances or to reduce tension, helping your team get back to their productive mood again. This way, you can be funny without coming across as fake. 

Remember to not “script it out”. This strategy should let the joke come from real world examples. Don’t lie and don’t script. 

The final notes 

Jokes are powerful. Nobody cannot resist a good laugh. But one thing to remember is that you should always be yourself under any circumstances. No one's forcing you to be funny if you are not a funny person. Opportunities come and go, and the best way to make it memorable is by leaving a positive good message to everyone. Be a grateful self

Next read: 7+ Competencies to Look For in Recruiters 

Next read: Measuring and Evaluating Recruitment Results