So, You Think You’re Funny?

17 Apr

When was the last time you met a person who doesn’t like to laugh?  Never.  That’s because laughing is a universal sign of happiness.  While many people use humor in their everyday lives, you may mistakenly think that there is no place for it in business communication.  I am here to tell you that you are wrong and to show you why and how humor can be a positive force in the business world, specifically in an interview setting.

Humor Can Differentiate You

Imagine this scenario: You are interviewing 100 candidates for a job and at the end of the day they all begin to fade together.  But wait; one stands out.  Ah, yes, the one who tripped on his way up the stairs, you chuckle remembering the funny anecdote he told you.

As you can see, humor is a way to set you apart from the boring, predictable pack that employers expect.  It is a way to make someone like you.  In addition, you can express your humor in a number of ways: stories, sarcastic remarks, old-fashioned knock-knock jokes.  (Though I’m not sure starting an interview off with a knock-knock is the best way to go).  Regardless of how you choose to show your funny side, humor is a way to make the interviewer remember you.

But Watch What You Say…

You must know where to draw the line.  While sarcastic remarks can be clever, they can also be insulting and inappropriate.  As a rule of thumb, stay away from any comments related to race, gender, and religion.  Chances are these types of jokes won’t fly in the workplace.  Susan St. Maur, a UK author, says that to avoid insulting anyone, you must “use humor about situations, not people.”  This way, no one feels attacked or mocked.  In the end, if you adhere to these guidelines, showing your humor during an interview is a definite DO.

by Ally Sprague



One Response to “So, You Think You’re Funny?”

  1. Lyndsey Douglas April 18, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    Great post, Ally! It is sometimes unclear when it is appropriate to use humor in the business setting. However, we often lose sight that everyone can use a good laugh! Using humor can definitely lighten up the mood during an interview. Not only may it help you stand out, but it may also make you more comfortable and less nervous while conducting the interview.

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