Laughter is a powerful tool.
When attending an interview you’ll often come armed with your CV, strong interview skills, and a network of people you can mention during the process.
But we know that, no matter how skilled you may be, you’re not the only one competing for that role.
So the question is…how do you stand out?
We suggest that you utilise the power of humour.
Humour is an incredibly useful tool that can help you stand out, be more memorable, and leave a positive impression.
However, we know it can also make you appear unprofessional or inappropriate if used the wrong way.
It’s all about finding a carefully mastered balance, and from our experience as a banking and financial recruitment company, we know that poorly timed or misplaced jokes can hinder your interview rather than aid it.
What is the proper way to use humour in a way that’ll aid your interview?
We’ve compiled some tips to help you understand when humour is appropriate and how you can utilise it!
Don’t force it
On the off-chance you’re not naturally a funny person, it may be best to avoid this tactic when it comes to your interview.
The reason we’d suggest this, is your efforts, may unfortunately come across as rehearsed or uncomfortable.
So instead of getting that laugh you desire, you may instead be met with an awkward silence, therefore knocking your confidence.
This also works the other way round, if your interviewer makes little quips, don’t laugh too hard.
Make sure to play to your strengths regarding humour.
Remember that timing is important
When using humour, you’ll 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.
After all, most people love people who don’t take themselves too seriously, and these sorts of remarks may get you a chuckle.
However, this type of humour can backfire.
Don’t be modest in an interview.
Practice talking about your achievements and addressing your shortcomings in a way that is realistic, that paints you in the best light possible, and that you can be comfortable with.
Humour should come at specific points, you don’t want to be too stiff, but you’ll also not want them to think you’re not serious enough.
Think of the best times to interact and you may even get a chuckle.
Use real world examples
We’ve each had events in our lives that are funny.
The great thing about interviews is that they’ll often give you the chance to reflect upon previous experiences.
Try sharing a real-life experience, you may even get an opportunity to lighten the mood of the room because of it.
You can be funny, without coming across as fake.
Consider how you can incorporate a funny story you have into an interview question you’ve been asked.
Another way you can do this is by incorporating how your sense of humour has helped your team in a difficult circumstance or to reduce tension.
Stay away from jokes
Remember you’re visiting the company to get an amazing job…not to do a stand-up routine, so don’t launch into a string of jokes.
Jokes can often come across as very scripted.
So, stay away from anything fabricated.
Listen to the people in your room who are conducting your interview.
Is the atmosphere friendly? Are they happy and already cracking a few funny statements themselves?
Then feel free to let your humour show, it may give you an advantage if that’s a part of their company culture.
Is the atmosphere serious and business like?
Then tailor how you act accordingly. Be sensible, and provide careful and deliberate answers.
Every company will have their own way of conducting interviews, so consider this in your approach.
Our final notes
Whilst humour can be an effective tool to use during your interview remember, no one is going to force you to be funny.
As long as you are yourself, and show your potential employer what you can offer, then you stand a fighting chance.
There are plenty of great ways to connect and be impactful, it’s all down to you what you decide to incorporate in.
However, if you have the opportunity to add in a few humorous statements, then why not? It’s a great way to lighten the mood, and show off more of your amazing personality…and that’s never a bad thing!
Telling a funny story or two while meeting with a hiring manager may be a good idea, just be smart about how you deliver it.
If you’re still looking for a role, remember you can interview for multiple roles at the same time, or speak to our bespoke banking and financial services team about what role you may be best suited to.