Do Jokes Have A Place During The Job Interview?

Categories: Professional Development

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We all want to stand out, especially when vying for a job amidst many competitors, but to what extent do we make ourselves memorable? For an employer, each resume can look alike and each interview feel just like the last. And if you’re the interviewee, you want to show a bit of your personality so that the interviewer gets to know you and sees how great of a fit you’d be to their team. However your job interview shouldn’t turn into an open mic night at the comedy club.

Recently a resume went viral online because the applicant used some humour when describing his/her weaknesses:

“My looks can be a distraction in the workplace to members of the opposite sex (and in some cases the same sex). I have been told I am an overly generous lover. The filter between my brain and my mouth does not always operate as it should.”

The applicant took a risk here by adding this cheeky ending. However my recommendation is that the resume isn’t the place to make jokes. It should focus on highlighting your accomplishments, your skills and demonstrate why you’re the best candidate. Unless you’re applying to be a comedy writer for a sitcom or Saturday Night Live, save the jokes for the interview. Even then, the resume is the place to remain professional.

During the interview is where the jokes, personality and wit can fly. So much can be lost in translation on paper that it’s better to save the banter for the face-to-face meeting. There the interviewer can better feel out your sense of humour and you can gauge their body language to understand if you’ve gone too far.

Feeling comfortable at your job and getting along with your coworkers is important. Being in a toxic environment is damaging to your physical and mental health. And comedy is the best medicine, so bringing a bit of humour to your job interview isn’t a harmful thing as long as it’s done tactfully. This can act as a litmus test for you when determining if the workplace is a fit for you.