Is It Okay to Joke During An Interview in 2023?

is it okay to joke in an interview

Joking Around in an Interview

During a job interview, boredom from the same old replies the hiring manager may have heard all day can often be broken up with a simple joke. But sometimes, that simple joke can go wrong for a job seeker.

So that brings us to the question, is it okay to joke in an interview? Well, with some limitations and careful maneuvering, we believe so. Here’s when you can and CANNOT joke during an interview.

A little scientific backing

According to a recent study, exceptional executive workers were twice as likely to employ humor as their less successful coworkers. This implies that success in the job can often be associated with having a sense of humor (of some sort). 

The study also considered the use of humor in interviews for leadership roles; it found that a good sense of humor was a sign of high emotional intelligence and was next only to work ethic in importance among all leadership attributes. 

A poorly worded joke, though, could cost you the job because not everyone might find your style of humor entertaining.

Is it okay to joke in an interview? 

Yes, we believe it’s okay to joke around during an interview. Showing your emotional intelligence and keeping the conversation light will only help your chances of impressing the interviewer – don’t take your jokes too far. 

Scripted jokes like “knock knock” or “this guy walked into a bar” shouldn’t be told during an interview. Keep those for your friends at happy hour!  

When you CAN joke in an interview

When you are just being yourself

Part of the interview is finding out if you want the job and would fit the organization well. If you are a jokester and want to see how well the manager takes it, be yourself and portray your sense of humor in the interview.

When you and the interviewer have built a good connection

Gauging your connection with the interviewer before getting too comfortable is essential. Suppose you are having a great conversation and cracking a few jokes at the right time during the interview discussion. In that case, you can definitely help establish a relationship with the person conducting it. 

When you actually have a wise and witty thing to say

The secret to using humor effectively in a job interview is balance; a lighthearted moment or a joke set off by a truthful account of your qualifications and expertise provides the potential employer with a far more complete picture of you as an all-encompassing package.

When you should NOT joke in an Interview

When you haven’t established a connection yet 

Consider how others could take your humor. Even if you mean the humor to be lighthearted and fun, jokes in job interviews can come off as snarky jabs at the interviewer. Make sure you have established a solid relationship first.

When the interviewer is unfriendly 

Keep in mind that not everyone finds humor amusing on the same level. In fact, things could go wrong if a recruiting manager thinks employing humor in an interview is unsafe. Some interviewers are all business and find humor inappropriate when used during the interview. 

When you’re acting funny just for laughs’ sake

Jokes can often appear awkward, scripted, and forced in a regular conversation – let alone in a job interview. If you are looking for a laugh or trying to be funny, wait until after the interview to tell it. 

When the jokes you tell go awry

An applicant who makes improper remarks or unhealthy jokes during an interview might imply that you’re not taking the conversation seriously. This is a red flag for hiring managers as they don’t want any legal issues to come up later if they decide to hire you.

“On average, 118 candidates apply for one single job, of whom only 20% are interviewed. And, if you get an offer, you are among just 30.89 percent of interviewees to be selected.”

— Simplilearn

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do you know if your joke will be appreciated?

You should analyze conversational patterns and body language. It’s usually reasonable to assume that a suitable joke will be well received if the interviewee engages in discussion and not just focuses on getting things done. 

If not, try throwing out a light quip to see how it goes. If there is a noticeable chill in the air, be ready to rein it in and adhere to a more thoughtful approach.

Can you be too excited in an interview?

There is such a thing as being too excited in an interview. They want to know you are excited about the role and potentially being selected, but it’s important to keep that excitement to a level that doesn’t make you look weak.

Wrapping Up | Is it okay to joke in a job interview?

One technique to quickly engage and win over a recruiter or hiring manager is through humor. It can bring even the crankiest people joy when they least expect it. 

Keep in mind that the key to success in a friendly interview joke is timing and content. If the person you are chatting with isn’t in the mood or your joke is off-putting, things could quickly turn for the worst. 

But if that fun, lighthearted conversation works out, the odds of you being selected for that once-in-a-lifetime position could increase drastically! 

We hope this helps, and best of luck with your following job interview!

Title: Is it okay to joke during an interview?

Category: Interview

Tags: is it okay to joke in an interview, job interview tips, career advice, interview setting, hiring manager, joking around in an interview

Co-Author: Becky is a contributor for theJub. She’s a writing and talent acquisition specialist who loves to apply her skills through creative writing and editing.

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