Imagine you’re trying to decide which of two candidates to hire. One has all of the requisite skills on their resume, but their interview was incredibly boring and it’s possible they’re actually a robot. The other also has the right skills, and you had a great time chatting with them, laughing multiple times, and getting to know them as a human. Who would you hire?
Unless you’re specifically looking for an android, you’re most likely going to pick the second one. Using humor in an interview is a great way to stand out, be memorable, and have fun during the challenging process that is a job search. Here are five ways to incorporate humor in your interview:
1. Talk to your hypeperson.
The first way to incorporate humor can take place before the interview even begins. Before your scheduled time, chat with a friend or family member who you enjoy talking to and who hypes you up about how awesome you are. These should be the people who tell you that your haircut looks amazing even though you know it’s the wrong look for you, not the people who still bring up that one time you spilled chocolate milk all over your pants in middle school. Your mindset going into a potentially challenging conversation can go a long way in how you perform, so make sure you’re in a positive state of mind.
Victor Borge said “the shortest distance between two people is a smile.” When we see someone smile, we are primed with mirror neurons in our brain to mirror that behavior. So if we smile, the interviewer is likely to smile, and we’ve started to build a human connection. Not only that, but research suggests that our body language can have a great impact on our mood, meaning we’ll be happier despite the stress of the situation. Plus no one wants to work with a curmudgeon and a smile says “no curmudgeoning here.”
3. Respond with stories.
Answer (some) questions with a story instead of just giving one or two-word responses. In those stories, share relatable details that give more color to the story and can serve as connecting points for the interviewer. Rather than just saying, “I worked at P&G as a project manager,” you can give more background. “I grew up in Cincinnati, home to the best ice cream on the planet, and always wanted to work at P&G. I went to Ohio State to get a degree in Computer Science & Engineering, and started working as a project manager after I graduated…” Now the interviewer can follow-up on strictly work subjects if they want, or they can ask about Cincinnati, amazing ice cream, or THE Ohio State University.
4. Ask culture questions.
People sometimes forget that an interview is just as much about you deciding if you want to work for that company as it is that company deciding if they want to hire you. You can better determine if the company is a place where you actually want to work by asking questions about their culture. A question like, “when was the last time you laughed at work” can help you gauge whether or not they have fun. An answer like, “Oh we laugh all the time, just this morning…” is a good sign. “Hmm, I accidentally laughed once back in 2012 because my phone headset tickled my cheek” is not.
5. Follow up with humor.
The job search process is not over once the interview ends. When following up, include a link to something funny that reminded you of the person or the company (make sure it’s positive humor). This provides value to the interviewer, helps to build the relationship, and says you’re not just communicating with them so that they help you get money (even if that is the only reason).
Humor can be a fantastic way to get better results while having more fun, and a job interview is a great time to use it. By using positive, appropriate humor, you’ll stand out from the boring candidates and show that you’re someone worth spending the work hours with.
Originally posted on Recruiter.com