Is humour appropriate in an interview?

Getting through to interview stage for your dream job is a crucial stage on the journey to getting you towards your ultimate goal. Of course, you want to shine in front of your potential new employers, showing yourself in a good light in the hope that you'll be the perfect fit for the role.

It is natural to think about the interview and how you should conduct yourself in order to put yourself at an advantage. For many people, the preparation consists of planning answers to some of the more common questions that may be asked, thinking about the best outfit to wear, and organising the most convenient travel arrangements to ensure a timely arrival. Alongside all of this, some candidates often wonder whether it is appropriate to make jokes or use humour during an interview.

At Network Open, we always advocate being yourself. If you are naturally humorous, displaying this side of your personality may be advantageous during an interview as it could show off your fun, personable side, and how you would fit in with the rest of the team. If, however, making jokes would be quite out of character for you, this may then come across as stilted or false, and probably wouldn't work in your favour.

The other advice we always suggest is to read the situation. If the interview is quite formal and serious, follow that lead. Trying to inject humour into this type of scenario may make your interviewer think that you are not serious about the role. If the situation feels more casual and friendly, and if your interviewer is relaxed and creates a 'jokey' atmosphere, it may well work in your favour to follow suit!

As long as any form of humour is relevant to the interview – perhaps by reflecting on a funny scenario in your career as an answer to a question – and is in keeping with the tone of the interview and your own personality, humour in an interview can be appropriate. As with anything, just gauge the situation and judge it accordingly!

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