You'll never hear a recruiter ask a new candidate to tell them a joke, and if they did they're not likely to score the individual on how well they deliver the punch line. All the same, evidence of light-heartedness and the ability to lighten a situation are valued qualities in employees. Having a sense of humor is a trait that is commonly well received in the corporate world when working with savvy recruiters and hiring managers. In fact on a survey by CareerBuilder, where employers were asked if they had to choose between two equally qualified candidates, 27% of respondents said they would choose the individual with the better sense of humor.
Having a sense of humor is considered a "soft skill". Soft skills are intangible qualities can give you a strong competitive advantage as a job seeker and help you stand out from the crowd.
That's because hiring managers want candidates who bring value to the workplace beyond the common commodity skills. Many hard skills can be learned and deployed by people with enough experience, but soft skills are natural qualities that can be hard to instill in others.
Why Humor Works
It's not just about making them chuckle or smile in the interview. When you're looking for a job, you're selling your personal brand. The concept behind branding is making yourself memorable. This is how businesses approach marketing and it's how you should market yourself.
Also, making a joke during the interview process helps to put the interviewer at ease and instantly creates a degree of commodore between you both. The important thing to remember is that if you plan on using humor during an interview, to make sure that it is a tasteful and appropriate joke. Otherwise it can backfire with devastating results.
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