What if humor was your best ally during a job interview?

What if humor was your best ally during a job interview?

The virtues of humor no longer need to be demonstrated, including at work, even if this quality is ultimately little used in hiring processes. However, job candidates would benefit from showing intelligence when dealing with recruiters.

Researchers affiliated with Imperial College London and the American universities of Stanford and Virginia say in a study recently published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin that working people have every interest in engaging in “humorbragging” in interviews. hiring. This English portmanteau is the contraction of humor (“humor”) and bragging (“bragging”). It refers to talking about one’s skills and professional accomplishments through jokes or witticisms.

According to the authors of the study, “humorbragging” would allow job candidates to stand out without seeming arrogant. “This approach allows individuals to showcase their skills and achievements in a way that is perceived as more sympathetic and less threatening,” Jieun Pai, an assistant professor at Imperial College London, told PsyPost magazine.

A double-edged weapon

Jieun Pai and his colleagues came to this conclusion after conducting four experiments, including one during which volunteers were invited to put themselves in the shoes of a restaurateur looking for a new pastry chef. Study participants then had to ask several questions to candidates interested in the position during mock job interviews.

One of them was centered around their proudest moment in their career. The researchers had written two possible responses: one very factual and the other incorporating “humorbragging”. It turns out that the volunteers were more convinced by the second. “Humorbragging increases perceived warmth and competence; these two dimensions condition the effect of humorbragging on the employer’s hiring intentions“, we can read in the study.

If you want to try “humorbragging” during your next job interview, keep in mind that this technique can be a double-edged sword, because your interviewer can also see into your attempts to joke about a lack of professionalism and hold it against you.

In general, refrain from any form of humor that is detrimental to others. So no more racist, misogynistic or LGBTphobic “jokes”. Favor kind and subtle forms of humor, which are not likely to offend anyone.

And above all, prepare yourself. Humor is an art that can be learned, even if it comes more naturally to some people than others. Don’t hesitate to practice and test the waters with your loved ones. If they don’t crack a smile when they hear your witticisms, there is little chance that a recruiter will. So be careful on the big day and pay attention to the non-verbal behavior of your interlocutor. If he responds well to your attempts at humorbragging, continue on this path. If applicable, stick to talking about your skills and professional achievements in a more formal tone.

10 things not to do during a job interview

Slide: 10 things not to do during a job interview