In a previous instalment of KIQ, we asked whether you’ve ever used humour to get out of a sticky situation. This time around, we want you to be funny again.
Fake moustache image from Shutterstock
A writer for Business Insider, Áine Cain, recounted the time she interviewed with a major bank and when she was asked to tell a joke she completely froze up. As expected, she didn’t land the job. After Cain reflected on her experience, she realised that the interviewer was looking for somebody who was confident and can think on their feet. Asking the applicant to tell a joke during a stressful interview is a way for hiring managers to determine whether they can improvise and remain composed under pressure.
Cain thought about how she would respond to the question now and has a few pieces of advice for anybody who gets thrown this question at interviews:
Don’t take the process — or yourself — too seriously. Obviously, job interviews are important. But they’re also pretty weird and awkward, when you think about it. If you get too intense about being perfect in the interview, you’ll psych yourself out.
Act like a person. This can be difficult for people who are new to the interview game. Put yourself in the interviewers’ lavish leather banker shoes. Companies aren’t looking for sweaty robots that will parrot back responses calculated to please everyone. They’re looking for competent people that they will get along with in the office. Tell them how you can benefit their organisation and loosen up a bit.
It’s not the end of the world. Bombing an interview doesn’t feel too great, especially if you’ve missed out on your dream job or a really cool opportunity. You just have to move on and treat it like a learning experience. Plus, after a few years of healing, it might make for an amusing anecdote.
How would you tackle this question? What joke would you tell? Let us know in the comments.