I’m hilarious. But my humor is more sarcastic in nature and I was told I shouldn’t make sarcastic jokes at job interviews. Thoughts?
Obviously it is a good idea to be personable and likeable at a job interview. People want to hire the people they like, and so if you can get yourself liked, you are going to improve your chances. Being funny is a great way to get yourself well liked.
Still, there is a problem. The problem is that sarcasm is naturally negative, and one of the primary rules of job interviews is to completely refrain from negativity.
That’s not the only concern either. Sarcasm is one of the least understood methods of humor in the world. A shocking amount of people don’t understand sarcasm. If you make a sarcastic joke, and the interviewer doesn’t get it, you end up looking stupid or like a jerk. It’s really, really risky to assume that your interviewer understands sarcasm, and a single misunderstood sarcastic joke can quite literally ruin your chances of getting the job. From the article:
Sarcasm is simply saying something intended in a mean-spirited, derogatory or unpleasant manner while meaning the exact opposite. Most people who use sarcasm expect that the recipient of the sarcastic message to recognize the contradiction.
Being mean spirited in your job interview can harm your chances enough. Having the joke misunderstood can be even more damaging.
When You Can Do It
Unfortunately, you should never really make sarcastic jokes. No matter how funny you are, the risk is not worth the reward. There are ways to be funny that don’t involve sarcasm. Interestingly, sarcasm is a sign of higher social intelligence. Yet it is still not worth the risk, because just one misunderstood comment will essentially ruin any chance you have of winning the job.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Don’t use sarcasm