Heard any good jokes lately?

Recently, I found a discussion on LinkedIn about jokes in interviews.  Someone was actually asked to tell a joke. And the person asked the career community what one should do in this situation.

Ouch.  I’ve been trying to think what I would do.  And I can’t think of a thing.

What’s the intent here?

It could be that they want someone with a sense of humor.  Maybe they work in a high-pressure situation, and need someone who can make them laugh.  Maybe.

Or maybe they want to know how appropriate you are.  Race, ethnicity, age, size, and so on… definitely not the time to trot out the minister, priest, and rabbi.

Maybe they want spontaneity.  Think fast!

I do have a sense of humor, I do tell stories, I do think fast.  And yet, I can’t see that joke-telling is appropriate in this context.  Too stressful.

Here’s what I hope I would do:

Wow, what a great question.  Let’s get back to it when my brain is in gear. 

At the end of the interview, I’d say upon shaking hands, I know I still owe you a good joke.  You’ll hear from me.  

And my thank-you letter would begin with the greatest, newest, most relevant joke that my friends and I could come up with.

What’s your reaction to this question?  Heard a good joke lately?

Next: how would you handle….

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