A nervous, loud or high pitched laugh at an inappropriate moment may not be appreciated and could be met with raised eyebrows in an interview situation. However, a modest laugh at an appropriate moment can add to your attractiveness and likeability.
- Your interviewer makes a joke and is laughing/smiling
You can generally know from your interviewers demeanour and body language whether they find their own joke funny. A modest laugh or hearty chuckle in these situations will not only massage your interviews ego but will create empathy between you and your interviewer. However, avoid exaggerating or using a sarcastic laugh as this can easily backfire. Laughing at your interviewer’s jokes will show to them that you have a good sense of humour based on their own personal comedic standards. The exception being if the joke involves race, sex or gender or is in general bad taste.
- Your interviewer recalls a funny story and starts laughing
Laughing on this occasion creates a bond between you and your interviewer. It goes without saying that empathy is always a good thing especially when your interviewer has gone to the effort of spending a few moments telling a funny story to make them more likeable to you and to check if you share the same sense of humour. In essence, this can form part of a test to see will you fit into his/her organisation.
- In the waiting area, the receptionist says something funny on purpose
If you suffer from anxiety and negative thoughts before an interview, having a bit of friendly laughter before an interview helps release endorphins which can control negative emotions. Alternatively, you can ring your funniest friend before you enter the building and this should put you in good form and help alleviate stress and negative thoughts before your interview. A good laugh will also help you relax prior to a stressful interview.
I expect you will agree that laughter is indeed the best medicine. However, laughing at inappropriate times or exaggerating your laugh has the potential to back-fire. Therefore, read the body language of your interviewer carefully before you decide to engage in a good chuckle.