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Do you ever use your sense of humor to diffuse a situation at work?

1 of 30 Tough Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on July 29th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
How to Answer

The interviewer wants to know that you can diffuse a tense situation if needed. They also want to see a bit more of your personality! Stress and fast-paced work environments can cause people to feel overwhelmed and sometimes even angry or upset. Think of a time when you took a much more lighthearted approach to diffuse a tense situation.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"I recall a day last month when our team focused on solving a serious technical error with our system. It got to the point where a few members of the team were so frustrated they were getting angry with each other. I stepped out to grab some coffees from the shop next door. When I returned, I said 'Hot coffee to make us all feel warm and fuzzy again!' Everyone laughed and took a break from what they were doing."

Admin
Answer example

"Humor is one of those universal things to which everyone can relate. When used properly, it can help bridge a gap or bond a relationship. I use it, with good taste and professionalism, often in my communication. It is important to enjoy what you do, and humor is a big component of that."

Manager
Answer example

"Humor can be a great tool, and it can also be a harmful one. For that reason, I make sure to fully gauge my teammate or superior before I begin cracking jokes. I do appreciate a clean sense of humor in the workplace from time to time. Not everything can be serious. In the event of a serious situation; however, I am more likely to remain on the serious side."

Marketing
Answer example

"I use my humor at work, both with co-workers and in my work product itself. I like to bring a bit of spice and humor into the copy I create, when appropriate, which I believe fits in quite well with many clients' brand voice. I look forward to showing you more of what I've got!"

Retail
Answer example

"I would say that I use my sense of humor often at work, poking fun in friendly ways. A bit of good sarcasm does seem to make things a bit lighter and more fun on the floor. A lighter-hearted mentality allows everyone to shake off whatever is bringing us down and move on to the next issue to tackle."

Sales
Answer example

"I have been at far too many awkward dinner parties with a family who are veiled enemies, so from a young age, I learned to diffuse a tense situation with humor and grace, and look to find commonalities between the two sides. Humor is a skill I have brought to the office countless times. One time in particular that stands out was at a company retreat, and we were prepping in our teams for our pitch. Everyone was stressed and getting short, pointing fingers and blaming the other groups of the team and overall just being unproductive and rude. Another team member and I sneaked out into the hall and came back with La Croix for the team, which is kind of a company inside joke. We shoved them across the table and said "Peace offering! Choosing your flavor is the only thing that should be cutthroat for the rest of the day!" People smiled and took a moment to chill, and we all were able to move on without conflict."

Teacher
Answer example

"My students love humor, albeit, their brand is not always appropriate for the classroom! If a lesson plan is getting too tense, I will tell a funny joke, read an entertaining story, or have a kid tell me a joke. I think that humor plays an important part in the classroom."

Electrician
Answer example

"Humor is one of those universal things that everyone can relate to. When used properly, it can help bridge a gap or bond a relationship. I use it, with good taste and professionalism, often in my communications. It is important to enjoy what you do, and humor is a big component of that."

Chef
Answer example

"I recall a day last month when our team was focused on solving a serious technical error with our system. It got to the point where a few members of the team were so frustrated they were getting angry with each other. I stepped out to grab some coffees from the shop next door. When I returned I said 'Hot coffee to make us all feel warm and fuzzy again!' Everyone laughed and took a break from what they were doing. It helped the team relax after so much tension."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
First written on: 08/10/2016
Last modified on: 07/29/2018

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