A recent study from the University of British Columbia shows that narcissists do best in job interviews – and are more successful “than equally qualified candidates who act more modestly.” The study has substantive implications for Human Resources operations and hiring managers, as well as for job candidates.
Narcissism, derived from the Greek myth of Narcissus who fell in love with his reflection, involves, per the definition from this publication, “arrogant behavior, a lack empathy for other people, and a need for admiration” – qualities that are consistently exhibited both at work and in relationships. Narcissists are frequently impulsive and grandiose and tend not to work well with others. Thus, the importance of management making sound decisions in avoiding hiring narcissists whenever possible.
This new study, however, suggests the opposite actually occurs – since the outgoing and charismatic personalities of narcissists help them excel in interview settings.
“A job interview is one of the few social situations where narcissistic behaviors such as boasting actually create a positive impression,” said Del Paulhus, Psychology Professor at the University of British Columbia and the study’s lead author. “Normally, people are put off by such behavior, especially over repeated exposure. “ The research noted that “narcissists tended to talk about themselves, make eye contact, joke around and ask the interviewers more questions. As a result, the study found that people rated narcissists as more attractive candidates for the position.”