Job Interviews Reward Narcissists

Man, narcissists sure do show up everywhere. Twitter. The internet. The creative field. Now, they’re horning in on that already more-ridiculous-than-it-should-be, the job interview.

According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, narcissists tend to do better in job interview than people who behave more modestly. In particular, people from cultures that place a greater emphasis on humility, like Japanese and Koreans, had a harder time being rated highly over narcissists.

Researchers had their participants take a test measuring their levels of narcissism (example here). Then, they sat through mock job interviews, where people with high levels of narcissism tended to score the best. Interviews were also videotaped and scored by teams of raters. Narcissists were more likely than others to talk about themselves, make eye contact, crack jokes, and ask the interviewers more questions—in short, exactly what you’re supposed to do in an interview.

“A job interview is one of the few social situations where narcissistic behaviours such as boasting actually create a positive impression,” says Paulhus, the lead author of the study. “Normally, people are put off by such behaviour, especially over repeated exposure.”

So, want a job? Take a lesson from the narcissists in your life—if only for a little bit.

This is a test