Why Narcissists Make the Best Interview Candidates


Modesty may be the best policy in many situations, but a job interview is not one of them. That's the finding of a new survey that looked at the way people performed on job interviews.  In that survey, narcissists, who promoted themselves in the interview, were rated more highly than those who were modest.

This is because narcissists come across as being confident, and engaging when speaking. Narcissists are also able to promote themselves in the interview setting as well.

"This is one setting where it's OK to say nice things about yourself and there are no ramifications. In fact, it’s expected,” Peter Harms, assistant professor of management at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and co-author of the study, said. "Simply put, those who are comfortable doing this tend to do much better than those who aren't."

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Narcissists were also highly rated because of their use of gestures and smiles. These gestures and actions were determined to further establish the likability and credibility of the interviewee in the eyes of the interviewer.

“This shows that what is getting (narcissists) the win is the delivery,” Harms said. “These results show just how hard it is to effectively interview, and how fallible we can be when making interview judgments. We don’t necessarily want to hire narcissists, but might end up doing so because they come off as being self-confident and capable.”

This trend, however, may lead to significant problems for chemistry within an organization down the road since narcissism can be a dividing force among co-workers. 

“On the whole, we find very little evidence that narcissists are more or less effective workers," Harms said. "But what we do know is that they can be very disruptive and destructive when dealing with other people on a regular basis. If everything else is equal, it probably is best to avoid hiring them.”

This research was published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer David Mielach at Dmielach@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_M89.

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