A new survey conducted by the University of British Columbia has shown that candidates with a narcissistic personality disorder are more likely to secure a job after an interview over other candidates who equally match their skill set.
Reports state that the study which was videotaped looked at 72 individuals, all of which underwent the same interview process. Before the interviews took place, these candidates were assessed via questionnaires which were specifically designed to identify narcissistic personality traits. After the interviews were filmed, the video tapped footage was then rated using a scoring system. This process revealed that the individuals that were labelled as narcissists earlier on in the study were perceived as the most suitable candidates for the job.
The researchers discovered that the narcissistic candidates made good eye contact with the interviewer, cracked jokes, verbally engaged the interviewer with a series of their own questions, and spoke about themselves throughout the stimulated interview process as well.
Professor Del Paulhus of UBC (University of British Columbia) stated that:
“A job interview is one of the few social situations where narcissistic behaviours such as boasting actually create a positive impression. Normally, people are put off by such behaviour, especially over repeated exposure.”
This study is also keen to highlight that the candidates’ cultural background played a key role in their levels of narcissism, with candidates of Korean and Chinese decent displaying much lower levels of the personality disorder.
According to Professor Del Paulhus:
“Candidates should engage with the interviewer while continuing to self-promote. Interviewers should look beyond cultural style and assess individual qualifications. Instead of superficial charm, interviewers must analyse candidates’ potential long-term fit in the organization.”
The topic of narcissism and how it effects individuals is becoming more and more prevalent. What was once a topic only discussed by Freud enthusiasts has morphed into an almost pop-culture, psychiatric phenomenon. What this new study has revealed however is a lack of mainstream, constructive knowledge of the personality disorder. Sure, everyone has heard of narcissism, but do they understand what it means? If so, maybe these candidates wouldn’t have been so successful after all.
Grandiose self-beliefs, lack of empathy, a vindictive nature, “gas lighting,” and pathological lying will not sound like the ideal personal attributes of a desirable candidate to most people, but they are the traits that full-blown narcissists possess. Candidates that are confident throughout any interview process are likely to do well, but that doesn’t mean job seekers should adopt elements of a severe personality disorder in order to get a job.
Ok, narcissists need jobs too just like every other job seeker, but is this the right kind of advice for job seekers? Narcissism is not just a Greek myth, that much has been established amongst psychological scholars, it is however a disorder that exists and to advise job seekers to take a leaf out of a narcissist’s book in order to get a job goes well beyond the boundaries of productive advice. It teeters on the edge of even more misconceptions about narcissism demonstrating a lack of awareness about the disorder not just amongst interviewers, but society as well.