Psychology

Study Finds Narcissists Tend To Be More Successful In Job Interviews

A study at the University of British Columbia finds that narcissistic applicants have higher chance of acing the interviews than equally qualified candidates who act more modestly.

Guy in suit

A study at the University of British Columbia finds that narcissistic applicants have higher chance of acing the job interviews than equally qualified candidates who act more modestly.

According to their findings, applicants from Asia exhibit lower levels of narcissism and hence they may have a harder time landing a job in North America.

ALSO SEE: Study Concludes Intelligent People Are Better At Trusting

Ahead of taking the interviews, researchers used questionnaires to measure their level of narcissism and the study was done in two separate ways:

  • In study 1, 72 participants were videotaped as they simulated the job applicant role. The interviews manipulated the accountability of the applicants; as the accountability increased, self‐promotion increase among narcissists – they tend to joke around and talk about themselves, make eye contact and ask the interviewers more questions while non-narcissists did the exact opposite. As a result, the study found that non-narcissists were viewed as less attractive candidates for the position.
  • In study 2, 222 raters evaluated applicant videos and found that European applicants tend to be more narcissistic compared to East Asian applicants. As a result, Europeans-heritage narcissists ( Chronic self‐promoters ) were more likely to receive higher hire ratings compared to East Asian applicants.

Del Paulrus, UBC Psychology Professor and the lead author of the study says, “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 analyze candidates’ potential long-term fit in the organization.”

ALSO SEE: Research Demonstrates an Increased Number of Psychopaths is in Control of High Levels of Businesses

Still wonder why you are still not hired even if you’re smart, modest and perfect for the position?

26 comments

  1. Pingback: Study Finds Narcissists Tend To Be More Successful In Job Interviews – Wag 'n Bietjie
  2. Yup. I was a hiring manager for a brief moment in time, and the most frustrating thing was that some really good candidates just didn’t have the pomp and pride that more narcissistic ones had. It was a sales position, so if you didn’t have the confidence, there was little chance you’d get the job. The real key was being able to separate the bullshit from the people who were genuinely confident and not just full of themselves. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing; if you can’t sell yourself, how can you be expected to sell anything else?

  3. Hi, I am Danyealah and I am a young writer/blogger/poet. I really enjoyed reading your post! As an American, it isn’t surprising to me that a sense of narcissism is attractive to interviewers. Now I’ll know how to approach my next interview, lol. An interesting read!

  4. Sometimes, the people who get jobs and advance quickly aren’t necessarily the best. In fact, this happens often. Incentives matter.

  5. I so often bomb out at interviews. Maybe the reason why is that I don’t promote myself very well. It’s part of a sense of thinking badly of myself in general. Clearly, that needs to change.

    1. Well, as the top researcher said, “Candidates should engage with the interviewer while continuing to self-promote.” I think we should go with that just for the sake of getting the job. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

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