The Narcissist Gets the Job


A 2009 investigation led by psychologist Amy B. Brunell of Ohio State University at Newark found that narcissistic individuals readily emerged as leaders in group discussions, and among students enrolled in a graduate business program, narcissists were likely to rise to top positions. These outcomes agreed with an earlier study in which psychologist Ronald J. Deluga of Bryant University asked presidential experts to rate U.S. chief executives on a scale of narcissism. Presidents judged to be more narcissistic were rated by an independent group of historians as particularly effective, charismatic and creative.

According to Scientific American, narcissists also perform well during interviews because they are really good about talking about how great they are and pulling out all the self-promotion stops. And yet: Narcissists are also prone to making rash decisions due to overconfidence and aggression because it’s difficult for them to take insults/criticism. So what I have gathered from all this is that it pays to just be a normal, balanced person. Be confident in your abilities, but don’t be a jerk about it.

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3 Comments / Post A Comment

notpollyanna (#2,841)

This is what drives me crazy about job searching. I know I’m good at stuff and smart and competent and will learn your stuff very quickly. I also know that I will probably do better than 90% of other people would and will quickly master things better than others in my same position. But to tell people that? To convince them? I would only be saying the same thing as everyone else, there is no way for me to distinguish that for really real, its true. But I also couch everything in knowing I’m not perfect. I know I’ll be fantastic, but I can’t promise that I will do everything right always. I don’t know the future. Other people don’t care. They are overconfident, believe/say they are better than they are, and don’t admit that they will make mistakes. Ugh, I’m glad I’m done for this round.

WaityKatie (#1,696)

To the extent that people with narcissistic personality disorder actually are better at job interviews, it would probably be because they are usually really good at manipulation, mirroring whomever they’re talking to, and reflecting back what their conversational partner wants to see/hear. I guess I’ll take “bad at job interviews, but good at being a human being with empathy and consideration for others” over that though, honestly. The article seems to interpret “narcissism” as just sort of being self-centered, and that isn’t what it is at all.

As a person freshly out of a relationship with a pathological narcissist, I can fully comprehend that he would be amazing at job interviews. Holding onto jobs, not so much-no one seemed to realize how IMPORTANT he was and how he should be treated. How much he did for the company! I watched him have the exact same complaints about every job he had while we were dating.

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