iOS app Android app More

Narcissists Do Better In Job Interviews, Study Finds

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/ 9/2012 6:08 pm Updated: 04/10/2012 1:50 pm

Narcissists Job Interviews

Who likes a narcissist?

Well, according to a new study, job interviewers do.

Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that narcissists make a better impression in job interviews likely because they are just so darn good at promoting themselves.

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

The study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, included two parts. In the first part, 72 people were filmed as they participated in a fake job interview. The researchers found that the narcissistic people in the study promoted themselves more in the job interview than the non-narcissistic people.

When the job interviewer challenged the study participants, the non-narcissistic people backed down a little bit. But the narcissistic people actually became even more self-promotional, "as if they say 'Oh, you're going to challenge me? Then I'm not just great, I’m fantastic,'" study researcher Harms explained in the statement.

In the second part of the study, 222 study participants were asked to rate filmed job interviews. Everyone who was in the videos had about the same kind of job skills, but some people in the videos were more narcissistic than others.

The researchers found that the study participants rated the narcissists higher than the non-narcissists, as the narcissists tended to do things like talk a lot and speak quickly, as well as smile at other people.

Researchers said that they are not trying to imply that narcissists are worse workers than non-narcissists, but that "they can be very disruptive and destructive when dealing with other people on a regular basis," Harms said. "If everything else is equal, it probably is best to avoid hiring them."

According to the National Institutes of Health, people with narcissistic personality disorder tend to over-sell their achievements or skills, take advantage of others in order to further themselves, don't respond well to criticism or shame, and often disregard others' feelings.

Past research has suggested that people who possess characteristics of narcissism tend to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which could increase their risk of health problems.

"It gives a biological correlation to a psychiatric phenomenon," Dr. Patrick Kelly of Johns Hopkins University, who was not involved in the study, previously told HuffPost. "It helps to say, 'there is a mind body connection.' There are real physical ramifications to your mental state, particularly if you have something like a personality disorder, which can be treated."

Also on HuffPost:

FOLLOW HEALTHY LIVING