How to avoid employing a narcissist

A narcissist can charm the birds – and recruiters – out of the trees, so don't interview alone

A narcissist can charm the birds – and recruiters – out of the trees, so don’t interview alone

Not surprisingly, recruiters hunt for the traits that are the positive side of narcissist behaviour. These include the narcissist’s charm – they can ‘charm the birds out of the trees’ with their confidence, easy way and ability to persuade people to their way of thinking.

On the other hand, they are also self-absorbed, have vaulting ambition and have an inflated and, at times, unrealistic opinion of themselves. Their soaring ambition and sense of entitlement may also motivate them to manipulate the recruitment process.

Organisations that feature occupations which have high levels of independence in their work, such as sales, law, psychiatry, politics, finance and science, are attractive to narcissists and other personality-disordered people. So, in putting their best foot forward

and giving a good impression at interview – by being too much of a good thing, really – they can make their more undesirable traits hard to spot.

So, if you do one thing differently, in order to avoiding recruiting such individuals, then use a psychometric test specifically designed to detect the unhealthy and disordered aspects of people’s personalities.

Ideally, avoid being attractive by doing these five things:

  • The job advert – don’t use the words visionary (undesirable as this encourages power fantasies); persuasive (undesirable as can also be exploitative); influential (undesirable as it lends itself to manipulation)
  • Use a robust, structured selection process
  • Interview candidates with at least one other person present
  • Use psychometric tests designed to identify negative characteristics
  • Check out references, preferably with a phone call

 We can help with professional psychometric testing

Reach us 

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499


We have experience in the use of psychometric tools for both individuals and teams. We are  ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people. Psychometric testing can add value when:

    • Individuals or teams are underperforming
    • New teams need to learn to perform fast
    • Team members are unhappy with each other

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