• Michael Wright


Narcissists are bad for business. You should avoid hiring them at all costs. You should also avoid trying to say the word "narcissist" after too many glasses of Malbec.

Before you learn the question that will help you to identify a narcissist, please put your bias to one side. These days, especially in the tech industry, less attention is paid to dressing well (more's the pity). So don't make the mistake of assuming a lady, or a fellow is a narcissist just because they take care of their appearance.

A-player talent must be aware of how their actions impact those people around them. A toxic top performer is never as valuable as a steady performer who embodies the spirit of the company, and shared goals.

Here's the question:


I work for a company with a strong ethical position, it is fair to assume that anyone who has contributed their time or resources to benefit society, for example through charity or voluntary work, will likely be a good 'fit' for us.

Asking this question is also strong but subtle employer branding. By asking this question we clearly indicate a preference for team players who are considerate and good citizens of Grab.


So most of us can all admit to taking the occasional selfie, and it's definitely not a reason not to hire someone.

But no one wants to hire a self-obsessed narcissist, and there are other ways to spot them.

Narcissists have an almost magical ability to present themselves favourably to strangers.

Their skills have been honed for years in an obsessed struggle for power and esteem. They know exactly what you want to hear, feel and see in a candidate. They will show you extraversion, social boldness, solid decision making abilities and a proactive stance to addressing problems. If an interviewee seems too good to be true, maybe they are.

Narcissists don’t like to give others credit. Ask the candidate to describe an accomplishment made by a team she served on and listen to how she handles the questions. Chances are, you’ll hear how she steered the entire process to victory. In general, if there are a greater percentage of "I did" than "We did" then you may have a credit-seeker on your hands.

Listen carefully to how your candidate describes their former employers and job situations. Narcissists often subtly criticise former employers or insist they’re on the job market because no challenges remain with their former employers.

Above all, do your due diligence. Many times a narcissistic candidate will only be discovered after they are hired. By doing strong 360-referencing with former peers, bosses and reports - you can really uncover a self-loving narcissist and therefore avoid hiring one!

Good luck! These people are good at disguising their true nature and can be absolutely toxic when recruited.

#360referencechecks #interviews #interviewing