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Whether you found them, or they found you, it does appear to be a match made in heaven. But just as pathological narcissists are who they are in a romantic setting, they carry exactly the same traits in the workplace.
Behind the Mask
Whether you found them, or they found you, it does appear to be a match made in heaven
But just as pathological narcissists are who they are in a romantic setting, they carry exactly the same traits in the workplace.
Sadly, they are pathological liars – and blatant mistruths on the CV are a distinct possibility – so do verify all you can. There is a very good chance that they have over-exaggerated their successes, taking credit for the hard work and accomplishments of others, and may well have unashamedly lied.
They have delusions of success. They genuinely believe that they are destined for great things, and will have no qualms about making that abundantly clear. Expect name-dropping as well as dubious claims of status, job descriptions, responsibilities etc.
They are highly manipulative of people for their own gain, and so consider carefully how they arrived on your doorstep. Where usually personal recommendation is helpful, the opposite may be true in the case of the narcopath.
Spotting the Narcopath at Interview
You may have a few opportunities to spot the narcissist at interview stage:
- Try to independently verify the truthfulness of every piece of information presented on their CV. If you are able to highlight on a lie or inaccuracy, expect the narcissist to try and skip the issue, or bury it, quickly and swiftly without the hint of a genuine apology.
- Be wary of claims that prior successes are due to the candidate and the candidate alone. Failing to acknowledge the input of others, or the value and importance of teamwork, are classic red flags.
- Identify why the candidate has left any previous employment. Narcissists don’t like being let go and it dents their already fragile ego (the romantic equivalent of abandonment). Conflict around the parting of ways (such as employment tribunal) is a dead giveaway of narcissistic injury.
- Look for pastimes and hobbies. Generally, the narcissist lacks creativity and does not much enjoy doing things alone. If they do have hobbies, these are likely to be for self-aggrandisement rather than pleasure or creativity.
- Ask where there is room for improvement, scope for personal development etc. The narcopath believes that they are already perfect – and so if they do offer an answer, look to see if it sounds rather coached and contrived. Don’t be afraid to probe further.
- If you suspect but are not sure, consider probing their fragile ego. They present as being super-confident, so call their bluff and see if you can delve deeper into their personality. Give them a bit of a rough ride. Challenge them. Try to get under their skin. A narcissist may find it difficult to hide a prickly nature under what they deem to be criticism and if nothing may shake and seem edgy as they work hard to supress narcissistic rage.