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To Ace an Interview, Forget Being Liked: You Just Need to Love Yourself

Illustration for article titled To Ace an Interview, Forget Being Liked: You Just Need to Love Yourself

While self-confidence is definitely a route to job interview success, it's often suggested that outright arrogance and narcissism is a real turn-off for employers. But a new study suggests that's not the case: interview performance doesn't depend on how much the interviewer likes you in the slightest, but just how much you like yourself.

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The research, carried out at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, suggests that narcissists' innate tendency to promote themselves manages to get them jobs, regardless of whether the interviewers actually like them or not. Peter Harms, one of the researchers, explains to Science Daily:

"This is one setting where it's OK to say nice things about yourself and there are no ramifications. In fact, it's expected... Simply put, those who are comfortable doing this tend to do much better than those who aren't."

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The study, which is published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, asked 222 interviewers to rate 72 mock interviewees. The researchers found that it just doesn't matter whether employers actually like you—rather, interviewees tend to be given jobs based solely on the amount of self-promotion they manage to squeeze in. Harms continues:

"These results show just how hard it is to effectively interview, and how fallible we can be when making interview judgements. We don't necessarily want to hire narcissists, but might end up doing so because they come off as being self-confident and capable."

The takeaway message? When it comes to job interviews, you've got to love yourself—because nobody else will. [Journal of Applied Psychology via Science Daily]

Image by bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock

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DISCUSSION

This has always been my experience. I've been hired for more than a couple jobs I was blatantly unqualified for by walking in with perfect confidence and telling the interviewer that they should hire me because I'm amazing.

Really, they can't get to know you that well over the course of an hour so they're basically forced to take you at your word. If you say something and you sound like you believe it, they'll believe it to because they have no other choice.