I see a lot of search terms in my stats that include “narcissim in the work place” and “how to spot narcissism in the work place.”
The first and best bit of advice I can provide is this: It’s just as difficult to spot it, initially, as it is in personal interactions. Narcissists abound, within and without the workplace. So be aware; prepare not only for the technical aspects of your interview, but have a small list of characteristics beneath your note-taking page to remind you what to look for.
When you first interview for a job, you’re usually so excited that you got the interview, and you’re so focused on doing your best in that interview that you don’t notice body language, tones of voice, and/or certain other behaviors that could be dead giveaways that you are interviewing with a narcissist.
Before I discuss that, though, let me say this: If you are interviewing and/or work in corporate America, you can bet your sweet little bippie that you are surrounded by narcissists. Perhaps your department isn’t rife with them; perhaps the individual in the cube next to you isn’t one. You can rest assured, however, that at some point, you WILL run into one.
I suggest you first read this post. It will open in a new tab. Read it before you go on an interview. Read some of the other posts I have here on NPD and Narcissists. That won’t guarantee you won’t wind up working with a narcissist, but forewarned is forearmed.
As a rule, you don’t recognize a narcissist until they’ve already damaged you. The average non-NPD simply doesn’t think the same way a narcissist does, and many of us have experienced the devastating fallout that comes from working with a narcissist, to the point of losing our jobs.
Narcissists will win. Even if you manage to block a move or two, they will manage to tap dance around you, and the abuse will escalate.
Even in these tough times, I advise getting out if you find yourself in a nest of narcissim, or if you are working with one powerful enough to destroy you. You’ll know, because your stress level will be intolerable, you will find that you are questioning your sanity where you never did prior to working with this individual and you will find that you have become grist for the rumor mill. You go in as grain and you never come out . You simply keep getting ground.
It is better to be poor and have your self-esteem intact; to be happy with who you are, than to be financially comfortable and in constant fear for your sanity, health (stress will kill you), and miserable.
We all have choices. Some may seem very painful at first and we don’t like pain. No one does. Sometimes the most painful choices are the ones that are best for us and our families.