Can you spot a workplace psychopath from a resume and job references?

by VanessaVaile

Minding the Workplace

In a piece for, Kathryn Tuggle suggests that we can identify potential psychopaths from their resumes and job references:

They may seem normal, diligent and affable, but when it comes to new employees remember that crazy can fool you for a little while. Keep an eye out for these red flags, or you could end up hiring a psychopath . . .

Drawing from interviews with a clinical psychologist and an executive recruiter, the piece identifies supposed telltale indicators:

  • Instability as evidenced by many positions over a short period of time;
  • Unexplained chronological gaps in employment histories; and,
  • References who go over the top in describing how “charming” the candidate happens to be.

True, chronic instability, dishonesty and deception, and superficial charm are potential signs of psychopathy and other personality disorders. However, there may be other more innocent explanations behind the indicators identified in the article: Younger workers…

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