You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top Stories

How perfect are you? Personality quiz

The Guardian logo The Guardian 5 days ago Ben Ambridge
Complete genius or a bit cracked (like the egg on the right)? Time to find out.: Complete genius or a bit cracked? Time to find out. © Getty Images Complete genius or a bit cracked? Time to find out.

Interviewer: What’s your biggest weakness?

Applicant: I’m a perfectionist

Most people now avoid this answer as an interview cliché; the idea being that perfectionism sounds like self-criticism, but is actually a boast – an early form of humblebragging.

But are you really a perfectionist? And, if so, is this a good thing, as the old cliché assumes? On a five point scale, how much do you agree with the following (1 = completely disagree to 5 = completely agree):

  1. I try to achieve perfection in everything
  2. If I didn’t do my best all the time, others would think I’ve failed
  3. I have very high goals
  4. I cannot bear it if I make a mistake

If you have an average score of 4 or more across the four questions, then you are something of a perfectionist (though a true perfectionist would insist on 5s across the board). This is both good and bad news. Perfectionists are usually academic high-achievers (indeed, one recent study finds it is usually academic success that causes perfectionism, rather than the other way around). However, perfectionists are more likely to be unhappy, and to suffer from anxiety and depression. So don’t worry if you scored 3 or less. Although you’re less likely to be a high-flyer, you’re also more likely to be happy.

Order Are You Smarter Than a Chimpanzee?by Ben Ambridge (Profile Books, £12.99) for £11.04, at bookshop.theguardian.com

More from The Guardian

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon