New interview question: how do you take your eggs?

by HCA12 Oct 2012

Some green eggs and ham for you, ma’am? In a complete turn-around from typical personality profiles, researchers have found that a person’s favourite way of eating eggs can predict their personality type and job suitability.

Using maths and data mining, scientists have uncovered a statistical relationship between a person’s character, lifestyle and social class and how they like their eggs – boiled, fried, scrambled or as an omelette.

Turning your next interview into a breakfast meeting has never been more important.

The study found that boiled egg-eaters have a tendency to be careless and impulsive, while fried egg-eaters are most likely to be younger and male and most frequently found among the skilled working class.

In addition, scrambled egg-eaters are more likely to be in managerial or senior-level jobs, while omelette-eaters are like to be tidy.

For recruiters, it may be a good idea to take the egg test with a pinch of salt as you certainly do not want any discrimination lawsuits – it is sure to leave a stink.

*The study was commissioned by the British Egg Industry Council and carried out by Mindlab International.


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  • by Nicole 12/10/2012 1:41:56 PM

    I like my eggs poached - what does that make me?

  • by Michael Collins 14/10/2012 2:44:14 PM

    Whilst this article might be a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ look at personality profiling, it does highlight two common problems when using statistics to explain selection decisions. The research only demonstrates that some factors (e.g., personality, occupation) are ‘correlated’ with a person’s choice of eggs. These results do not prove that someone’s personality can be ‘predicted’ by their choice of eggs.

    For example, age is highly ‘correlated’ with managerial level. In general, senior executives are older than front-line supervisors. If we made selection decisions based on this relationship then we would simply select the oldest candidate for leadership roles. No one does this because we know that (1) several factors, other than age, account for managerial level, and (2) one’s age doesn’t cause or predict managerial level – there may be a strong correlation but it lacks a theoretical explanation. The two may be related, as in this example, simply by coincidence.

    Following on from this point, there is no explanation as to how egg preference ‘predicts’ personality. For example, we know that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer. The two are highly ‘correlated’ and in addition we understand how smoking ‘causes’ lung cancer. In this example there is a theoretical and evidence-based argument that explains how one causes the other. This explanation and the supporting evidence is an essential prerequisite to claiming that ‘A causes B’. In this case the egg research is interesting but is limited, and perhaps a little misleading, because it does not prove causation.

    We have conducted a number of studies involving over 1,500 Australian managers since 2006. Our research has shown that general cognitive ability, cognitive load and emotional reactivity predicts impulsive behaviour. And that such impulsive behaviour predicts destructive leadership behaviours and leadership effectiveness at the individual, team and organisational levels. We have been using these findings to help organisations select the right leaders for complex, ambiguous and challenging roles (see:

  • by Judtih 16/10/2012 1:13:47 PM

    And for poached egg preferences?