I am not saying this is my case, just something that I'm very curious about, because:

1) Taken a face value it should be a perfectly natural thing to say and an extremely desirable trait in an employee.

2) Nobody will ever take it at face value and you will look like a complete tool in the eyes of the interlocutor however it is said.


The question is what would be the purpose of saying that? Does it mean that you have the skills necessary to do the job? No. Does it mean that you are a good team player and will help create an efficient working environment? Again, no.

Saying you have a high IQ is at best, a way to say one or two things, that you learn quickly and/or can solve the kinds of problems they have. But it’s ambiguous, because it doesn’t say whether you are saying one or the other and it’s not actually correct because it’s not true. You can score high on an IQ test test and neither learn quickly nor be able to solve the problems they have.

So, saying you have a high IQ isn’t really constructive.

On the other hand, at worst it can be either a lie or an attempt to brush over shortcomings. Either way it’s a bad thing.

There’s no real upside.

Practically speaking, you should, as writers say, show not tell. Don’t say you’re have a high IQ and can learn quickly, give evidence that you can learn quickly. Don’t say you have a high IQ and can thus solve problems they have, give evidence that you have solved similar to the problems they have.

  • I'm more satisfied with this answer. In a hiring process they have a very limited amount of time and effort to dedicate to you which might push you into being straightforward. At the same time, probably there is no much point into claiming what you can't prove. By the same logic though they shouldn't ask what are your strengths. Anyway I like this answer the most. – DPM Dec 23 '18 at 21:12
  • @DPM: asking about your strengths is a conversational starter, you say you are strong in X they ask you to tell them about a time that you used your X. Whether that is being a people person and you resolved a conflict or you solved a difficult physics problem. – jmoreno Dec 23 '18 at 22:39

I wouldn't even bother mentioning it. Most employers would prefer actual accomplishments and qualifications to do the talking instead of how high your IQ is. No employer has ever asked any one working at any of the companies I have worked at what their IQ is. After all your have to be reasonably smart to qualify as an engineer and employers will make that connection themselves.

Further, the world has many people with high IQ's that didn't amount to anything significant in their life. The reverse is also true, there are many people with an average IQ that have accomplished a hell of a lot purely because of hard work.

  • Ok, if your point is that it has little to no relevance, that gives me an answer. I strongly disagree but I could be wrong. – DPM Dec 23 '18 at 15:12
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    I agree with this answer. I have met a number of people with a high IQ, but for some reason or other, no significantly better ( sometimes worse ) output in terms of business value than others. Point to your actual accomplishments, have a chat, if you're really that smart, they will be able to tell and factor that in. – bytepusher Dec 23 '18 at 16:13

Show them you have a high IQ, don't tell them. Everyone can say they are smart, but only the smart people can demonstrate it.

The best places to do this is in the interviews, though your work history, your academic record, and you careful responses to their questions.

And if you can demonstrate it, don't bother telling them. That's showing them that you constantly need approval and support to handle your intelligence. While they want smart people, they don't want huge ego smart. The maintenance is too high, odds are they can't get a department to agree that you're smart (some people will always say you are not that smart), and you won't get along with others if your ego demands feeding on your schedule.

  • So you, contrary to most people here, seem to think that intelligence is indeed relevant. Since it's perfectly reasonable for an intelligent person to acknowledge they are so, the conclusion has to be that is that there is just no good way to express it for cultural reasons or whatever may be. – DPM Dec 23 '18 at 19:18
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    @DPM Of course intelligence is relevant, but I didn't say it was perfectly reasonable for an intelligent person to acknowledge that they are so. Nor do I believe there is no good way to express it, as I just told you the best way to express is through your abilities and your careful responses to questions. Beware, it is easier to fool oneself into being intelligent (and jump to conclusions that others believe as you do) than it is to listen carefully. Wrong input leads to the wrong conclusion, so work hard not to self-filter your input. – Edwin Buck Dec 23 '18 at 20:18

If someone has a really high IQ, that person should be member of Mensa or a club like that. In that case, and i think only in that case, could be a plus to put that in the resume, linkedin profile or something, so the recruiter can see that but avoiding to mention that in the interview.

Also, if the company is interested about your IQ they will probably test you so they will know anyway.

  • I suspect they mostly don't do it for legal reasons, or so I've read. Although I've had some sort of IQ test in a hiring process twice and another person account of another instance, so it still happens but it's definitely not prevalent. – DPM Dec 23 '18 at 15:16

According to my 23andme results I have the explosive strength ability of a sprinter.

According to my looking in the mirror, doing a big sprint would probably end up with me having a coronary.

Measurements of raw ability don't dictate what someone is actually like, so shouldn't influence decisions.

An IQ measurement doesn't reflect social skills, or respect or thoughtfulness or even willingness to learn.

It also doesn't mean someone is smart, just they have raw computational ability, many high IQ people are prime examples of the Dunning Kruger effect. I've worked with average IQ people who are great contributors and team players, and PhDs who were highly (negatively) disruptive due to their attitude.

Remember Einstein wasn't smart because of a high IQ. Einstein had a high IQ because he was smart.


How to tell a prospective employer that you have a high IQ without seeming like you have an over-inflated ego or delusional

In your case, if you must do it, don't do it in writing, your misspelling of simple words would make it seem unlikely.

  • -1 Some people are very intelligent in subjects such as math or science but not writing – Zack Macomber Dec 24 '18 at 12:57

High IQ does not necessarily have any connection to the abilities a company wants to hire you for.

I am a member of Mensa so I put it on my CV - but it is there to be a potential conversation point in interviews. I am 50/50 whether it has ever been part of anyone's hiring decision, but I like having things that may catch the eye of a recruiter or interviewer.

It could potentially count against you, if the company interviewing you has an IQ test as part of the process. If you score highly, they may discount it as "you have had practice before" or if you score badly they may question your IQ anyway...


Depends on the type of workplace.

There is this thing called "comprehension range" saying you have a high IQ tends to come over as saying you are difficult to comprehend. The whole idea of Mensa was to connect people who think alike. People tend to not want a All-Star player. But someone who fits in.

You have to be in a specific field that values these kinds of things. Other workplaces might frown upon the word IQ. As you can see in the other answers.

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