When I read this article about IBM's asshole test, I doubt that will work.

This is an asshole test. You see who turns into an asshole under pressure and they don't make it to the next round".

Of course it is important to find out who will freak out under pressure but I doubt you can find the person during the interview. For starters, most interviewee I experienced were a bit nervous, so to turn a nervous person into asshole on purpose?! I think that goes to far, there should be a better way to do that.

To make my question more objective do anyone know if IBM still uses this kind of test ?

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    Well. I'll make a note to never apply to IBM... :/
    – solarflare
    Mar 14, 2023 at 4:47
  • Sadly folks here don't want to talk about it. Mar 14, 2023 at 4:49
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    This isnt a chat forum, you need to word your question in a way that it will make it a useful resource for many and not something that will have an opinion based answer. Have a look here (workplace.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask) and edit it, if you do and it gets enough moderator votes it can be reopened.
    – solarflare
    Mar 14, 2023 at 4:51
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    @Nav thanks but let's just keep it here, I like your answer! Mar 15, 2023 at 6:32
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    @solarflare FYI I just asked chatGPT about the test and it said "It's worth noting that IBM has not confirmed the existence of the "asshole test" and it is unclear whether the test is still in use or has been used recently by the company." Mar 15, 2023 at 9:12

1 Answer 1


People don't always behave the same when undergoing a test of this kind under pressure, versus when under pressure in a real project, where the technical and social parameters are different.

Also, in a real project, the person would have past achievements (or mistakes) the team would know of, which can make even a rude person mellow.

The so called "asshole test" is just somebody's creative juices that got approval from someone else who didn't know what else to do differently while recruiting people.

Do have a look at the Stanford Prison Experiment and Milgram's Experiment.

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    I was told that pilots in fake emergencies in a flight simulator act much worse than pilots in real world emergencies. Mostly because in the flight simulator they can only lose, and in real world they can become heroes. Same can happen interview vs. real work.
    – gnasher729
    Mar 13, 2023 at 8:59

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