Suffering from: Lake Wobegon Effect?

First we had IQ tests. Then we had EQ tests. Now we won't even consider a job applicant unless he has sat at least a dozen enneagrams.

by Helen Kirwan-Taylor

Graduates keep having to add more letters (IB, SATs, Pre U) to up their CVs. The Lake Wobegon Effect is what happens when people see all those letters on a piece of paper and think, gosh, they're so accomplished and clever. Let's hire them. Even Oxford, the one university we all thought was resistant to this insidious syndrome, has now started 'testing' applicants. Of course, we all know that many tech billionaires have few degrees between them. We also know that the people with the most letters on their CV are almost undoubtedly the ones you wish you didn't have to sit next to at work. They probably spent their formative years being coached for tests rather than learning useful things, like how to look you in the eye or handle criticism without bursting into tears.

- Contact Helen Kirwan-Taylor at

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