On pride

In my experience, it has become commonplace for employers to ask prospective job candidates the following:


Describe the work you are most proud of?


Declarations of pride are at best disingenuous, and at worst injurious.


Pride is defined as:

A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements.


  1. To work is to achieve.

  2. The Question implies that happiness is derived from working.

  3. Arguably, happiness should come from being, not working.

  4. If I am, that is the most I can be.

  5. If I am, the rate at which I work is fixed.

  6. Therefore, to to be is to work, and to work is to be.


  • Employers can use this question to filter job applicants based on if their joy is rooted in their work.

    • Meaning “the employer’s work” - joy from doing someone else’s bidding.
    • Meaning “the worker’s work” - joy from the act of working.
  • Use of this filter depicts the employer as:

    • Desperate (for workers)
    • Insecure (of working conditions)
    • Manipulative (possibly abusing workers)


Reflecting on pride can be problematic during the hiring process.

The most valid response to the Question is:

  • To be is to be prideful. As such, I am most proud of being.

Written on April 30, 2021