This imposter syndrome test can tell if you're holding yourself back at work

77% of the UK suffers from imposter syndrome. This test will help you to work out whether you do, too...

Imposter syndrome test: How to know if you suffer from it

77% of the UK suffers from imposter syndrome. This test will help you to work out whether you do, too...

You'll likely have heard the phrase imposter syndrome - it's bandied around more than Squid Game theories at the moment. But do you know what it really means? And more to the point, how can you figure out if you're suffering from it? Luckily, there's an imposter syndrome test for that.

Statistics reveal that 77% of people in the UK suffer from imposter syndrome. And the changing work landscape doesn't help - working from home, which many are still doing, has only intensified feelings of self doubt. This, paired with, how isolating WFH can be, can lead to serious mental health conditions.

So, what is imposter syndrome? 

Imposter syndrome is defined as the persistent inability to believe that your successes are down to your own abilities. In other words, failing to feel like you've 'earned' your success or constantly feeling like a fraud in the workplace.

Business women networking

Sound like you? You're not alone. Other surveys have found a whopping 90% of women in the UK suffer from this, yet only 25% are actually aware of it. In a remote and distributed work environment, feelings of imposter syndrome are even more challenging to tackle.

Many have begun to return to offices now, but as many as 74% of companies are planning on permanently shifting to remote and distributed work in the future. If this is true, organisations need to start doing their bit to ensure employees - and female employees, in particular - aren't letting imposter syndrome undermine their day-to-days.

The imposter syndrome test

So, you want to know if you're suffering from imposter syndrome? You can start by asking yourself the following.

  • Have you ever felt like you don't belong in your workplace?
  • Do you ever feel inferior in your line of work?
  • Have you ever felt like your colleagues have done more to deserve their positions than you?
  • Have you ever second guessed yourself at work, on the basis that you don't know enough?

Or, there are plenty of sites that offer quizzes and questionnaires that will calculate the result for you. Head to PsychTests, Psycom, Grammarly or IDR Labs for more.

5 tips to avoid imposter syndrome altogether:

As a champion of diversity and female empowerment in the workplace, Asana's Terri Burden reveals how remote work can act as a trigger for impostor syndrome, and shares five action points to take on overcoming this feeling.

1. Get clear on expectations

It's more important than ever to perfect communications between distanced team members. For individuals suffering from imposter syndrome this is particularly challenging, as you're more likely to avoid asking for help.

To avoid this, you need to get clear on what you need to achieve. But this responsibility not only lies with you, but with your company. According to an Asana survey, only 16% of employees say their company is "very effective" at setting and communicating company-wide goals.

This is an issue, as it causes confusion about priorities, a lack of motivation, and even a lack of alignment within teams. From daily to annual targets to those outlined for yourself, your team and your organisation - setting goals can provide the clarity you need and ensures you stay focused on the tasks that matter.

2. Don’t compare yourself to others 

Focusing on developing your individual strength will be most beneficial for your career progression and your mental health. One person’s strength is another person’s weakness, and accepting that your skill lies elsewhere means you can focus on getting ahead in an area that you excel.

Nonetheless, be sure to seek opportunities outside of your comfort zone. For example, join in with a brainstorm outside of your usual remit. This is a great opportunity to listen in and learn from others, whilst providing value to that group by offering an outsider’s perspective.

career change at 30 863558910

3. Establish how you want to receive feedback

In the absence of facial cues and non-verbal means of communication, it's often easy to mistake a simple comment for a harsh critique. To make sure you don’t misinterpret a message over email or otherwise, you need to take the initiative to ask for a quick chat via phone or video call.

On the call, you can gain greater clarity on what the other person meant and more easily verbalise your response. This is also a great opportunity to establish ground rules. While not always possible due to time constraints, you could inform your colleague/ boss that verbal communication is preferred when receiving feedback. This'll provide you with greater ease of mind and demonstrates your desire to learn and develop.

4. Build confidence for video calls

If you found it a struggle transitioning to video conferencing (and still find them a pain), you're not alone. But this form of communication is here to stay. So take some extra steps ahead of the call to make yourself more comfortable. This can be as simple as writing a little script of items you wish to cover or contribute. Or even reach out to a teammate beforehand to check a point you'd like to make. Having this clarity ahead of the video call can make it easier to make your voice be heard.

pandemic proof your career

5, Finally, remember you're human

As cliche as it sounds, we are all human and mistakes are inevitable. So don’t be afraid to make an error, just be sure to turn it into a learning experience. Applying this insight to your future work can not only be beneficial to yourself, but to your teammates and junior colleagues.

Maria Coole

Maria Coole is a contributing editor on Marie Claire.

Hello Marie Claire readers – you have reached your daily destination. I really hope you’re enjoying our reads and I'm very interested to know what you shared, liked and didn’t like (gah, it happens) by emailing me at:

But if you fancy finding out who you’re venting to then let me tell you I’m the one on the team that remembers the Spice Girls the first time round. I confidently predicted they’d be a one-hit wonder in the pages of Bliss magazine where I was deputy editor through the second half of the 90s. Having soundly killed any career ambitions in music journalism I’ve managed to keep myself in glow-boosting moisturisers and theatre tickets with a centuries-spanning career in journalism.

Yes, predating t’internet, when 'I’ll fax you' was grunted down a phone with a cord attached to it; when Glastonbury was still accessible by casually going under or over a flimsy fence; when gatecrashing a Foo Fighters aftershow party was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy and tapping Dave Grohl on the shoulder was... oh sorry I like to ramble.

Originally born and bred in that there Welsh seaside town kindly given a new lease of life by Gavin & Stacey, I started out as a junior writer for the Girl Guides and eventually earned enough Brownie points to move on and have a blast as deputy editor of Bliss, New Woman and editor of People newspaper magazine. I was on the launch team of Look in 2007 - where I stuck around as deputy editor and acting editor for almost ten years - shaping a magazine and website at the forefront of body positivity, mental wellbeing and empowering features. More recently, I’ve been Closer executive editor, assistant editor at the Financial Times’s How To Spend It (yes thanks, no probs with that life skill) and now I’m making my inner fangirl’s dream come true by working on this agenda-setting brand, the one that inspired me to become a journalist when Marie Claire launched back in 1988.

I’m a theatre addict, lover of Marvel franchises, most hard cheeses, all types of trees, half-price Itsu, cats, Dr Who, cherry tomatoes, Curly-Wurly, cats, blueberries, cats, boiled eggs, cats, maxi dresses, cats, Adidas shelltops, cats and their kittens. I’ve never knowingly operated any household white goods and once served Ripples as a main course. And finally, always remember what the late great Nora Ephron said, ‘Everything is copy.’