Hiring Engineering Graduates: Don’t be too confident about Confidence

Once a fox and a wildcat met on the outskirts of a village.
“This is a dangerous place,” said the cat. “Infested with dogs.”
“Dogs don’t bother me,” boasted the fox. “I know a hundred ways to get away from those stupid animals.”
Just then they saw a pack of dogs coming.
“Good bye, friend,” said the cat. “I’d better be going. Unlike you I know only one way to get away from dogs and that is to climb up a tree.”



And saying that the cat sped up a tall tree.
The fox waited there for the dogs to come nearer to demonstrate the tricks it knew to get away from the dogs. By the time the fox could play its trick all the dogs attacked the fox. The fox was killed because of its overconfidence.

Moral of the story, “Before you attempt to beat the odds, be sure you could survive the odds beating you.” ― Larry Kersten

Confidence is an important trait of personality that is often directly linked with success. As this article by Forbes magazine mentions, confidence features amongst top three traits that employers look for while hiring employees. However, as the above story tells, confidence fed by self-evaluation often leads to negative results. Daniel Kahneman, Professor of Psychology at Princeton and 2002 Nobel Prize winner, explains here that confidence can also be hazardous.

David Brooks in his New York Times article suggests that in order to clear the doubts about confidence we should abandon the “self-oriented” concept of “self- confidence” and turn towards the “task-oriented” idea of “competence.” It will help us enhancing our personality according to the standard of a specific domain. The person with the self-confidence mind-set starts thinking about his own intrinsic state. The person who sees herself as the instrument for performing a task thinks about some external thing that needs doing.” As mentioned in this article, women earned better returns on their investments than male counterparts even though they are considered under confident and risk averse compared to men.

In HiSpark, we encourage our students to acquire this instrumental mind-set so that they can give their optimum performance and survive the odds without any prejudices. We foster confidence by giving them an opportunity to spend more time working on software development and honing their skills. To know more, please visit www.hispark.in.

Neha Vashishtha, Ph.d in Linguistics. She can be reached at nehavashistha@outlook.com
Gaurav Tiwari, Program Owner, HiSpark. He can be reached at Gaurav@hibrise.com