Confidence is Key to Getting Hired

Getting hired requires confidence that often trumps skills when it comes to the intangible connection between interviewer and interviewee.

The key to getting hired is not always about possessing ‘required’ skills. More importantly  it’s demonstrating the ability to get the job done.

Speakers and authors lead the knowledge path and Tim Sanders, former chief solutions officer for Yahoo!, is an extraordinary example. He is a bestselling author and highly sought after motivational speaker. His first book—“Love is the Killer App”–gave me the confidence to talk about love in the business world. Tim validated my deeply held notion that you can get a lot more done in business if you treat people with respect and honor who they are.

Prior to reading his book, I was afraid to talk about the importance of love in business and even to directly bring love into my business relationships. After reading Tim’s New York Times and international business bestseller, I gained the confidence to be out in the business world not only loving what I do but also loving those I do business with and showing it! This confidence has allowed me to be myself, to shine in my business relationships and to grow profitably.

The importance of confidence in getting hired

Headhunting has shown me what a big impediment a candidate’s lack of confidence can be to being selected for a position. Getting hired is about possessing the confidence that he or she is the right person for the job, regardless of whether all of the requirements of the position are met, is what most often results in a positive interview.

Placing top talent with corporations since the mid-’90s has consistently proven to me that about 90 percent of the decision to hire is based on soft skills and personality, not hard skills or even experience. Of course, the more technical the job the more important the hard skills become. Even so, all skills being equal, the programmer with the personality will win. Among personality traits, confidence ranks at the very top in terms of importance and is perhaps the most influential in impacting a hiring decision.

Falling love with a candidate

I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that 100 percent of my clients have pulled the trigger to hire when they “fell in love” with my candidate, NOT when the candidate had all of the required skills listed in the job description. In fact, and often, a listed requirement enables the interviewer to weed out the candidate pool and can also be used as the excuse to not move forward when they don’t know how to tell the candidate the truth. “Sir, we think you are quite qualified but you lack industry experience and that is a requirement for this position” is what a candidate might hear instead of, “You have the skills but I don’t see you ‘fitting’ in with our team, you’re a bit nerdy.”

When an otherwise qualified job seeker who doesn’t “connect” with the interviewer or doesn’t come across with confidence is missing a “required” skill, it creates an opportunity for the interviewer to easily reject the candidate. I have personally witnessed hundreds of candidates with missing “required” skills get the job because they were the one my client had the chemistry with. They had the charming personality and passionate spirit. Most importantly, those who   came across with the confidence to get the job done were those getting hired.


Lily Winsaft
Lily Winsaft
As CEO and Founder of Aldebaran Associates, Ms. Winsaft focused her 25 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience to create a company dedicated to addressing the hiring and training challenges facing corporations and professionals in the 21st Century. The firm provides highly selective recruiting services for fortune 500 companies in the consumer goods, advertising, marketing, legal, accounting, information technology and non-profit sectors. Given her notoriety in the Hispanic community and among international organizations, her firm plays a major role in boosting organizational diversity and in the placement of candidates at companies transacting business in Latin America or selling products and services to the U.S. Hispanic consumer segment.

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