Don’t Cross The Line From Confident to Cocky

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
There iThere is a line that some people cross from confident to cocky. Here are a few mistakes you’d make that would signal to you you’ve crossed it.s a line that some people cross from confident to cocky. Here are a few mistakes you’d make that would signal to you you’ve crossed it.

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Hi. I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. And people hire me for no BS career advice, which can involve a job search, hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, dealing with workplace issues, and much more.

There’s a line between confident and cocky, between confident and unlikable, because that’s what happens when you’re cocky. When I used to work in recruiting, I would talk about confident people having justifiable arrogance, because they could back up their assertions about themselves. And when you can’t, you cross the line into being BS, to put it bluntly.

You know, people who are cocky people, who are arrogant, tend not to accept their own mistakes or flaws and blame other people for everything. They put down others consistently. They don’t, well, they make mistakes, but they don’t own up to them. You talk too much. You interrupt a lot. You only make contact with the most senior person in the room and not with the staff people. Use the word “I” a lot. You can’t admit that ever made a mistake, and maybe show up for the interview late and don’t apologize for things.

Think in terms of defining your success using facts and not feelings. Don’t bask in your own magnificence. When discussing your past success, give other people credit, too.  You can say, “you know I owned responsibility for this solution. And I assembled a team of people. What we did was this.” Notice, you owned responsibility AND you had a team of individuals. That’s different. You don’t have to exaggerate what you did and what your successes were. You own up to your mistakes and your failures and the lessons learned.

As I coach people who interview, I’ll always tell them to ask this question: ‘Everyone makes mistakes. I make mistakes. You make mistakes. Tell me about a professional mistake you made and what you learned from it.’ And if you can’t answer that question, well, you’re in deep kimchi or crossing the line into cocky and arrogant from confident.

So I hope you found this helpful. I’m Jeff Altman. Visit my website, There’s a ton in the blog that can help you plus you can schedule time for a free discovery call or a paid coaching session with me. I’d love to help. Also, you can find out about my courses, books, and guides. The courses you can rent or buy. They will help a lot.

Lastly, connect with me on Linkedin at Have a terrific day and be great!

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. He is hired to provide No BS Career Advice globally. That can involve job search, hiring staff, management, leadership, career transition and advice about resolving workplace issues. Schedule a discovery call at my website,

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2500 episodes.

I do a livestream on LinkedIn, and YouTube (on the account) Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 PM Eastern. You can send your questions about job search, hiring better, management, leadership or to get advice about a workplace issue to me via messaging on LinkedIn or in chat during the approximately 30-minute show.




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