Confidence vs. Competence – Explained

The concept of confidence vs confidence came about many years ago – and it’s something that we all know about and speak about; the title is self-explanatory. But how do we measure this in online assessment?

Let’s start at the beginning: we’ve covered many times in the past how important it is to have a knowledgeable and competent staff base. Product and industry knowledge are key to staying on top of the competition – but in most roles, it’s vital to have that level of confidence to support competence.

Most will have heard of the psychology theory ‘The Four Stages of competence’ ( and it’s vital that training, learning and assessment ensure that staff reach that zen-like state of ‘unconsciously competent’, but in order to get there, your staff need to have a level of confidence to reach this.

The assessment

Let’s use sales staff for the purpose of this example. We’ve all come across hundreds of sales staff in different sectors, industries and companies. Sales staff need to have a level of confidence when speaking to prospective customers, but without product knowledge or a level of competence, all of that confidence will be in vain. That’s why we’ve given our clients the opportunity to assess the two.

Measure confidence upfront: in advance of a product knowledge assessment, for example, ask your staff to rate themselves between 1-10 based on how confident they feel they are in that area. It’s vital to rate their confidence first!

Follow up this by asking them knowledge-based questions to measure their competence in this particular area. Use multiple-choice, or drag ‘n’ drop, for example.

The report

After this is complete, you will be able to see a full report and cross reference how their confidence maps up to competence in this specific area – the chart produced will look something like the featured image.

This gives managers a snap-shot of those learners who display low levels of confidence, high levels of competence etc, in comparison to the rest of the group. For sales staff – you ideally want people in the highlighted zone. It’s a great way of measuring these things for PDRs and appraisals – and we can do it all for you.

To speak to Evolve Assess about confidence v competence assessment and for a free consultation, contact us on 0330 0535023 or


Confidence vs. Competence – Explained

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