Overqualified? Really?

by Ron Haynes

Have you ever had a company, recruiter, or employer say you’re “overqualified” for a job? Truthfully, how can you actually be “overqualified” for a job? In reality, that makes no sense! You can either do the job, or you can not. How can having more experience than “needed” be a negative, right?

I mean, c’mon. Can you see someone telling an actor that he/she was overqualified for a role? How about a bulldozer operator? “No, no, no … you have too much experience to handle this job …” It doesn’t really make any sense does it? Candidates usually do all the weeding out themselves because honestly, a mid-six-figure income manager who loses his job probably isn’t heading down to join the management training program at his local bank. Let’s get real here.

So, exactly what does “you’re overqualified” really indicate?

First, it’s essential to know that it’s a catch-all reason that managers, recruiters and HR utilize to pleasantly eliminate you from the candidate pool without stepping on anyone’s toes. Why do they utilize it? If they said exactly what they were truly passing on you for, it would seem ridiculous, petty, or possibly even down-right discriminatory. In reality, here are 9 most typical reasons they are saying it:.

1. Your character isn’t really a match for the office/department culture.
You were either too positive, bouncing off the walls happy or too low-key or monotone and you simply came across wrong. Or your character would plainly rub an existing worker the wrong means and the company doesn’t desire to take on the drama that hiring you would inevitably bring.

2. You don’t appear like you would fit in.
Your clothes suggested that you weren’t the kind of person that would be a fit for the company. (Yes, what you wear does matter. Individuals discriminate on garments all the time!).

3. You appear like a slow-moving worker.
Your voice speed was sluggish, systematic, and gave off the impression that you would not have the ability to stay up to date with the speed of the workplace.

4. You have a lot of degrees and/or were paid too much in your last position.
The assumption is that you’ll give up when a better job goes along, forcing the company to start their search all over again.

Make sure you’re prepared for your next interview. Find out how!

5. You didn’t appear trustworthy.
Your answers to questions made it appear like you had wellness issues, individual life difficulties, or participation concerns that would cause you to not be on-time and responsible.

6. You acted like a know-it-all in the job interview.
You said, “Well, at my old business, we did it by doing this …” one too many times. Plus, you oversold yourself. As a result, you provided off the impression that you weren’t all set to discover something brand-new, nor ready to adapt to a different environment than the one you were in.

7. You didn’t feel like you really understood what you were discussing.
You came across as not having as much proficiency as your resume seemed to indicate. You didn’t answer the company’s concerns in the method or manner they expected.

8. I don’t like you, cannot see dealing with you every day, and I simply don’t wish to be rude.
You didn’t get off on the right foot with the hiring manager, and maybe even rubbed them the wrong method. Companies presume that if they didn’t feel comfy with you in the interview, it will just become worse gradually. Most of the time, they’re right!

9. I currently have the prospect I want and interviewing you is simply a formality to make MY boss happy.
Some hiring managers either by law, or business policy, need to post and interview a certain number of people for any open positions they have. Many times, they already have who they wish to hire. So, they simply undergo the procedure to cover their bases.

There’s no “Fear of Competition” in the list. Why? When individuals see this list, they frequently say, “what about the fact that the hiring manager most likely realized I was more competent than them and was scared that I ‘d take their job?” My response is: It’s not on the list since it’s not generally what they are thinking. That’s more of a reason job seekers utilize to validate why they didn’t get picked. It makes them feel much better to put down the employer who didn’t select them. I won’t deny that there are some insecure hiring managers out there. But, for the most part, the typical hiring manager who is trying to find a new employee typically feels excellent about their condition in the company and has a clear sense of the type of individual they wish to employ. Trust me, if you are more competent than the hiring manger but can convey to the company that you respect each person’s position and do not necessarily desire it, you can get hired. In truth, I understand many employing managers who like to hire individuals whom they feel are smarter or more accomplished than them in certain areas, as a way to strengthen the abilities of their team.

Can You Overcome the ‘Overqualified’ Objection?

When you get informed you are “over-qualified,” ask the manager the following question:

“What is your concern with my experience in regards to how it will harm my capability to do the job?”

This question will force the manager to articulate exactly how they see being “overqualified” as a bad thing. If they are honest, you simply might have a shot at giving them a response that might alter their mind. For example, if the issue has to do with your degrees or former pay grade, you can say, “I can guarantee you that my objective is not to leave a brand-new job for another one. I applied here due to the fact that I like the company and the business it’s in and see having the ability to work in an environment I appreciate and value even more than cash alone.”

When we get the “overqualified” objection to our candidacy, we have to do exactly what we can to comprehend exactly what’s truly making the hiring manager say “no” to employing us. And, if you are getting it a lot, it could be time to work with a coach who can be honest with you and see if the method you are providing yourself is really the reason that they are giving you. Often we don’t know exactly how we appear to hiring managers and can make use of a little “meeting intervention” to assist us in sending the right message. Candidates are constantly stunned to learn what they were saying was producing the wrong impression. Job interview prep that helps you expect the objection and deal with it effectively can make a huge difference.

Don’t let the “overqualified” reason get the best of you. See exactly what you can do to improve your chances of being a fit by getting feedback and aid on your interview abilities.

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 988 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.



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