What to do if I am overqualified for a job

If you’re asking yourself what to do if I am overqualified for a job but I need the work, you’re obviously someone who’s conscientious and more importantly, someone who wants to work. With the job market improving gradually rather than steadily, a lot of us are having to stay in jobs we’re now overqualified for or accept jobs that are a little beneath us. The problem isn’t coming to terms with this inevitability, it’s convincing the interviewer that you’re the right candidate for the job.
    Getty - Joe Raedle


Sometimes the term “overqualified” is used when the interviewer doesn’t want to give the real reason why they don’t want to take you on. Perhaps they don’t think you’ll fit in with their current workforce. Maybe they believe that your many years of experience make you impossible to train. Perhaps your previous salary can’t be met by the firm so they’d rather not confess that they’re not as big as your previous employer. If you want to know the real reason, you’ll need to probe for the answer. “I'd hate to think you felt my experience would work against me,” is a good opener with a recruiter who’s giving you the brush off. “Can you share with me what makes you feel that way” is as open a question as you can ask. You may need to read between the lines when you get the response, particularly if you’re talking to a recruitment agency or HR department rather than the person who interviewed you.

Skills and accomplishments

If you are consistently rejected as “overqualified” you might want to rethink the way you present yourself. Rather than presenting yourself by the title you achieved in previous jobs, why not major on the experiences, skills and accomplishments that define you as a worker. Another thing you should do is to make sure that employers know that you’re flexible about salary. You should also emphasis your personality and your characteristics and express your sincere interest in working for the firm.

Final word

The most important thing to do in the interview is to show that you are not a threat to the manager you’re speaking to. You can do this by presenting yourself well in the interview and allowing them to take the lead. If the interviewer thinks you’re too pushy at interview, they’ll assume they’ll have trouble managing you if you’re taken on.

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