Dos and Don’ts for Overqualified Job Seekers

Overqualified Job SeekersIn any interview process, there will always be those candidates who don’t seem to perfectly fit in the position they are applying for. It’s either they lack the skills that are needed for the job, or they simply don’t have the right attitude.


But what if it’s the other way around? What if you’re overqualified rather than underqualified? Of course, one of the most important things to accomplish in an interview is to prove how and why your skills and abilities would be an asset to the company. However, it can be difficult to express this without going too far beyond the job requirements.

Thus, here are some dos and don’ts to help you fit the job requirements regardless of how long your resume is:


  • Be honest.
    • There’s no need to bluntly say that you’re overqualified, but it doesn’t hurt to point out the list of skills you have at hand (even if there are too many). Most likely, it would be obvious anyway if you really have an abundance of qualifications for the position. Hiring managers will be excited to hire an employee who is obviously a fast and intelligent learner, so you’d might as well be honest.
  • Be enthusiastic.
    • Interviewers immediately go for potential employees who are excited about the job position. Your work experience and acquired skills may give you the chance to get that job, but a positive and eager attitude will surely stick in the employer’s mind.
  • Be patient in searching for the right kind of job.
    • While finding a job is a difficult, finding a perfect one is nearly impossible. So be patient and do your best in seeking out a job that will match your skills. Even if you’re overqualified and your abilities match a managerial position, an entry-level position is still okay as long as you know that it will satisfy you. Employers like people who are flexible in terms of the duties they’re willing to take on.


  • Undersell yourself.
    • Truly qualified candidates don’t just have expertise; they also have great personalities that can impress any hiring manager. Don’t hide your assets and abilities just because you’re afraid that you might sound boastful. Be confident enough to accentuate your positive attributes. Hiding them won’t help you and may even convince the manager that you’re not a good fit for the position.
  • Show that you’re desperate.
    • With the kind of economy we have today, we can’t deny the fact that many job seekers are searching for jobs that are below their desired position. However, that’s no reason to act like you’re desperate for a job. Your interest in the position is proof enough that you want the job, and your task is to show your future employer how you can be an asset to the company.
  • Discuss monetary figures.
    • Always steer the conversation toward skills, experience, and abilities rather than your previous salary. Just because you’ve made more money before doesn’t make you the perfect candidate. If the interviewer seems to be worried about keeping up with your previous salary, point out your history of loyalty and longevity with previous companies.

Even if you’re overqualified for the job, show your motivation to work hard in a lower-level position. Point out your earlier experiences in which you grew and changed positively together with the company. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself and your skills and qualities.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.