Overqualified for the Job? Here’s What to Do

Overqualified for the Job Heres What to DoThink you’re the perfect fit for the job? Learn how to convince an employer the right way.

Planning on re-entering the workforce or entering a new field? If so, know that it may be difficult for you to even make it through the first resume review stage if you’re overqualified. That’s why you have to go the extra mile to convince employers that you’re the right person for the position available, no matter how overqualified you are.

If you’ve been asked to come in for an interview, here are some sample questions you may be asked during the interview, and how to respond:

“Why did you bother applying for a job that you are overqualified for?”

When you hear this question, you need to get the point across that the job you’ve applied for is what you want to do for a living. No matter what your reasons, you must be transparent in answering this question to make a positive impression. (Of course, sharing details about your personal life is not needed here.)

“How do you feel about not managing people in this position?”

Since you will be in a different role, you must be careful with your choice of words when answering this question. Acknowledge the fact that you’ve had the chance to be a superior or have managed a team in prior positions. There is no need for you to minimize your previous responsibilities.

You may want to share that you’ve discovered that management is not what you’re most passionate about, and you feel more fulfilled working in a backseat position. Honesty helps here, especially if you want to start at a lower level in a new career in a different field.

“We can’t match your current salary.”

You should expect to hear this, especially when you are considered overqualified for the position you are trying to win.

To shift their attention, tell them that your career change is a way for you to fulfill a role that you’ve always dreamed of. Perhaps you can tell them that money doesn’t motivate you. To make sure you sound sincere, state that a little raise wouldn’t hurt after you’ve gained the appropriate experience.

“Does it bother you that your boss would be younger than you?”

There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that this can be an uncomfortable situation. Because of this, do not treat the question as if those circumstances will be easy to handle:(“Oh, that’s no problem.”).

To answer favorably, tell them that you’re open to learning from everyone’s experiences.

You can use the questions here to shape your resume and cover letter, as well as prepare for the interview.

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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.