You may have been there before- an eager job candidate, who possesses every single thing that the position needs… but, alas, you possess too much!
How is that so? Wouldn’t a company prefer to hire an OVERQUALIFIED candidate as opposed to hiring someone who’s under qualified? Well the answer may be shocking: they’d rather hire neither of you.
Yes, you read that right! But, why is being overqualified for a position such a bad thing? To understand the answers to this complex question, you have to put yourselves into the shoes of the interviewer.
Firstly, an overqualified job candidate may be unwilling to do the jobs that seem menial- the jobs that are meant for, well, someone who’s not as qualified as them.
Secondly, an overqualified job seeker may become bored quickly with the position and won’t see it as challenging. And, boredom often leads to apathy and an apathetic employee is rarely a good thing.
Thirdly, interviewers often times seem overqualified candidates as merely using the job as a placeholder and a way to pay the bills until something better comes along. It’s difficult for an interviewer to think about investing significant time and money into training an individual only to have them leave after a few months.
Fourthly, and you’ll never get them to admit it but, some managers may be threatened by your mere presence. Yes, really! Instead of being comfortable in their own skin and confident in the value they add to the company, they’re worried about the opportunities you may take away from them. How can any team grow with that kind of scrutiny and pressure and with that level of distrust? Simple. They can’t.
So, if you’ve found yourself in the position of being overqualified for a job, you may want to address the issue before the close of the interview. Generally speaking, an interviewer will give you a chance to add anything you feel may help them make a decision about you. Take this opportunity to say, “It may seem that I am overqualified for this position, however I’m deeply interested and committed to becoming a long-term team member with your company because you’re a leader in the industry and there’s a lot I could learn from each team member.” In addition, put the interviewers mind at ease further by assuring them that you’re aware each job comes with tasks that aren’t always fun and challenging, but you’re more than willing to complete those tasks just as you would any other task- to the best of your ability!
By being open and honest, and confronting a challenging issue head on, you’ll show the interviewer that you aren’t afraid to be bold and that you’re vested in making the team work.