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Am I Overqualified?

Published: July 26, 2012 Author: Clearpoint Tags: Job Hunting - Interviewing

No job candidate wants to hear the dreaded, "you're overqualified for this position" in an interview, but it does happen. How you handle yourself in the rest of the interview will determine whether or not you successfully land the job. It's not a crime to be overqualified and in some cases, it may actually work in your favor.

When you hear the word, "overqualified," take a minute to understand the employer's real concerns. The interviewer has questions about whether or not someone at your career level can really fit into the position he needs to fill. Those questions can include:

1. How will you stay motivated in a job that doesn't require all of your qualifications?

In your response, stress your own self-motivation and show enthusiasm for the position. If it is a job you could probably do with your eyes closed, but you enjoy guiding others, ask if your ability to mentor co-workers would be useful to the organization.

2. Won't you get bored in this position? How will we keep you here?

No employer wants to invest time and resources on an employee who will only jump ship in a few months. Let the interviewer know you aren't looking for a job to pass the time until something better comes along. Be honest and discuss why you want this position. Factors other than skills and experience could be relevant, for example if you have always had a passionate interest in the company's industry, products, or customers. Be careful about disclosing personal details, however. Maybe your home life will be improved by what you expect to be a lighter workload than you had previously, but you shouldn't mention that in an interview.

3. What prospects do you see for your future here?

This is where you need to be enthusiastic about the company and your passion for working for that organization. Emphasize that you don't expect short-term promotions. Instead, you want to contribute to the company's long-term success by excelling in the role that is open now. Convey your confidence that as the company's future unfolds, yours will too.

Be realistic. If an employer believes you are overqualified for a position, accept that the job may not be a good fit. But if you know you'll love the job and you see a world of potential, then these tips can help you overcome the fears of a wary interviewer!

Need help finding a job or want to learn more about the interviewing process? Let the experts at Clearpoint advise you.

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