Some aren’t so fortunate, and when they follow-up, the most common response that they receive for not being called in is that “we ‘d love to hire you, but you’re over overqualified for this position”.
Overqualified? What does that even mean? That’s almost like being turned down for being too attractive.
To get a better understanding from the hiring manager’s perspective, you have to put yourself in their shoes. When they say you’re “overqualified”, here’s what they might be thinking.
1. You’ll be bored.
2. You really don’t understand what this particular job is about.
3. The salary will be too low for you.
4. This is a temporary job for you, and you will be gone the minute something better comes your way.
5. You will have a problem being managed by someone less experienced than you.
So how do you overcome some of these preconceived notions about you? There are a number of ways to go about it.
Your job is to reassure the hiring manager that none of these things are true and you need to do an exceptional job at explaining why. For example:
- “At this stage in my career, having a job I enjoy is more important to me than salary. I have no problem with earning less than I have in the past.”
- “I want to move into this field, and I know that I need to start at a lower level in order to do that.”
- “I’m deliberately looking for something with fewer responsibilities than I’ve had in the past so that I can spend more time with my family.” (Or because you’re going to school at night or have simply realized you prefer lower-pressure jobs.)
- “I wouldn’t take a job I’m not excited about, and I’m excited about this one because (insert your own reason).”