Is being overqualified a job interview obstacle for you? There are several reasons why you might apply for a job you’re overqualified for. Maybe you want to be closer to home, perhaps jobs in your industry are hard to come by, and you need to work, or maybe you want less responsibility than you’ve had previously.  Or maybe due to COVID-19 you need to look for a different job.  All of these are good reasons for applying for a job that you’re overqualified for.

Sometimes when looking for a job your years of training or job experience can work against you.  According to The Wall Street Journal, “It’s hard when your big title or years of experience are seen as a disqualifier, rather than a qualifier.”

Your future employer might need a little reassurance that the job you are applying for is a good fit for you.

Answers To The Overqualified Question

Here are the best ways to answer the “aren’t you overqualified?” question when it comes up in your interview.

1. Be Honest

Tell your potential employer the true reason you’re applying for a job that you’re overqualified for. A good employer will respect your honesty and your reasons. If you want to be closer to home or have a better work schedule than you have now, say so. But don’t overshare. If you’re applying for the job because you really need the work, don’t share your sob story. The employer might feel sorry for you, but it won’t win you the job.

2. Emphasize Your Commitment

Ease your prospective employer’s concerns that you’re only interested in the job because you need to work, and you’ll be keeping your options open for when a better opportunity comes along. Let the interviewer know that you may be overqualified for the position. Still, you’re committed to performing at your best, and that you intend to be a long-term employee and perhaps grow within the company.

3. Discuss the Potential Opportunity

Your potential employer may still be skeptical so let them know that you’re looking at the position as an opportunity; you’re not settling. Discuss the skills you have that can benefit the company and help push the position to a new level. Talk about how you can help grow the position, the department, and/or the company with your experience. Share how you want to develop yourself professionally and how the job fits into that goal.

4. Share How the Position is a Better Fit

Maybe you’re tired of being in management, going to meetings all day, and pushing papers around. If the reason you want a job that you’re overqualified for is to get back to the basics, the work you really love, share that. Talk about how the current position holds more interest for you than the position you’ve previously had.

5. Make the Boss Look Good

Talk about how your experience and knowledge bring a lot to the team and can support the team in a way they haven’t been supported previously, making the management team look good. You can help your boss and your team be more successful with what you bring to the table.

There are many reasons why you might want a job that you’re overqualified for, but if you can help your potential employer see the positive in hiring someone with too much experience, it just might be the perfect fit for everyone.

Do You Need Career Search or Interview Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.