Tired of being asked the euphemistic “Aren’t you overqualified for this job?” question?
Well, don’t fight it—embrace it! But to make improvements on how you answer the question, it is important to know what you are doing wrong first—and then shift that behavior to doing what it the better way to handle it.
Additionally, it is important to know the why behind these suggested items to refrain from doing any longer and get in the head of the prospective manager who is in the position of hiring you.
Here are four ways that you can bomb the overqualified interview question and cause concern in the hiring manager’s mind about your candidacy:
1. I don’t need the money. —The problem with this answer is people interpret this as you will not be interested in the role within a short period of time or leave the minute you are bored.”Because,” they are thinking, “if you do not need the money, why would you do this job?” I think it is best to correlate that you understand the pay scale of the job on the marketplace and it is a business decision of yours to be paid what you are worth for the role under consideration. While you used to make more, that was for a different job and you are fully aware of the marketplace value of this position under consideration and meet that need.
2. I am not interested in promotions. —This statement can be misconstrued as you are not goal-oriented anymore. You may not want the corner office any longer, but do not mistakenly convey that you do not have goals. I suggest that you phrase this in a way that shows you will still take on the company’s goals and initiatives with fervor and make things happen on time and within budget. You can have aspirations that do not involve promotions. Another angle to consider is, companies may want to hire to promote from within down the line. So if you are saying you do not want promotions thinking it will clinch the job, you may be putting yourself right out of consideration. Companies want their mail clerks to be motivated—not just management.
3. I want personal satisfaction now. —Younger generations do not get that…what do you mean you were not happy were you worked in the past? You took jobs you did not like? Younger managers (under 40-45) may take that as you have been unhappy throughout your career and, in hiring you, they may think they will inherit your unhappiness. Managers want to hire people who want the job they have to offer—and not to help someone get away from a job they hated. No one wants to hire someone who is burned out, jaded or negative. It is best to demonstrate what about the prospective role is intriguing for you and how it will be exciting for you to get back to doing this aspect of the job that you loved doing at one point earlier in your career. It is a way to demonstrate passion and previous experience.
4. I want to get away from the yucky parts of my executive job. — OK, you may not use the word ‘yucky’ but think about it…isn’t that the job of the person hiring you? He/she does not need you looking down on him/her since you have been there, done that. Managers want to hire people, overqualified or otherwise, that will make them feel good and supported. Again, I would encourage you to show what you are attracted to in the job at hand and not focus on the negative parts of the job you used to have.
Here is where you can learn more about how to rock the overqualified question. It is crucial to focus on the positive aspects of the making this job match between you and the new employer. Overqualified can be a positive thing for an employer…for prospective employees who can master this interview question set, the world is their oyster. Best wishes…
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