Many of us have heard these disappointing words at the end of an otherwise outstanding interview. After finding a position we’d be perfectly suited for, and qualified for, and knocking the interview out of the park, we are expecting to move into the compensation discussion phase only to be told we are overqualified and shown the door.
There are several reasons why you might be deemed overqualified by a perspective employer and not all of the reasons are legitimate.
- You may have more experience than your supervisor (this raises a concern that you may be a threat to your supervisor)
- You may be much older than you supervisor (of course it’s illegal to discriminate due to age, so you are told you are overqualified)
- You may want too much compensation (the employer doesn’t want to be perceived as cheap, so you are told you are overqualified)
- The job description may not have been accurately written and the level of experience is not in line with what the employer is seeking
- You may actually have too much experience for the position!
Whatever the case, you won’t be offered the job, so it’s best to be gracious and move on. Besides, do you really want to work for an employer that doesn’t value your experience and isn’t willing to compensate you appropriately?
So, what do you do? It’s time to take stock of the level and types of positions you are applying for and determine if you are, in fact, overqualified! You may actually be selling yourself short and you may find that applying for more senior positions will suite you better and be a better fit for your level of experience.
Finding the “sweet spot” of experience and qualifications can be a bit tricky but once you have figured it out and start applying for the appropriate positions, the job offers will come and you will be glad you didn’t accept that position for which you were overqualified!