Interview Tips for Overqualified Candidates

As soon as you found the post for your target job, you knew had this thing locked up. You hold every one of the qualifications requested by these employers, and in most cases, you can actually offer a little more. You have a master’s degree—not just a Bachelors—and you have 10 years of experience instead of the required three to five. You’ve dealt with a more diverse range of clients than this company typically handles, and you’ve even had some leadership and management experience, which this position doesn’t require. At the end of the list of requests, these employers added a few pluses, including HTML coding and Spanish language experience. So you know they’ll be excited when they find out that you speak fluent Spanish and that you’ve coded websites.What could possibly go wrong? You plan to swagger into this interview and receive a job offer on the spot. After all, these employers won’t find anyone more qualified than you.But before you throw the door open and demand to be hired, recognize that over-qualification can actually undermine your chances instead of improving them…especially if your high credentials come with a sense of expectation or entitlement. Keep these interview tips in mind.1. Expect to be asked why you want this job. As in, THIS job, instead of something a little more high-flying. Why do you want to work for this company instead of a bigger operation that can offer more growth potential and a more lucrative salary? And why are you looking for a job at this rung of the career ladder when you could clearly reach for something a little higher?Frame your response carefully. You’re here to excel, not settle. And you respect this company—by no means do you find this position beneath you. As you make these two claims, be ready to back them up with clear, articulate reasons that show thought, insight, and a well-researched understanding of this company.2. Expect to be asked about your long-term plans.Employers don’t want a candidate who will walk in the door, accept a few weeks of expensive training, and then leave again the minute she finds something better. Make it clear that you take this position seriously and you see a long term future here—you aren’t just going to use this job as a stepping stone or a way to pay the bills while you look for work elsewhere.If you know in your heart that this isn’t true, your employers will discern this through your facial expressions, your non-verbal gestures, and the words you choose as you make your case. Expect them to read between the lines.3. Expect to be told about the more boring, undignified, or menial aspects of the job. Your interviewer may make a comment like this: “This job involves repetitive, low-responsibility tasks. Will you be okay with this?” If you will be, say so, and explain why. Your employers will be on the alert for a candidate who will resent these tasks, or who may try to take over and do them in her own way. Make it clear that if you’re hired, you’ll do what you’re asked to do and you’ll respect the status quo.

Back Up Your Claims with a Strong Resume

Make sure your resume isn’t at odds with the claims you’ll be making during your interview. Adjust any language that makes you sound more stubborn, restless, ambitious, or inflexible that you really are. Visit MyPerfectResume for tips and tools that can help win over even the most skeptical interviewer.