3 Reasons You Were Rejected for Being Overqualified

3 Reasons You Were Rejected for Being Overqualified

Being overqualified is something most people fear and most companies try to avoid. Yet, when a company rejects you for being overqualified for a job, they will not tell you.

You just receive the standard template, “We have moved on with other candidates we feel are a better fit.” It can be a headache especially if you are overqualified and unemployed. Even the “overqualified” rejection letter never really states what is happening. So, what are the real reasons companies reject you for being overqualified?

They fear the following will happen.

1. Fear you cannot be managed

Today’s workforce is living longer and retiring later than ever before. Not all companies have figured out how to manage age diversity in the workplace.

So, imagine you come into an interview with a stellar resume of fascinating experience but the company knows your manager is younger. The natural fear is that you will be hard to manage because you are working with someone with fewer years of experience. An “overqualified” rejection letter of some sort would never state, “We fear you will be difficult to manage.”  So, what do you do?

Calming the fear: Prepare for your interview with stories of how you handled diverse situations and worked with people across many departments and ages. Hiring overqualified employees can be a risk to company culture, especially if you are confrontational with those of lesser years of experience.

2. Fear you will get bored quickly

We all want to have a job that presents new challenges and goals. The fear of you being overqualified for a job comes from the fact that you had already completed many challenges the company is facing, now. Therefore, you will be bored with the job quickly and will leave.

Calming the fear: Come into the interview with stories of how you remain motivated to face these challenges over and over again. Most importantly, explain how you enjoy finding new ways to complete goals and get better each time at it in new work environments. Enthusiasm is key. Being overqualified for a job should never lead you to act like “you are just over the whole thing.”

3. Fear your salary requirements will be too high

This is rough if you are overqualified and unemployed. It makes sense that a company would fear a skilled employee of 15 years experience. They fear you cost too much or will one day ask for too much. An “overqualified” rejection letter will never say, “overqualified”, but it may actually say, “Your requirements are too high.”

It is natural to think one should ask for less money in order to get hired. But you do not always need to undercut yourself. We have seen overqualified and unemployed skilled workers take massive pay cuts in salary just to get hired. However, when they took a salary cut it made sense to them. If you are overqualified and unemployed there is a way to calm the company’s fear.

Calming the fear: If you must reveal your salary history, make it clear you are flexible and that your previous salaries play no part in your decision to negotiate an offer or accept the job.

Above all, remember that the label of being “overqualified” is just that...a label. Labels limit what companies can learn about an employee. Your purpose for making the “overqualified” label seem irrelevant is to get the interview. This way, they get to learn more about you!

  • How to Find Work in an Industry With No Experience

    How to Find Work in an Industry With No Experience

    You have been searching for a job for a while when suddenly one day you see a job that you have always wanted to try. It has been your dream job for years, but for some reason you never pursued it. The problem is, you have no work experience to get this new dream job. You can choose to give up or, you can follow the recommendations shared below.

    Find My Profession by The FMP Contributor
    Read On
  • How to Professionally Skip a Job Interview

    How to Professionally Skip a Job Interview

    Job interviews, whether you want the job or not, are worth going to for the practice. You have nothing to lose and only experience to gain. You may practice your interviews with your friends and career coaches, but it is more helpful to go to a real interview. So, what if you have to skip an interview? Here are ways to skip it professionally.

    Find My Profession by The FMP Contributor
    Read On
  • Why Should We Hire You? - Interview Question

    Why Should We Hire You? - Interview Question

    It’s not every day that you will get called for an interview. When you do get a call, it’s important that you know how to answer some basic questions. One very common interview question that you should prepare for is “Why should we hire you?” This question is very straightforward and direct, so it’s important to dish it back in the same manner.

    Find My Profession by The FMP Contributor
    Read On
See All Articles