Job Interview: Tips on How to Answer an Overqualified Question

Recruiters have various reasons to reject your candidacy if you are applying for a position that looks like a step backward in your career path. It’s a fairly common situation when a candidate’s higher education level, broader skills, deeper experience, as well as knowledge of where to put study abroad on a resume that looks perfect make the potential employer show them the door for just being too good.

The other side of the question holds your own reasons to want a particular role. Getting the place to sit well with less stress or having more work-life balance are definitely among them. For instance, if your area of responsibility is regional sales management, you’d like to have less working hours and minimize your duty trips. That’s why getting back to a sales position will be quite a reasonable decision.

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Let’s find out how to persuade an interviewer that you are fully qualified for a vacancy and which arguments can sound convincing to remove one of the toughest obstacles to getting hired.

What Asking about Being Overqualified Means

It’s important for a hiring manager to distinguish between the candidates interested in the role and those who agree to be employed by all means no matter where. The latter applicants will leave as soon as they find a role that fits the best the expertise and qualification they have.

Asking if a candidate feels to be overqualified for the job means the interviewer really wants to make sure you will stay in the company without hopping to a job that better suits your capabilities. This could be also a great opportunity to confirm your qualifications and motivation to hold the job down.

3 Working Tips on How to Reply

While choosing the right tone, you should avoid phrases that make you sound lazy. If your response displays you’re a clock-watcher that looks for a position to get money for nothing, you’ll lose this game. The interviewer favors those who seem to be engaged and motivated.

Desperation is also against you, making you sound like you’ve searched too long and are ready to take any position now. This is the last thing to get conveyed in an interview, not to make anybody nervous that you continue job hunting right after landing a job. The best thing to show is that you are engaged long-term employee.


#1. Stay transparent about your circumstances.

An interviewer is unable to read your thoughts to become aware of your needs, so they will consider applying for a lower-level position as a problem. To overcome this problem you should be honest about your situation and to sincerely explain why you’re taking this step down the career ladder.

Tell the interviewer that this role is right what you want. If it offers the ability to do more engaging work you are passionate about, let it be known. Reassure that you are going to stick with the company for a long run. If you prove that your current qualifications are a good match for the role you’ll be considered fully qualified instead of overqualified candidate.

#2. Never try to oversimplify the resume.

Though your achievements are something to be proud of, playing down your qualifications in this situation seems to be a tempting idea. But don’t do this, one of the common mistakes that may cost you the position is oversimplifying the credentials you have.

Though a potential pay cut from the higher-level job is predictable, your extra qualification may become a valuable asset for the company. The benefits you bring onboard can give you leverage to negotiate after a job offer has been received.

#3. Show the employer all advantages of hiring you.

One more fairly common mistake of a candidate is to speak about themselves all the way. But what the interviewer focuses at are the benefits you can offer to the employer. Framing your response by showing that your experience is advantageous will add you points.

All companies hire when they need a specialist to solve the existing problems. Feel free to inquire about the company’s weak spots for the role and then tell about your vision of problem handling.

An Example How to Put Everything Together

There’s no need to duck tough questions. The confident reply shows you honesty, emphasizes your flexibility, highlights your experience as an asset, promises quality of work and your loyalty. It may look as follows:

“Sure, it might appear on my resume that I am overqualified, but for me, a better term could be that I am fully qualified for this role. I am looking for a position where there’s no need to travel as much as I used to. It seems it also provides a better opportunity to achieve work-life balance that is so important for me. Moreover, I’m enthusiastic about optimizing lead acquisition and eager to solve the current issue by incorporating new system of customer reward at minimal cost with higher month revenew rate.”

Remember that the task of your interviewer is to plumb your depths. This tough question is just one way of learning whether you are a good fit. The credentials you have will come at hand to create the smartest answer that turns you into the ideal candidate.

About the Author

Gillian Grunewald

Gillian is a talented writer with a strong research approach in the career field. Has over 12 years of experience in resume, LinkedIn profile writing and editing. EducationMasterofFineArts, WritingEasternWashingtonUniversity.

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About the Author: Alex

Alex Jones is a writer and blogger who expresses ideas and thoughts through writings. He loves to get engaged with the readers who are seeking for informative content on various niches over the internet. He is a featured blogger at various high authority blogs and magazines in which He is sharing research-based content with the vast online community.

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