What Employers Really Mean When They Say You’re Overqualified (And What You Can Do About It)

Okay, you have been labeled as overqualified for a job, right? You must be discouraged and resigned. We understand your position. You may ask a question: what does overqualified mean? It means that the reason for the rejection is somewhere else

It could be your attitude, it could be the problem with the HR manager to imagine you in a certain role, or there are some other reasons for rejection. Being overqualified for a job is just an excuse for an HR manager to refuse your application. 

Let’s see what it really means and what you can do about it. 

What Does It Mean to be Overqualified for a Job?

There are several reasons for the situation when a recruiter tells you that you are overqualified for a job. These are the main reasons. 

what does overqualified mean

Are you really overqualified for a job?

You will leave the job fast

If your education level or experience level is better than expected, a recruiter might think that you may leave as soon as you find a better position with the other company. This is why they do not trust you completely. 

HR managers are trained to hire people based on their experience, and if they notice that you are more experienced than you should be, they might refuse you with an excuse that you are overqualified. They are afraid that you will leave the company fast. 

You will be bored at your job 

This situation is similar to the previous one. However, it might be the most relevant reason for not hiring you for a certain position. You can claim that you know a lot of stuff that is relevant for the position, and you may be bored at your job very soon. 

You cannot claim that you do not know something if you know it, and sooner or later, the company’s staff will realize that you do not have enough motivation to learn new things because you already know them. 

You are too expensive 

Many companies and organizations have compensation policies that usually link employees’ salaries to qualifications. In this manner, they remain competitive on the job market and they remain to be good companies where employees get certain types of wages. 

The compensations are closely related to the experience and education levels, and the company might not want to endanger its reputation on the market. They want to give the salary for the exact position and to the exact employee that has a certain level of expertise. That is why they might not hire persons who are more qualified for a certain job. 

You might be difficult to manage 

Remember that bosses are very sensitive and they do not want to have a know-it-all kind of personality around them. You may be an expert in your area of work, and you can be difficult to manage if you already know all the secrets of a certain job. You can endanger the position of a boss by this kind of attitude, and nobody wants an employee who has a lot of experience and knowledge about one subject. 

For all these reasons, an HR manager might tell you that you are overqualified and that you may need to search for a job that is more tuned to your actual knowledge and experience. 

A good overqualified job interview answer might be very simple. You should just tell a recruiter that you will do the job according to the upper management instructions, and this might be the best answer to this overqualified kind of statement. 

Both you and an HR manager should be on the same page when it comes to a job interview, and you should be open to talking about the motivation that you have when it comes to the job you want to get. Your motivation and sincere excitement might get you the job you want even if you are overqualified for a job that you apply for. 

Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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