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Ideally, we would all love to apply for that job that matches up with our skills and career goals but in the real world that isn’t always do-able.

So what do you do when you go to interview for a job and the hiring manager asks are you overqualified for this job? Don’t get stuck in the headlights. We are going to give you all of the advice you need to answer this tricky interview question and turn a negative into a positive.

If you are overqualified for the position then you’re going to need to address the issue. There are a number of reasons why you would be considering a job for which you are theoretically overqualified – not least a challenging economic climate with high unemployment and a scarcity of jobs. Regardless of what your actual reasons are, you need to deliver a very convincing explanation to the interviewer if your application is to survive this question.

Naturally, if you don’t feel you’re overqualified then do query this with the interviewer. If they can tell you why they think you’re overqualified then it will help you to counter their objections. But perhaps you have simply misunderstood what the role entails and this vacancy isn’t appropriate for you?

Example:

I realise that my last position was a management role – and I certainly found that experience invaluable. However, I have concluded that what I really want to do is work directly with clients, finding solutions to their needs and subsequently delivering and implementing those solutions. I don’t see this as taking a step down the ladder; it’s purely a question of my seeking out a role to which I am best suited, which I will enjoy and to which I will consequently be able to give my all. I believe my previous management experience will undoubtedly be very useful in terms of my being better able to understand the bigger picture. However, I am definitely happier and more productive in a customer-facing role.

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How would you answer this question? Do you have any of your own tips? Leave your comments below

 

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