Job Interview Question & Answer: Do You Have Too Much Experience for This Job?
Reasons for the Question
Sometimes, exceeding the qualifications for a position can hurt a job seeker’s hiring chances rather than help them. Workers with more experience than necessary may face specific interview questions about why they’re applying for positions with lower requirements. Some employers may pose their concerns as questions, like, “Do you think you are overqualified for this job?”
How to Reply
Hiring staff rarely find their ideal applicant, so a question about over-qualification doesn’t mean you’re out of the running. After all, they’re interested enough to interview you. Most candidates have faults or training that don’t perfectly match the job description, so the important thing is to address the question and soothe employers’ worries.
- Get to the root: Begin by thanking hiring managers for sharing their concerns, then consider asking about the source of their unease. Some employers expect overqualified hires to quit when a better job turns up. Others think a more mature candidate will struggle to follow a less experienced supervisor. If you don’t know the cause of the issue, you can’t address it.
- Speak to their worries: The next step is to calm their fears. Discuss your history of sticking with companies for the long haul to ease worries that you’ll leave. More seasoned candidates can talk about their desire to pass on knowledge to dispel concerns around personnel conflicts.
- Emphasize your enthusiasm: You can never be overqualified in your eagerness, desire to mentor, or thirst for self-improvement. Hiring panels need to know you want this job and why you’re excited to join their team. Experienced hopefuls may want to attach themselves to a company on the move, explore a new field, achieve work-life balance, or focus their careers on duties they enjoy.
- Highlight the benefits of experience: Answering interview questions like, “Aren’t you overqualified for this position?” means explaining how your wealth of qualifications can help an employer. Discuss what you can do for the company to focus attention back on your skills and abilities.
How Not to Answer “Do You Have Too Much Experience for This Job?”
Rather than misrepresenting their skills, job seekers should face over-qualification with honesty and sensitivity. Be sure to read interviewers’ body language and proceed carefully as you try to pinpoint the source of their worries. Avoid aggressive, defensive, or arrogant replies. Address their concerns as natural and valid but unnecessary because of your personal goals.
Sample Responses to “Are You Overqualified for This Job?”
Remaining calm and treating a job interview question about being overqualified like any other is easier when you practice a response. Poise under pressure plays a crucial role in convincing recruiters to hire new workers, regardless of qualifications. Reading through these examples can help you create a confident reply of your own.
Sample Answer 1 – Computer Support Specialist
“Like you pointed out, I worked at a higher level in my last position. While I loved the challenges of serving a large corporation, this role offers exactly what I want for this stage of my career.”
“As my family grows, what I want most from a job is balance. I’m eager to continue challenging myself to solve all kinds of tech issues, but I’m searching for a position that’s less intense in its demands. Time with my kids is important to me, so this hourly role strikes me as the ideal place to put my expertise to use while also hitting the right work-life balance.”
Sample Answer 2 – Car Dealership Salesperson
“Downsizing across the industry has left gaps in our knowledge base. Skills don’t always transfer naturally anymore between employees. Since you have a younger team, I believe I could provide mentoring as well as a stable, reliable worker my supervisor can depend on for daily tasks and big-picture insights.”
Sample Answer 3 – Tutor
“With my background as an adjunct professor, I understand your concerns about tutoring not providing enough challenges. However, I’m thrilled to take on a one-on-one setting and grow as an educator. Adjusting to one student’s learning style instead of trying to hit a little of everything will make teaching the same info to different students unique each time.”
“Along with one-on-one instruction, what drew me to this position was the stability you offer. Regular employment rather than a semester-to-semester adjunct contract lets me know where I stand. I’m looking to start building into an organization and a career, so I’m excited about the idea of contributing to your team long-term.”