Often when a more experienced (read “older” “seasoned” “late career”) professional finds a job opening, they can do the job, they get an interview for the job, and then, the interview thinks or says “You’re Overqualified”.
Well, there is no such thing as overqualified. What they usually mean is one or more of the following. And here is how to handle their objections:
1) This is too low level for you – You have had other higher level jobs with more strategic responsibilities. Why would you want this job? Make sure your resume highlights appropriate level skills. Remove higher level skills.
2)Your salary requirements will be too high – We don’t want to pay you what you used to get paid. Of course not, You need to show that your set of skills is directly relevant to this job. You need to show that you know the marketplace and the salary for this position is not the same as your previous job because the responsibilities are different. Say that you are flexible and open to discuss a salary for this job.
3) You’ll be bored and leave in less than a year – Not if you address this during the interview. Come up with stories about your accomplishments that are directly related to the challenges posed by this job and how you solved those problems. Demonstrate how excited you are to tackle those kinds of problems for this company.
4) You’re older than your manager (in fact, probably old enough to be the parent of your manager.) How will you handle that? Describe a situation where you worked with stakeholders of all ages, diverse backgrounds, ethnicities etc. You got buy-in from them and this is how you handled it.
5) You don’t have the passion or energy to do this job. Well, we know that isn’t true. You wouldn’t be sitting in front of the interviewer going through the motions if you didn’t want this job. You know can do this job. You are passionate about the company, its mission, and the challenges faced by the person who will take this job. You need to show your passion and yes, use the words “energy” and “passion” in your conversation. You need to say “I want this job.”
Bottom line is this: there are lots of interviewers who are prejudiced against older, more seasoned, professionals because they want to go for the younger, cheaper version of you. Your job is to convince them that you are the right person for the job and you will stay in the job and get results.
(c) 2018 Amy Geffen All rights reserved
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