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What can I do if I'm "overqualified"?

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

Question: “Somer, I keep getting feedback that I’m overqualified. Maybe I am, but I’m ok with it. Is there anything I can do?”


In my experience “overqualified” is a misunderstood term. Don’t take it at face value. People hire overqualified people all the time. Often clients specifically ask me to find candidates that are been-there-done-that multiple times over.

If you interviewed for a role and hear that you’re being passed over because you’re overqualified, take it to mean that the company thinks you’re not interested.

There is a lot of risk that comes with hiring. If a company thinks you’re settling, they’re playing out the future. This is a future where you join but keep looking for your dream job. That’s a situation they’d rather avoid.

Once you hear you’re overqualified it’s hard to come back from that. Instead focus on the next company you interview with and be proactive.

During the interview ask questions that show your commitment to the role and company. Every new opportunity comes with new experience. Let them know what you’re excited about learning here. If you’re interested in a role, let that shine though in whatever way is true to you.

See the discussion on LinkedIn.


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