How to address being overqualified in an interview

A business woman listens to the other woman in her office
The main concern about being “overqualified” for a job is that you’ll leave your potential employer as soon as something better comes your way. Anything you can say to demonstrate your sincere commitment to the employer and interest in staying long term will help you overcome this doubt.

Communicate the benefits
Don’t view being overqualified as a sign of a possible setback during the interview or as the end of your candidacy for the position. Instead, view it as an invitation to enlighten the interviewer of a new way to think about this situation, focusing on the advantages and opportunities as opposed to the drawbacks.

You can explain to the interviewer that there could be very positive benefits for both of you in this potential match. For example, you can let him know that based on your strong experience and education, you can start to contribute right away by building profit, solving long-term problems or assisting in other departments — perhaps faster than someone who would need more time getting up to speed.

You can say the following: “I am confident that given this opportunity, I will be able to contribute to the needs and goals of the organization almost immediately since I have had the opportunity to grow and develop a set of skills and proficiencies necessary to the success of any organization.”

Prove your value
There is also the value of all the training and years of experience that other companies have provided you with. Your potential employer would be getting all of this value without having to pay for it. With a candidate who has yet to acquire that level of experience, she would have to gain it on the employer’s budget and time.
You can say the following: “Currently, I’m looking to make a long-term commitment. At this point in my career, I’m no longer interested simply in advancement and in job titles, but mainly in a permanent role where if I perform genuinely well and with excellence, other opportunities within the company will open up. In time, I’ll find many ways to help this company and in the process, achieve my goal of a long-term commitment.”

Stress your staying power
When it comes to knowing how to work well with others and getting the most out of them, there’s no substitute for what you learn over many years of direct experience. So, most importantly, stress to the employer that you are looking to make a long-term commitment in your career. This will alleviate and hopefully eliminate any doubt or hesitation of viewing you as an overqualified candidate.

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