The recruiter told me I am OVERQUALIFIED – Truth or something Else?

You found a job posting that really intrigued you, customized your resume and cover letter to match up the keywords and hit the submit button.  The telephone screen went well and the two interviews too – or so you thought until you were told by the hiring manager that you were OVERQUALIFIED.

Have you ever been blindsided with those words after spending hours and hours applying and interviewing for what you thought could be your perfect match?

Are you “Over Qualified” or is there another reason you weren’t hired?

Newsflash:  you may never know the real reason you weren’t hired.  Very often, recruiters and employers tell candidates that they found another candidate who was a better fit.  Or you might be told that you were not hired because you are overqualified.

What to do?  If you are still in the interview and have an opportunity to respond, here are my suggestions:

  1. Hit the pause button before responding
  2. Muster up all your strength to avoid a defensive response
  3. Seek out clarification

This scenario is a perfect occasion to showcase your emotional intelligence.

Self awareness – identify your emotions and thoughts

Managing your emotions – avoid being defensive!

Reading the other person – his/her communication style, body language and other clues to demonstrate the degree of receptiveness to your questions

Influencing the other person – through authenticity, calmness and honesty, seek to clarify the reason for their conclusion and decision

 

This won’t work in every situation, but since you have already been denied the job, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain if you can change the perception and influence the decision.  Here are some responses:

 

“Thanks for being honest with me.  Obviously I am disappointed.  May I ask you to share with me what led you to that conclusion?”

“Oh; I am sorry that my experience could work against me.  What concerns about my background do you have?”

”I certainly appreciate your goal to hire the right person and I thank you for sharing your concerns with me.  What would make you feel better about hiring me into this position?”

The key is to exhibit composure, continued interest in the job and respect for the other individual.  Rather than being defensive and risking the discussion being negative or shut down, your best opportunity for a change to the perception is to remain positive and professional.  Even if this position doesn’t work out, you will create a favorable impression in the event that a position more suitable to your credentials is posted.

The job search is tough.  You need someone on your side – someone who knows the process and who has hired hundreds of professionals.  I hired top talent for Fortune 100 and 200 companies for 25+ years and now help job seekers navigate the murky and choppy waters of the complex job search.  I’d love to help you land your ideal job, get promoted or change careers.  Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com

 

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Show them you’re ready for a management role

Are you ready to take your career to the next level –  manager, director or even the C-suite?   If so, you must prove that you are the most compelling candidate and stand out as the clear choice.  How?  leadership materials

  • Speak to your past accomplishments
  • Translate your achievements to fit the needs of the organization 
  • Be prepared with your vision and strategy 

The leadership interview experience is far different from what you have had in the past.

 

And you thought your prior job interviews were grueling…………

 

Executive interview 2What’s critical for your success?

  • Deep knowledge of the industry
  • Business acumen
  • Analytical skills
  • Emotional Intelligence

Beyond these, though, a leader candidate is expected to demonstrate the following:

  • Executive Branding
    • What are your strengths?
    • What are your values?
    • What do you do better than anyone else?
    • What differentiates you?
  • The interview process is longer and more complex
    • Day long interview agendas are typical and include interviewing with individuals, panels and over lunch and/or dinner
  • Your leadership may be “tested” with problem solving exercises, simulations and case studies – especially if chosen as a finalist
  • Be proactive and share your 30-60-90 day plan even if not asked
    • Present what you would do the first 30 days, 60 days and 90 days
    • This requires a deep understanding of the prospective organization, its challenges and its competition
    • Your plan reveals your priorities and your forecast of success milestones
  • Research, research, research is essential to be able to answer the interview questions
  • The questions you ask will reveal your preparation for the interview as well as your knowledge, creativity and grasp of the position’s role in the organization

management office

Other expectations as you progress up the career ladder:

  • Impressive on-line foot print
    • What does your Google search look like?
    • Do you have leadership presence on LinkedIn?
    • Linked in connections – who do you know and who knows you?
  • Thought leadership
    • Have you shared knowledge and best practices with colleagues in your field or industry?
      • Linkedin group discussions
      • Linkedin updates
    • Are you discoverable in other online searches?
      • Publications
      • Presentations
      • Organizations and affiliations
    • Awards and honors recognizing your contributions
  • Emotional Intelligence is often the deciding factor when you face stiff competition and most of the candidates have similar work experience to yours. Employers interview and hire for individuals who are: 
    • Agile and adaptive to change
    • Stress tolerant
    • Resilient

Job seekers competing for leadership positions must know and be prepared for a long and arduous process, convey an executive presence and succeed at proving that they are worthy of being selected.

 

Interested in reading more about job search and career success, career branding, resumes and linked in profiles that  get you noticed, and acing interviews?  Check out more than 60 articles on http://www.CareerWisdomCoach.com or contact Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com

 

 

Hired or Not? Emotional Intelligence can make the difference

Emotional Intelligence often is the “final” factor

If you are like most job seekers, when you read “strong people skills” and “strong technical skills” in a job posting, you may tend to gloss over the first to focus on selling your technical talent and experience to the prospective employer.  In fact, we often refer to people skills as the “soft” skills and that sounds secondary to anything else we might possess. WRONG!

More and more companies hire for attitude because they have been burned when hiring purely for technical skills and knowledge.  What seemed like a dream candidate turned out, occasionally, to be a problem employee who was not successful.

Hired or Not?

Hired or Not?

Organizations often use behavioral interview questions which are founded on Emotional Intelligence, referred to as the “Other Kind of Smart” like Harvey Deutschendorf and Daniel Goleman. The latter wrote a book, Emotional Intelligence:  Why It Can Matter More than IQ which soared to the top of the New York Times bestseller list for a year.  Additionally, some companies use Continue reading

Showcasing Emotional Intelligence on your Resume

Show ’em your Career Smarts……emotional intelligence that is

Show 'em your Emotional Intelligence

Show ’em your Emotional Intelligence

Unless you are alone and counting beans in a cave, the ability to understand yourself and others, communicate and influence others are all critical skills and abilities of career success. With increased emphasis on collaboration and diversity, EI is becoming even more important  and companies are hiring with those attributes in mind.

What is EI?

EI is generally defined as a person’s ability to understand and manage his/her own thoughts and emotions as well having insight into others and responding in such a way to influence outcomes.  Generally speaking, the higher levels of EI you have, the more easily you can sell your ideas to others, resolve conflict, inspire and lead teams in complex and ever changing work environments.

How can I present my EI in my resume?

Start with the job posting or job description.  If it requires interpersonal communication skills, ability to work with a team or manage other people, you have a competitive edge if you can Continue reading

Can Emotional Intelligence get you hired? The Harvard Business Review thinks so.

Can Emotional Intelligence Boost my Job Search?My Career?

Though the Harvard Business Review has published many articles, over the past decade, on the role Emotional Intelligence pays in successful careers, I was delighted to see this publication on the magazine rack recently.  It is a special printing of a collection of articles from all the leading experts who claim Emotional Intelligence is critical to career success.

What may be surprising, and even disappointing, to job-seekers is that there are skills and characteristics that are even more important to potential employers than those directly job-

Harvard Business Review endorses Emotional Intelligence with a special edition publication June 2014

Harvard Business Review endorses Emotional Intelligence with a special edition publication June 2014

related. Your education and work experience, skills and abilities are crucial; however, other skills that speak to the candidate’s “emotional intelligence” could carry more weight than those acquired through specialized training or hands on experience.

  • Great sales people are those who develop a trusting relationship with customers
  • Brilliant IT pros can relate to the end user’s needs and provide solutions by listening and problem solving
  • Outstanding customer service employees know how to turn angry customers into loyal “fans”
  • Gifted miracle-workers (healthcare professionals) offer empathy and hope in an ever changing, fast paced and stressful high tech work environment
  • The best managers are those who care about, develop and unite their teams

Time after time, career success is found to be strongly influenced by personal qualities such as:

  • Self awareness
  • Impulse control
  • Perseverance
  • Influencing others

Emotional intelligence is an awareness of your actions and feelings and how they affect those around you. It also means that you value others, listen to their wants and needs, and are able to empathize or identify with them on many different levels, including influence, handling conflict and building teamwork.

EI & Your Job Search

As part of your job search strategy, you can demonstrate emotional intelligence in your resume, social media strategy and job interviews.

Self-Awareness– People with high emotional intelligence are usually very self-aware. They understand their emotions, and because of this, they don’t let their feelings rule them. They’re confident because they trust their intuition and don’t let their emotions get out of control. They know their strengths and weaknesses, and they work on these areas so they can perform better. Many people believe that this self-awareness is the most important part of emotional intelligence.

 

Self- Control – This is the ability to control emotions and impulses, not allowing themselves to become too angry or make rash statements. They think before they act. Characteristics of self-control are thoughtfulness, integrity and resilience.

 

Motivation– People who are self motivated are able to defer immediate results for long-term success. They set goals to keep themselves on track, are highly productive, and challenge themselves.

 

Empathy – Empathetic people are insightful to others’ wants, needs, and viewpoints. As a result, empathetic people are usually excellent at managing relationships, listening, and relating to others.

 

Relationships with Others– It’s usually easy to talk to and like people with good social skills, another sign of high emotional intelligence. They are excellent communicators, resolve conflicts and are masters at building and maintaining lasting relationships.

 

How Can You Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?

As a certified facilitator and trainer in Emotional Intelligence, I can offer you a personalized assessment to determine your level of EI.  The most effective way to improve EI is to follow the following  “3 step” plan:

  1. Assessment
  2. Action Plan
  3. Accountability Partner

I’ve written other posts on this topic.  Search under the categories to the right.

For more information on Emotional Intelligence boosting your job search strategy, contact me at Patricia @ CareerWisdomCoach.com or call 813/843-6934.

 

Got EQ? Get Promoted Faster!

How Emotional Intelligence gets you promoted

What separates mediocre professionals from really great and successful professionals?  Technical and hard skills may qualify you for a position and get you the interview but your soft skills and emotional intelligence will get you the job.  They make you stand out from the hundreds of others interviewed.  They are what makes you sought after as a go-to problem solver.   Career Builder.com’s surveys always point out that employers value emotional intelligence over IQ!

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

And  not just a little but significantly.  Over 60% of hiring managers responded to the survey that they would not hire or promote  Continue reading

Career Resilience: are women the stronger sex?

Don’t just take my word for it; successful author and speaker, Valorie Burton, sings the praises of EQi awareness and changing behaviors as means to enhancing resilience.

Resilience at work

Resilience at work

Emotional Intelligence Quotient, or EQi, has become the standard to predict work success.  Decades of research indicates that EQi trumps IQ and can be improved through  Continue reading

Showcase Emotional Intelligence on your Resume

There is good reason that EQi has created so much buzz – it’s effective! Most hiring managers are now giving more weight to emotional intelligence than five years ago and may even value it more than IQ.  In many cases, companies ask interview questions designed to assess candidate’s level of EQi so it’s crucial you understand the concepts of EQi and how it relates to your job search strategy.eqi 

What is EQi?  It is the ability to identify, assess and manage the thoughts and feelings of oneself and others.  If you read job postings, you will see key Continue reading

Work: Paycheck or Purpose?

You may have heard the story about the tourist in Italy who comes upon a construction crew.  The first man was pushing a wagon of large rocks.  The tourist asked “What are you doing?” to which the man replied, in broken English, “Can’t you see?  I’m hauling rocks. I carry to there” as he pointed to a pile near a stone wall.

bricklayer

The tourist asked another man, who was taking the rocks and placing them on one another, what he was doing.  The second laborer answered:  “I’m building a wall.”

Finally, the tourist approached a third man and asked what he was doing.  The man, with dark and weathered skin, grinned widely and threw up his hands to the sky, saying “Grazie – you for asking.  I building a cathedral. Molto Bella!”

Interesting responses?  All three men were doing relatively the same job but their perspectives were completely different.  The third clearly had a bigger perspective to his labor job while the  Continue reading

DREADED DIFFICULT DISCUSSIONS

 Do you need to have a difficult conversation with someone at work?  Your stomach churns every time you anticipate the response of the other individual, your head pounds at the thought of having to address sensitive issues with your boss and you are losing sleep thinking of the “what ifs”.

No one is immune to workplace tensions and it is inevitable that that you will have difficult discussions with clients, bosses and coworkers during your career.  Though it is doubtful that you will enthusiastically look forward to these conversations, there are some techniques which can make them more effective and lead to better results:

  • Don’t speak from a script – if you memorize what you will say, it will come across as less than sincere.  The other individual will be able to sense that you have scripted out your approach and s/he will not be open to engage in a resolution-based conversation. Jotting down a few speaking points is a good idea, though, to help you remain focused.
  • Ask questions vs. react – What might be going on with the other person?  What can you do to help?  By focusing on the other person’s needs, you will avoid inaccurate assumptions and non-productive emotions. While this may not be the most natural response to the situation, it will help you better understand the other perspective.
  • Provide context – to help the other person understand your message, give sufficient information so s/he knows why this issue is important to you. 
  • Repeat & Restate – Simply put, don’t assume your communications are communicating,  All communications involve the sender and receiver. Don’t assume the other party understands your points until you have had a chance to hear it from them.  Ask for them to repeat back what they have heard from you to ensure understanding of the message. This is especially critical when closing the conversation so both parties have the same understanding of the resolution and follow up, if necessary.

 

It’s understandable to dread a difficult discussion, especially if the stakes are high; however, through utilizing these techniques and trying to keep it from becoming personal, you will have a much better chance at having a desirable outcome.