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 Continue reading

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