The Nuts and Bolts of Overqualification in a Job Search

Being overqualified sounds like a nice problem to have for some aspiring leaders.

Gabriel Lucas

Mar 1, 2022

The Nuts and Bolts of Overqualification in a Job Search

But in fact, being overqualified can be a huge problem.  Overqualified candidates almost always face doubts from employers: Why would that person want to take our job?  For sure, being overqualified should never be accompanied by overconfidence.  An extra dose of humility is even more important here.  But so, too, is a clear and convincing personal narrative about how this prospective opportunity fits into a career arc.  Finally, when participating in interviews or performance tasks, tone down your delivery and presentation. Focus more on tactics than big ideas than perhaps a less qualified person would need to do.  You need to show, and not just tell, your audience that you're willing to get back into the weeds.  If you use too much jargon, offer too many frameworks, or articulate too much of a grand vision, your audience might visualize you as a better fit for a consulting engagement than for an employment relationship, which is usually the kiss of death in a job interview.

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