When you’re overqualified but really, really want (or need) the job, you may find yourself bumping up against scepticism from employers. Conventional wisdom may suggest that you’re either not serious about the role or won’t last because you’ll soon be bored and chafing for bigger, better things.
The reality is, whether it’s because of downturns in the economy or shifts in personal values, the career aspirations of many have been recalibrated.
So while you are not alone, in the interview room being too much of a good thing can work against you. Here are a few ways you might tailor your message:
• Let them know this is a career move, not a “survival job” – focus on the new skills you will acquire in the role, and how important this is for your long-term goals.
• Money (and a title) isn’t everything – while you were a big fish in that other pond, maybe it also wreaked havoc on your family or your life and you are ready for a change. Make sure you don’t imply that you’re not ready to work hard. Of course you are. But now the opportunity for more balance in life is more important than the endless hours, tension, bigger salary and title.
• You love them for who they are – focus on the fact that you’ve targeted the company as much as the role, and you want to join their team. It is their employer brand as a great place to work that motivates you. Have your reasons ready. Maybe they are leaders in people management, maybe you share core values, maybe they are in an industry or field you aspire to.
Whatever you do, don’t despair. Many smart companies will leap at the chance to acquire discount talent. Show them your stuff, make new connections and accomplishments, and opportunities to resume your former career high will likely present themselves soon enough. The thing is, you may even find that you’re happier where you are.