“As we are experiencing the ‘Great Resignation’, many people are re-evaluating what they want in a job and where they are doing it. Companies are trying to keep up with the trends as well. We are updating one of our past entries with some additional information related to current hiring trends.”

Why Hiring Managers Say You are Overqualified

Have you been working in the software or IT industry for many years?

You must have come across situations where you were rejected for a job because you were ‘overqualified’. Being rejected for being overqualified for a position is equivalent to being dumped by someone who says ‘it’s not you, it’s me’.

Such rejections simply translate to the notion that ‘you are so tremendously experienced that we cannot bear to have you on our time right now’. It can be really discouraging for candidates, especially in the IT and software sectors.

But, aren’t qualifications and experience always a plus point?

Yes and no.

Hiring managers consider a number of things when choosing someone for a position in their company. They start to suspect many things if they think you are overqualified. This leads them to ultimately reject you and hire someone else, who isn’t ‘overqualified’.

Hiring managers have their own fears when it comes to hiring overqualified candidates. Here are some reasons why they reject people that they think are too qualified and too experienced for the position.

1. Employer Is Concerned You Will Not Do Menial Tasks

When hiring someone overqualified, one of the biggest fears of hiring managers is that they think you will not do menial tasks. It is a general notion that you would only want to do important tasks if you are overqualified. This means that hiring managers will need to hire someone else to work under you for such tasks. This will increase their overall cost; thus, they try to find someone who will be willing to do everything.

2. You Are Too Old in Their Eyes

Sometimes, you may be rejected for a position because the hiring manager may think that you are too old for the position. Most of the IT and software companies these days are filled with young blood. You will see recent graduates working and young people working in major positions. The HR fears that you will not be able to adjust to the culture of the organization. However, since they cannot say that out bluntly, they tell you that you are overqualified for the position.

3. Management Is Concerned You Will Get Bored

The management may also fear that you will not stay long in the company and will be bored when you are not given tasks that you are used to doing or are qualified to do. This will increase their cost of hiring as they will need to hire someone again in place of you once you leave the organization.

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4. You Are Asking for a Lot of Money

Your expected pay will also be higher when you have years of experience on your resume. If the hiring managers are not able to offer you as much salary as you are expecting, they will often reject you by saying that you are overqualified. You may or may not be overqualified in such a situation. But since the company cannot afford to give you so much salary, they take the easy way out and say that you are overqualified.

5.      You Came Off As Arrogant

Some people working in an industry for a long time often come off as arrogant in interviews. They are not trying to sound arrogant, but the hiring managers may feel it when the candidate tries to show off their expertise and experience.

Hiring managers don’t like arrogant candidates. They will simply call you overqualified and choose someone else for the job.

6. Management Thinks You Are Taking This as a Stopgap

Another reason many candidates are rejected for a position is that the hiring committee thinks that they are only considering this position as a stopgap. They think that you are satisfying a temporary need or are just looking for a short term option before you move somewhere else. Hiring managers don’t hire such candidates as they fear that they will switch as soon as a better opportunity comes their way.

7. Your Skills and Background are a Threat to Existing Management

Hiring managers may say you are overqualified for a position because you are actually overqualified. The existing management may not have the years of experience, skills, and qualifications that you come with. They consider your experience and expertise a threat to their management. Thus, they try to find someone who is qualified but doesn’t pose a threat to their existing management.

“Overqualified” is sometimes a smokescreen. It can be difficult to interpret. Good recruiters can see through the smokescreen and find a candidate that can add value to their organization and its processes. As a candidate, you must also not try to come off as arrogant or all-knowing as it can turn the hiring team against you.

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