Freshers - Overqualified for this job

Don’t you think you are overqualified for this job?

Here the interviewer may be worried that you will leave the job once you find something that matches your qualification level.

This may sound like an objection, but it doesn’t mean that the employer has no interest in you. The employer is trying to gauge how you see the situation- whether you can see advantages to both sides. You obviously have to also show how you stand benefited- otherwise it will appear that this job is only a stop-gap arrangement for you till you find something better.

“ Overqualified could very well be a relative term- it depends on many things- how tight the job market is, where the job seeker stands as well as what the job involves.”

The job market at the moment is very tight for the job-seeker. In addition to that this job can bring great benefits for both this company and me.”

“With my strong experience, I can start effecting positive achievements for the company much faster than someone with less experience. Further, you also get the benefit of all the training and experience I have acquired so far, without having to pay extra for it”

“I don’t have to tell you that there’s nothing like hands-on experience when it comes to getting the best out of work- working well with people, training and keeping them motivated to give their best. No business school can teach you the ability to think on your feet- it comes only with experience”

“As for me, I am at the moment without a job- and I am very keen to work. The current position is something I love to do and have been excellent at. I am sure that I will enjoy this work- that is the most important factor for me. Money and title are secondary”

“Further, I also know that this position can quickly lead to other opportunities right here, provided I do well. That way this could turn into a long association that benefits both the company and me. I am really looking at long-term commitment, whereby I can help the company and thus also help myself”

As stated earlier, the concern behind this question is how long you are going to last with this company. Your answer should therefore reflect the sincerity of your commitment to the company.

9. Tell us where you see yourself five years from now.

This is a multi-purpose question. The interviewer wants to see if you will stay with the current job or if you are viewing it as a stop-over. It is also possible that they want to see how ambitious you are.

Avoid being too specific, like mentioning the titles or promotions you expect to gain in the said period. This can sound presumptuous. You can’t afford to sound too vague either, as this way you come across as aimless.

Your answer should indicate that you are interested in making a long-term commitment to the company. The position in question is exactly what you want to do and what you do very well. As for your own growth, you believe that excelling at the work is the most important thing- that will automatically take care of opportunities for growth.

E.g. “I am looking to make a long term commitment at this stage in my career. From what I learned of this position, this is exactly the kind of work I am interested in and I am well qualified for. As for my own growth, I am positive that opportunities will open up when I do my job very well. It has always been that way in my career so far, and I am sure this company will have similar opportunities for me…”

10. What would be your ideal company, job and location?

Some interviewers ask this question when they think the candidate is overqualified for the job. Instead of posing their objection directly, they try to gauge the candidate’s intentions in applying for the job using this indirect question.

There can be only one safe answer- and that is to describe the current company as your ideal place and job. However you need to make your answer sound convincing, with specific reasons why the current opportunity is attractive to you. Your reasons have to be as genuine as possible- otherwise you are bound to sound insincere.

This is more so if you are coming from a company that is considered an industry leader, or from a highly admired or glamorous position. The interviewer’s company may not be in such an enviable position and they might be wondering why you want to apply for this job. In other words, the interviewer might be feeling somewhat defensive about their position and how you view them. This can happen without you doing anything to provoke such a response.

Therefore your answer should reassure your interviewer that you are interested in the best qualities they represent. And as stated earlier, be prepared with credible reasons. In other words, you should sound enthusiastic about why you want to work for this company. Without this, your interviewer will doubt whether a person like you, coming from a top notch company in an international city, would be happy working for them, a lesser known company in a small city.

11. Why do you want to work for this company?

This is a question where homework makes all the difference. The interviewer is directly testing how much of homework you have done for the interview.

The more depth your study about the company had, the better you are equipped to tackle the question. Annual reports, the company’s newsletters and in-house magazines, the contacts you have at the company or among its suppliers, the company’s advertisements and media reports about the company- all of these make excellent sources of study.

12. What options do you have in your career now?

The interviewer is trying to gauge how badly you want this job. You should show sufficient interest in the job, but avoid sounding desperate. Rather, you should position yourself as a desirable candidate.

This is a little easier if you are still working. You can describe the opportunities you may have with your present company. You are appreciated with this company, but you are looking for better options (pay, responsibilities or challenges). You can also add that you are looking at offers from one or two other companies.

If you are without a job at the moment, you can still mention other options you are exploring at the moment. However do not go into details, so as to avoid sounding manipulative.

13. I find that your last job was terminated quite some time back. Why is it that you have been without a job all this time?

This is an extremely tough question if you have been out of work for long. Needless to say, the situation has all kinds of negative connotations. Your strategy should be to emphasize on reasons that delayed your job search out of your own choice.

“After my last job ended, I decided to wait and take up only an opportunity with good long term prospects. I decided to turn the layoff period into something positive by spending time to analyze what I do best and where I wanted to go from here. I didn’t want to jump at every opportunity that came my way, but wanted to focus on things that really suited my background and future prospects.”

“Another factor is the current recession in the industry…”

“These two factors- the recession in the industry and my being selective- have caused the delay. However I am positive that, when I can identify a suitable opportunity, the evaluation and analysis is going to benefit both the company and me.”

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