What employers mean when they say “You’re overqualified”?


After meeting all the requirements for a job vacancy and having experience of many years within the same roles, few times when applying for a new job, a situation occurs when the employer says ‘sorry but you are overqualified’. But isn’t that a good thing? Let’s look into what employers really mean and believe when they say you are overqualified and how to deal with it.

Initial concern from the employer’s side is that they believe you will get bored and quit soon after employment, which is a practical concern. In that case, you need to itemize the required qualifications and how your experience would help you flourish in the role without any time consuming and costly training. Consider expressing your true enthusiasm for the role and if it comes to it, ask them if they would prefer an average performer for 3 years or an absolute star for one.

Employers think that you would be stuck in your way and hard to train. Here you could express your flexibility and thrill of keeping up with a rapidly moving and motivating company.


Another common perspective is that they believe you will undermine the hiring manager’s authority and be a know it all guy. In this case be candid and emphasize how the job closely matches your present professional goal; you have no interest in climbing the corporate ladder, but rather want to apply your skills and experience doing what you do best and enjoy most.

You can highlight your skills and experience mentoring staff if they feel your ‘over-qualification’ will make other employed feel inferior.

All in all, you should emphasize how much you will bring to the table and how many more skills the hiring company will get from you compared to a less-qualified candidate, all in the same amount of money.


Written by DFGR Research Team

DFGR is a specialist Recruitment & Executive Search firm that solely focuses in the Digital Forensics & Cyber Security, IT Risk, Intelligence Insights & Analytics and Corporate Investigations space.

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