Coaching clients often balk at interviewing for positions for which they may be overqualified. Their reluctance often stems from having been rejected in the past or that the job is of little interest, so they pass up the opportunity to get in front of an employer. Big mistake! You may ask, “Is it that common for employers to interview candidates they know are overqualified?” The answer is yes.
Let’s say a manager has approval to hire a Program Coordinator now and also has budget to hire a Program Manager in January of 2012. Low and behold, Jennifer, a Program Manager with 10 years experience who was laid off last March, applies for the Program Coordinator position knowing she is well overqualified. An astute hiring manager will jump at the chance to interview Jennifer as he foresees a future hiring need Jennifer can fill.
Let me share with you the stories of two clients who did just what Jennifer did and turned what they initially thought was a waste of time into new job opportunities. Names have been changed to preserve clients’ identities.
Parts Coordinator becomes a Sales Order Services Supervisor
Andrea, a Supply and Logistics Specialist who applied for a Parts Coordinator at a local food company
thought she was wasting her time. However, she had been out of work for several months and wanted the opportunity to get some interviewing experience. After two interviews, including one with the company president, she was offered a Supervisor position in their Sales and Service organization. As it turned out, the company was growing and determined they really needed someone with Andrea’s experience so they created a job for her. They knew she had the skills and expertise to take them to the next level.
What this company really needs is a Quality Manager
Amparo recently interviewed for a Quality Supervisor position even though she has over 20 years of quality management experience and wasn’t really interested in the job. After some incouragement from her coach to apply and a 3 hour interview with the COO, it became apparent the company needed someone who could set up a quality department from scratch, something Amparo had done at her last job! The rest is history.
The lesson learned in these two examples is that when you are in the market for a job keep an open mind and never turn down an opportunity to get in front of an employer. As crazy as it may seem, sometimes employers don’t really know what they need until the right person lands on their doorstep and presents them with options they hadn’t thought of before. This is exactly what Andrea and Amparo were able to accomplish in their interviews. So even if the job may not seem like the perfect fit, go for it. You have nothing to lose and besides you have just gained an opportunity to tell the employer why they should hire you! Follow us on Twitter