These days, most companies get a flood of resumes for every open position they advertise — many of them from overqualified applicants who are newly in need of work. How can interviewers separate the ones who’ll quickly leave from the ones who are worth hiring?
Overqualified applicants can give companies a chance to get top-notch talent on the cheap — or it could just mean people are going to quit as soon as the kind of job they’re used to is available.
Here are some topics to address in an interview to see if a candidate will pose any problems:
- “What would it take to keep you here?” — Retention is often a manager’s biggest concern when considering an overqualified applicant. But many times, that concern can be cleared up just by asking the candidate how the problem can be solved.
- “What makes a job exciting to you?” — Another top worry is that candidates used to higher positions will be bored at a job with less prestige. In the interview, managers should find out what keeps the applicant interested in a job, and see if the answer fits the position.
- “Tell me about a time you and your boss disagreed on how to get something done?” — Sometimes, the more experience people have, the more they’re used to doing things their own way — which can cause problems once the person lands in a new environment. That’s why interviews should see how a candidate reacts to disagreement and change.
- “How much of this type of work did do in your previous job(s)?” — Sometimes, an overqualified applicant is a former manager trying to step down to a production-level job. That can be a problem if the person hasn’t done any hands-on work for several years.
- “What are your long-term goals?” — The goal of most overqualified candidates is to get back to a job at a level similar to the one they left. Others are simply tired of management and want to stay at a lower level. It helps to find out the candidate’s expectations for advancement and consider whether the company can offer a compatible path.
Has your company hired any overqualified applicants lately? How did it work out? What did the hiring manager ask in the interview to make sure there would be no problems?
Share you experience in the comments section below.