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If you are called overqualified while interviewing for a position, does this immediately mean that you won't be considered at all? Is this a bad thing?

likehelpful
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Yes, you’re discarded unless your argument for lack of proper comp is very persuasive - as in I love the job don’t worry about the $. Shops are comp obsessed so unless you get a chance to speak up they will assume they can’t afford you. They will try to find a band-aid to do that job for a fraction less

I wonder this myself because a few years ago, when I was fresh out of college, I’d constantly be told the same thing. I wore a casual pant suit and had a digital portfolio, so I assume it wasn’t how I presented myself. I had really connected with three interviewers in particular (all from different cities and agencies) and they told me it was because my portfolio and knowledge suggested I should be paid more, even though I was in the age range they were seeking. Ultimately, it means you know too much and they don’t want to have to pay you that extra $$ because the salary range is probably small. 🤷🏼‍♀️

likehelpful

I'm a senior graphic designer with some experience in art direction, and honestly I am willing to work for both! 🤣

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Yup. You’re counted out. “Overqualified” is code for “too old,” which is illegal, yet is very common. It belongs in the same category as “not a cultural fit,” which is code for more than a few things.

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Sorry OP. Don’t give up. Almost 20 years ago, I showed up to an interview wearing a suit and tie and a leather portfolio. The way it was always done. The interviewer was chewing bubble gum and was wearing jeans and a band tee-shirt. I got laughed at and made fun of. They also said I should lose the physical portfolio and bring a PowerBook. Ever since then, I dressed like myself and it worked out a lot better. Just be yourself :-)

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You would think experience and being learned is a great thing. Unfortunately, hiring managers may see you as a threat for two reasons: 1) If you have more experience or better experience (e.g., you work at Saatchi & Saatchi but are applying at a 20-40 person local shop) they feel you can be bored and won’t last long there. 2) You won’t be happy or comfortable taking instruction from someone less experienced than you. 3) They might worry you do know better than them and you’ll judge their decisions and direction.

likesmart

Eh, I don't know that it's always age. We interviewed a guy for a media planner position, but his skill level was definitely supervisor level. We didn't have any supe positions open, just the planner, so he was legitimately overqualified. It would've been unfair to hire him for the job when you compared his ability to the rest of the team.

likehelpful

I see where you are coming from, but what if there aren't any jobs out there? Are people supposed to struggle just because they are better than a job description? I just doesn't make sense.

like

Only if you’re over 40 and not a culture fit

funny

Code for too old!

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You’ll be considered. But they will also consider they can hire someone 10 years your junior and pay them up to 50-100k less. Depending on the role.

The problem here is that many places know/feel that you won’t be happy with the junior level comp for long & will be looking again within 3 months. And a lot of the time, they are right. Looking for a new gig is hard, as many have pointed out, but you will probably be happier if you aim up for something you truly are qualified for, or have to stretch for, vs getting whatever you can.

smarthelpful

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