Job Interviews: Elephants in the Room? Ride them!

I’m constantly overlooked by interviewers for being overqualified. What do I do to convince them I’m right for this job?

Interview Coaching Client

Unless your career history is perfectly aligned with the job description, there may be some doubts you need to address during interviews. Whether you are worried that your experience is in a different industry, you’re “too old,” or you’re over / under-qualified, you can use the same technique to successfully navigate this particular challenge.

You can’t get run over when you’re driving.

The concept is simple:

  1. Look at the job description and ask yourself, “What doubts would I have if I were interviewing me for this role?”
  2. Write down what unique value you can provide from whatever “deficiencies” you uncover.
  3. Incorporate this value into your elevator pitch (the answer to “tell me about yourself”).

In this way, you’re driving rather than standing in the road waiting to get run over.

What this looks like in practice:

Mike noticed that the job description asked for five years of work, but he has 20. Even so, he’s very excited about this job because he wants to get back into sales rather than managing people. He knows the amount of his experience may raise a red flag with employers, so he gets out in front of it:

Thank you for inviting me. I’m excited to be interviewing for this role with your company because I believe your products are transforming how people do business, and I want to be a part of that revolution. My experience in managing cross-functional teams and my career growth through sales leadership roles has afforded me unique insights into customer pain points and how to move innovations through matrixed organizations by gaining buy-in from key personnel at all levels. You might be wondering why I’ve decided to move back in to a sales role. Well, that’s where I believe I can provide the most value to your customers. Additionally, as a manager, I missed the rush of closing deals and solving complex problems for customers.

I see myself as a forward-thinking, customer-centric sales leader who thrives in both self-directed and team-oriented roles. If you recall from my resume, when I worked as a Sales Representative for Compaq, I led my team in quarter-over-quarter sales generation and also streamlined our processes to provide more consistent customer experiences. If you hire me, you can expect me to apply the same drive, tenacity, and persistence to this role.

The elephant has left the room.

Anyone who says it’s hard to move an elephant has been going about it wrong. Pushing, pulling, and waiting around don’t work well, but driving does! Apply this same concept to interviewing by preempting probable interviewer concerns by addressing them in your elevator pitch. You’ll set your mind at ease and open further dialogue to address concerns and showcase your strengths.

I’m Kyla Duffy, an honest, bold, and invested coach specializing in interviews, personal branding, resumes, and life changes. I possess a master’s degree in HR and years of experience helping 3,000+ job-seekers achieve their goals. I have first-hand experience navigating career changes, and I’m in constant pursuit of the latest hiring trends to provide you with the relevant advice. Need help? Let’s connect!


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