When reviewing resumes for an opening on your team, one candidate really stood out from the crowd. This person is clearly more than qualified for the job, which made you simultaneously excited and confused.

It might seem a little unusual, but people commonly apply for roles beneath their skill level. They do this for a variety of reasons, so it’s important to dig deep to learn as much as possible about the candidate and their reasons for wanting the job. Here’s a few issues to consider that will help you make the right choice.


Something caused the person to apply for the job at your company, and that reason matters. It’s very possible they’ve tried their hand at more high-level positions, but never felt as satisfied as they did in the type of role you’re trying to fill.

Of course, there’s also a chance they’ve been out of work for a bit and are just chasing a paycheck. Since they’re more than equipped to handle the job at your company, they might view it as an easy way to earn money — for now.

Long-Term Goals

A candidate’s goals are always applicable to the interview process, but this topic becomes even more important when the person is overqualified. This is an easy way to gauge their true reasons for applying. If their long-term goals align with that of the position, feel confident they want it for the right reasons. However, if their future plans have nothing to do with the job, their heart isn’t in it.

Cultural Fit

They might have the most impressive resume you’ve ever seen, but as with any candidate, if their personality doesn’t mesh with your culture, hiring them is a bad idea. If the person really needs the job, they might be willing to initially overlook their lack of cultural fit, but that will wear off fast. In no time at all, you’ll be filling the position again, and in the interim, your existing team will have to pick up the slack.


The best person for the job has a true hunger for the work. The overqualified candidate might have more experience than a younger contender, but if they’re not passionate about the job, they’re not the right choice. Gauge their true interest in the work during the interview process by asking about side projects they’re currently working on and times they’ve felt most satisfied at work. Take note of the topics they seem most enthused about.

Impact on Current Employees

On the surface, an overqualified worker might seem like an asset to the entire team, but their presence could also be problematic. If their skill set or career plans are similar to existing staffers, this might make them feel like their future with the company is in jeopardy. Make sure this hire won’t backfire by causing you to lose other employees.

Need a little help finding the right new hire for your team? Leave the heavy lifting to PrideStaff Northern Kentucky. Contact us today to fill your temporary, temp-to-hire and direct hire positions with quality candidates every time!

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