It's a likely scenario in this desperate job market- you got laid off, you need a paycheck, you go for a job that you are overqualified for. But that doesn't have to be a strike against you. Keep these seven simple things in mind, and you might help your hopeful future boss to realize that you'd be an asset, not a detriment.
If you're being told you're overqualified during your job search:
1.) Admit that you're worried, too.
Tell the hiring manager that you are also concerned that it might not be a fit. Promise that if at any point during the hiring process you feel the job appears too low or not one where you will bring the full engagement needed to excel in the position, you will withdraw your candidacy. Your willingness to walk away tells them you are motivated if you stay in the game.
2.) Take salary off the table.
Make it clear that you're flexible about salary and that your previous earnings are not relevant to your current job search. Focus on the fact that job satisfaction is as important to you as salary/wage, and that you want to try something new.
3.) Put the issue out there.
Ask the interviewer if she sees any positives or negatives to your candidacy based on your higher qualifications. Get the issue on the table so it can be addressed.
4.) Use your accomplishments.
Tell the hiring manager that you're proud of your accomplishments and you have proven to yourself that you can perform at a more senior level. Now you're not interested in chasing titles and promotion. You want to make a contribution at a compelling company.
5.) Distance yourself from your higher qualifications.
Be empathetic to those parts of the hiring manager's jobs. Indicate that you have a clearer understanding of what a manager needs from their people.
6.) You want to learn.
If you've held more senior positions at a different kind of company or in a different industry, tell the hiring manager that the best way to really learn about a new industry is from the bottom up.
7.) Make a commitment.
Let the hiring manager know that, barring any unforseen circumstances, you are ready to make at least a two-year commitment to the company. This shows them that you aren't just job-hopping, but are serious about making this transition.