I’ve hired more than 60 people in my life, and many times, I’ve had people look at the resumes of people I was considering and tell me that they were overqualified.

What does that mean: overqualified?

It seems to me there’s only one person who can decide if they’re overqualified for a position, and that’s the person applying for it.

If I look at a candidate and decide they’re overqualified, I’m making a huge number of assumptions: they’ll lose interested, they’ll quit soon, they’ll become bitter, they’ll immediately seek more money, I’ll be trying to fill the position again in a year, etc.

To decide someone is overqualified is to reduce your chances of finding a true gem. If I find someone who has all of the qualifications I’m seeking and they have good chemistry with the team, why would I not hire them?

But then, when the overqualified label is applied, those candidates don’t usually make it any further than the initial resume review. Someone looks at their resume, is impressed with the accomplishments, and then sets it aside because a person that good would never want to be here… in this position.

I say let’s bring that person in right away, have the conversation, and let them decide if they’re overqualified. Interviewing is a two-way street, and I always remind candidates of that. I want to be sure they’re interviewing me and my company as much as I’m interviewing them.

If we make it to the end, I want them on my team, and they want to join my team, I can’t imagine why I wouldn’t hire them. To say they’ll be gone in a year just tells me I’m going to get one good year out of someone.

Nothing is certain. A year is a long time. They may be gone. I may be gone. The company may be gone. Who can tell? If someone joins your team, enjoys their job and likes working with the team, I don’t think “overqualified” is really going to be a factor.

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