overly unqualified

Right after I wrote the last blog post, I was surprised with an invitation to interview this week. Since this was the first interview I’ve had in the three months that I’ve been unemployed, I was thrilled. And I can honestly say that I felt I was the best prepared I’ve been for any interview that I can remember. I had found a long list of potential interview questions on the Internet, and I prepared answers for almost all of them.

But at the interview, the lady I talked to spent most of the thirty minutes explaining what they do there. She even brought a sample of their paperwork. She was very nice, but the first thing she said (while looking at my résumé) was that I’m overqualified. She said lightly, “Oh, my, you’ll be so bored doing what we do here.” Then she talked about spreadsheets and completing monthly reports. I tried to explain that that was *exactly* the kind of thing I did when I was an admin assistant before, and being an organized person, it’s actually something I like to do. In any case, she said it’d be at least a week before they make a decision.

That always sounds to me as if they’re trying to put me off. They know that at that moment I’m hopeful, but they see that I haven’t got a chance, so they vague out about their plans, I guess to try to take the sting out of it. As time passes, my dream of being hired slowly dies, so that by the time the rejection letter comes weeks later, I’m pretty much expecting it.

Anyway, my preparation did pay off: I *knew* that my interviewer would ask something like, “Why do you want this job when you’ve got an engineering degree?” So I had prepared an answer about “choosing engineering because I knew that its reasoning and problem-solving skills would be an asset in any career.” (Hopefully they bought it!) However, the minute she said I was overqualified, I wanted to scream. Every one of the engineering places I’ve applied to has apparently found me way UNDERqualified, because they won’t even interview me. So I set my sights a bit lower and what do I get? “You’re overqualified.” GAH!

I understand why employers are cautious. In these tough times, they know that some people are looking for any job they can to pay bills, but the employers don’t want to waste their resources training someone who will leave when a better opportunity comes along. I just don’t know how to make them understand that that is not my intention. My experience in the engineering field – the lack of training and job security – has left a bad taste in my mouth. I must be getting lazy, or old, or something, because I can’t stand the thought of having to start over and over, moving around to find opportunities in my that field. (I already feel that my whole life has been starting over!) I can’t say that admin work is my dream job, but if I can find something steady, I plan to stick with it.

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