Overqualified? How can I figure this out?
February 28, 2011 3:31 PM   Subscribe

I work for a services solution company. Recently, I've been interviewing heavily within that company at other units/accounts that are not my own. The other day, I had an excellent interview with a District Manager and she made many comments about me being exactly what they were looking for. Since then, I received an email from her saying that she had not selected me for that position, however, there is another position within her district she would like me to apply for.

The initial position I applied for is a different and separate category from the job I currently hold. However, I do handle many of the tasks in my current day-to-day that would be crucial and applicable to this new position. And, it is a step up both in pay grade and in title. While I wasn't entirely "shocked" to learn that I hadn't been selected (although I really had a very good feeling about it and I am most definitely qualified), the amazing part was that the DM then in turn asked me to interview for another position within their district that is above and beyond the one I applied for. And to put it in perspective, is my boss's position except 1 pay grade higher. This would be a MAJOR step up. While I do not feel that I am not qualified for this position, it would be at the top end of my work comfort zone. I have no doubts I could effectively do the job. But what am I missing here? Do I appear to be that overqualified to this person that they are shoving me to the head of the class? Or is this just a consolation on their part, knowing that I will never make the cut for this higher position? I have yet to respond either way, but when I do, I would like to pose the question of being overqualified to them. Any suggestions on the best way of couching this and to not seem self doubting?
posted by ps_im_awesome to Work & Money (5 answers total)
Nobody here is going to know why you're being encouraged to interview for another position, though I have trouble imagining they'd willingly waste everyone's time, including their own, by having you interview for a position they know you won't get.

Do you want the job they're pushing you toward? If so, why question it? Just interview for it. If you don't get that position, then you still have your current one. If you do get it, then congratulations! You've gotten better than what you hoped for. I can't see how saying "Hey, thanks, but am I REALLY qualified for this or are you just being nice?" can possibly help you.
posted by katillathehun at 3:38 PM on February 28, 2011

Any suggestions on the best way of couching this and to not seem self doubting?

No. Do not do this. If you are going to accept the offer to interview for this "boss-level" position, then fill in all the forms, send your resume, and walk in with the attitude that you are damn well the best person for this job. Full stop. Don't overthink it.

Or maybe I'm misunderstanding what your doubt is? It seems like you're concerned this person felt guilty so she referred you somewhere else but is actually setting you up to fail (perhaps intentionally)...? That seems to be overparsing the situation by a few steps. If someone in your company offers you the opportunity to try out for a promotion, try out for the promotion.
posted by rkent at 3:43 PM on February 28, 2011

Your reluctance reflect your lack of research on this new position. Once you've done your due diligence, you will feel more comfortable with a decision to apply for it or not. So, do call up other people, including your previous interviewers to gather information. Couch it in term of "research"; ask them to tips, advantages etc. you can bring to your interview. Do all you can.

Advance to a higher position is not always desirable. When they pay you more, they intend to get that much more productivity from you. Check your plan and your ambition as you decide.
posted by curiousZ at 4:26 PM on February 28, 2011

Meh. People hire people not skillsets. She liked you, she thinks she can work well with you, and she can see you fulfilling that role. Take it as an endorsement of your interview skills and apply without overthinking it.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:08 PM on February 28, 2011

No one will encourage you to apply for a position to "console" you. Time is money, and it wont be thrown away needlessly by conducting charade interviews. Start researching that position.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:24 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

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