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Mailbag: Interview obstructions Part 1

Feb 18, 20033 mins
Data Center

* Readers share interview experiences

A recent newsletter on interview rejection struck a chord with many readers ( These IT pros tell me that getting shot down in the job search is an all-too common occurrence. Today we’ll highlight the voices of those who hear they’re not a fit because they’re either overqualified or underqualified.

Richard was recently interviewed twice by a company for a span of several hours. He writes, “Three weeks after the obligatory thank you letter and ancillary information was supplied, no response. Phone calls are not returned and E-mail is not returned. What I hear from inside sources is that I’m overqualified (read…we want someone for cheap).”

He’s now working as a consultant, but says he’s never seen a job market like this. “My story is repeated a thousand times a day in seminars and job fairs attended by my colleagues,” he adds.

Terry Clark often hears that he’s overqualified too. He’s held director-level jobs for the past 12 years but since those jobs are in short supply, he’s been interviewing for manager positions. “While few people would reject a Lexus for the same price as a Toyota, they don’t hesitate to reject someone who has more experience than they ask for.  Are they intimidated and fearful that you might take their job?”

On the other hand, many folks are hearing that they don’t have the exact set of skills an employer is seeking.

Carol says she’s multidisciplined and has functioned as a business analyst, technical trainer, technical writer and project manager. “What I hear now is that I am too diversified. No UML,” she says. “I am now writing proposals. Long live the pen!”

Wolf laments the lack of HR professionals who have time to figure out the correlation between experience and related skills. “Right now, I am hearing that though I have run my own marketing company for over 20 years, and for the last seven or so have specialized in IT consulting, and Web design for small companies, and just finished a MS in information technology with a network infrastructure security concentration, that I am underqualified to take a job as a direct rep for a company that packages network security services for my target market,” he writes. “I am continuing to work on this one, and may be able to make them see reason.”

Sherry believes it often comes down to another candidate being more qualified. “Just recently, and after several in-person interviews, a position was narrowed down to two candidates, myself and ‘the other’. ‘The other’ guy won out.”

Next, we’ll hear from IT pros who are encountering other objections in their job searches.