Here’s a collection of some of the more common objections raised in job interviews.
“I’m concerned you have too much experience for this position.”
This comment is the most loaded of objections because it can mean one of several things — and it is your job to discover which one it is. The good news is that if you are in the interview, there is something about your qualifications that make you an attractive candidate. Most often, this comment is concealing a concern about your age, attitude, or motivation. Obviously, the interviewer cannot ask your age, but someone with a lot of experience is often older, and the employer may have some concerns about fit, especially if the rest of the department is younger. Older workers also sometimes put out a vibe that because of their vast experience they know it all — and are seen as having an attitude problem. Finally, if you have years in the same type of position, some interviewers will question your drive and motivation to move ahead (incorrectly assuming that everyone wants to do so). [Read more in this article: Fighting the Overqualified Label: 10 Tactics for a Successful Job-Search.]
“I’m not sure we can pay you the salary you are seeking.”
Related to the over-experience comment is the salary one. Employers are always concerned about salary — and hiring employees that best fit their budgets — so there may be interest in you, but the nagging question is whether they can afford you. In this case, it’s important to defuse the objection without giving away too much information so that you still have leverage if you do get the job offer. [Learn more in our Salary Negotiation Tutorial.]
“I’m just not sure you have the experience for this position.”
On the other side of the spectrum is a job-seeker who shows potential — and thus gets the interview — but with whom the employer has some lingering doubts. Perhaps it is not quite enough years of experience, or perhaps the experience is in a different field. The job-seeker’s goal is to show exactly how — regardless of the time spent or where it was spent — that you have the skills to get the job done. One great tool for this objection is a career portfolio, in which you not only can tell the story of how you are qualified — but show it as well through examples in your portfolio. [Read more tips in this article: Underqualified? Ten Tips to Inspire Employers to Take a Leap of Faith.]
“I’m not sure you would fit into the team.”
So many jobs require workers to participate in one or more teams that it seems inconceivable that a job-seeker would not have experience working in teams, but if for some reason you do not have much experience in teamwork, you must demonstrate that you understand the importance of teams in the workplace and how you can be a team player. Demonstrating your knowledge of the organizational culture will also be a plus in this situation.
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