Graduate Job Rejection Due to Being Overqualified?

Hi all,

Recently did a final round interview for a Graduate C/C++ embedded software engineer role.

I thought that the interview went well. What was surprising was that I got a call two days later stating that I was rejected. Reason being - overqualified. The HR stated that I am more suited for an associate role instead of a graduate.

I graduated from CS just a 1 month ago and completed 3 internships over 3 years. I am just a bit surprised that the basis that they would reject me is on being overqualified.

Is overqualification even a valid reason for being rejected or am a just being let off lightly? I have done 20 graduate final round interviews now and this is the first time I am hearing this reason for rejection.

Comments

  • +9 votes

    What is the point of this post - you just want to vent I assume? It isn't like you can go back and say that your Ozbargain friends disagree with you being rejected because you are overqualified. It is what it is, apply for other jobs and move on - job hunting is usually a crappy process.

    • +1 vote

      Not vent but get opinions as to why they think I might be overqualified? Just trying to learn and improve my odds of getting through interviews.

      • +4 votes

        If you want opinions as to why you may be overqualified then we need all the facts. How old are you, what work experience do you have, what other qualifications do you have?

      •  

        Dude, what happened to your big plans of going to silicon valley and making bank? Seriously being a dentist is far superior in terms of certainty and stability of income. IT is so cyclical and undervalued here. Companies just want the lowest cost. I'm sitting next to all the contractors. Mostly they are Indian/Chinese. FA Aussies so what does that tell you about the future of IT in Australia.

  • +8 votes

    Is overqualification even a valid reason for being rejected or am a just being let off lightly

    Who is to know? Their actual reason for rejecting you could be anything at all, from exactly what they told you, to the colour of your fingernail polish. Best thing is just to move on.

    • +2 votes

      I'm surprised they gave a reason at all. Companies are usually very nervous to trip any employment laws. That's why they ghost candidates or say that 'you came second… bad luck.' The last thing they want is to be dragged to a tribunal by a smelly candidate with no social skills.

  • +6 votes

    3 internships over 3 years

    Probably the reason why,

    Is overqualification even a valid reason for being rejected or am a just being let off lightly?

    End of the day I think they can reject you for any reason, though this probably isn't the best. My guess is they have a plan with the graduates in terms of learnings, support etc. They probably figure you'd either get bored as you already know it or this is just a foot in the door and you'll bail for a permanent role in a department once they see your skills. I think the grad team has their own agenda of having a successful program (may be important for advertising the company and sounding good etc) so they're looking for people who stay and grow etc.

    Might be worth taken on some of their feedback, maybe you're better then you think and its worth applying for higher roles.

  • +10 votes

    Being overqualified can definitely be a valid reason - the employer will worry that you will jump at a more appropriate position if you find one, since you are qualified for higher positions.

    Whether that was the case here or you're just being let off lightly no one can tell you, but they generally don't give this specific a reason as an excuse to let you off lightly.

    Just for more context - what other qualifications do you have?

    • +2 votes

      Probably this. They are worried you will find a better job and they have to fund the expense of replacing you.

  • +1 vote

    i'd call up the HR guys and ask for more feedback, and then also slip in that if there's any other roles to remember you.. getting a job isn't WHAT you know, it's WHO you know

  •  

    Name and Shame?

    Nothing but whinging in the post Op.

    Company not legally need to give you a reason to reject you but they did.

    In programming world , they may want a fresh grad because they are like a white paper which the company can ask them to program in their way not in your own way with your 3 previous experience, you would challenge them when they ask you to program in their way.

    Or you are too arrogant in your interview that you shown you know to much in the programming world

    • +1 vote

      Hahaha I don't think OP is whining so much as wanting to know if they might actually be overqualified, or if there's some other aspect of their resume / interview skills they need to work on.

  • +3 votes

    3 internships over 3 years

    I would be wondering why none of the previous three companies you did internships at didn't offer you a role.

  • +4 votes

    Perhaps they are confused with your qualifications Struggling to Get Graduate Dentistry Work

    • +1 vote

      That makes sense.. I think they were telling the tooth.

    • +3 votes

      https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/431651#comment-6841702

      At this stage, I would like to work 1-2 days a week as a Dentist to maintain my clinical skills and registration. Not sure why I would need to wind my IT grad role down.

      Wtf

      I think that would've confused any employer, and they'd want someone chasing more hours and more career focused on that profession, not using it as a side gig.

      • +2 votes

        ^
        This explains it. It must've been quite obvious to the employer that OP doesnt seem to know whether he's coming or going.

      •  

        Yeah, wtf?

        A full-time position is called "full-time" for a reason. I wouldn't employ someone who was also moonlighting on the side 1-2 days a week either, especially if it's a job that requires pretty continuous self-study to keep up to date with industry changes.

        • -4 votes

          I wouldn't want to work for you either. I like to keep my weekend's free to pursue other things in my Life.

          I went to an on-site interview for Microsoft last year and they didn't have any issues with my qualifications. My resume is particularly tailored to the profession that I choose to apply for.

          • +1 vote

            @Cynicaloflife: I didn't say anything about your weekends. I'm addressing:

            I would like to work 1-2 days a week as a Dentist

            • +2 votes

              @HighAndDry: The interview went something like this:

              Interviewer: So in 2 years what sort of role do you see yourself in?
              OP: Well in 2 years, I'd like to be in a more senior software engineer role working 3 days a week and I'd like to work the other 2 days a week in my dental practice. I do like doing a root canal now and then.
              Interviewer: OK….

  • +4 votes

    I have done 20 graduate final round interviews now and this is the first time I am hearing this reason for rejection.

    Out of interest, what were the other 19 reasons?

  •  

    Although they shouldn't discriminate against age, how old are you?

  • +1 vote

    Yep, they'll do that, I have a PhD. I was told off the record for one interview, they wouldn't hire me because they're be worried that I'd get bored and leave the position. Others said I was too expensive to hire due to qualifications I had.

    A lot of roles are monkey work, so they only want to pay peanuts, bullet dodged IMO

    •  

      Out of curiosity, when you were building up your qualifications, were you working in your field? eg. Working as IT manager, then studying postgraduate to further your current career?
      Or did you study full time uni from Undergraduate all the way to PhD?

      •  

        Finished my PhD looking for a full time job. Applied for 9 to 5 brain dead stuff because I don't want to work past 5 without being paid for it.

        •  

          I can understand why you studied for so long.

          •  

            @Lunarboogie: My role now required a PhD minimum.

            Im doing things that a lot in the field didn't think was possible helping accelerate medical research. I enjoy my job, took awhile looking but was worth it IMO

            So those interviewers were probably right, I'd eventually get bored and leave.

    • +1 vote

      or they are worried you will put them out of a job because you are smarter. bad managers hire even worse sub ordinates.

      • -3 votes

        There this too, I applied for hundreds of jobs. Most manager did not have a PhD, as soon as saw they only had a bachelor's degree then stuck on some BS letters after that, I knew wouldn't get the job. Bullet dodged, I don't need insecure micro managers actively undermining me.

        •  

          Just because you have a PhD doesn't mean you're smarter. In fact, often it's the reverse. Most of the PhD graduates I've worked with were poor performers with below average social skills. Most continued studying because they couldn't land a job after their under grads and Austudy paid more than the dole.

          •  

            @Lunarboogie: Agreed. Always said there was an "anti-Darwinian" force field around Universities. I'm at a loss how some of them manage survive in the real world. Don't get me wrong, the ones who are good are brilliant but a lot who are not.

            To a company, having a PhDs on staff staff looks good from a prestige POV. I can see why an insecure manager would not hire a PhD to protect his/her position.

  • +2 votes

    Next post:

    My tinder match rejected me. Thoughts as to why?

  • +1 vote

    No body ever gives the real reason? You will never know why.

  • -2 votes

    i once got rejected because i said in my last role I was over the locations and shifts, but i stuck around for a redundancy package which i knew was coming.

    the bloke apparently didn't like my attitude.

    anyway fast forward 3 years, the same guy and one of his colleagues both applied for a role at my new company where i was interviewing.

    i booked them in for a 1pm and 2pm interview each, with the 2pm interview for the bloke who didn't hire me, and made sure they walked past each other between the interviews. they saw each other and their was awkward silence, and the 2nd guy in the interview knew straight away he had rejected me earlier, so i dragged it on for 30 minutes and said we will be in touch.

  •  

    In the current climate you shouldn't think about it too much. There are positions being advertised that aren't truly open to all applicants and you will never find out the true reason.

  • +1 vote

    Pretty sure the "OP" is either sharing accounts or bad at life.

    He/she has enquiries about a dental specialist whilst being a dentist that's moonlighting in IT whilst doing nothing at an internship. Been though 3 internships and is now overqualified for a job.

    You either need and shrink, a new account or an exorcist.

    •  

      Dang, why did it take me 45 posts to check this important fact. I feel like I've been robbed of the last 6 minutes.

  •  

    I've been there except i was overqualified and hired. I took the graduate job because it paid more than my current job (even though it was my dream job and it had more responsibilty).

    I hated it, I hated the babying by the grad managers and program. It's like highschool but in a workplace setting. I already had the experience and I've already gone through that babying phase years before.

  •  

    With your experience i would recommend you go for junior or senior developer roles. You have excellent summary of experience with your 3 internships.

    Also it would be highly recommended if you let someone handle your profile for you as in a recruiter who specialises in the roles you are looking into. They are a heavy asset to your career and can open up many doors and paths.

    Wish you all the best!

  •  

    Yes being overqualified is reasonable grounds for rejection.

    The last thing an employer wants is someone who will get bored after three months and leave. It costs money to find staff and employers want people to stick around.

    •  

      Thanks! Didn’t think this was a valid reason for graduate programs. I only graduated 1 month ago….

      There are companies like Honeywell which prefer 6 months of experience and there is this which qualifies me as overqualified.

      At least it’s a learning experience and something for me to be aware of when I apply for future grad programs

  • +1 vote

    why would you consider believing anything that came from HR's mouth.
    it may be as simple as they dont like the look of you or about 1000 other reasons including your not the person for the job in their opinion, the best day of the week HR are full of sh!t and major in ass covering and are good for very little else.
    just move on, apply for another role

    •  

      Tis true. During an interview, they probably realize the candidates skills look good on paper, but interview delivery lacked social communication or sincere responses compared to other candidates.
      We could come up with 100's of reasons why this isn't fair, but they will not tell you and instead hire the candidate they resonated with.

    •  

      Here's your answer op

  •  

    This post is useless as the excuse is just an excuse and OP cannot argue the point anyway.
    OP should just take the rejection on FACE VALUE, dont try to analyse the reason and move on.

    OP will see plenty more of this unfortunately

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