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Job interview "Too Senior"

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Latest post Mon, Oct 19 2015 8:30 PM by superman1. 14 replies.
  • Fri, Oct 16 2015 8:27 PM

    Job interview "Too Senior"

    So, as is not uncommon for me, I've been looking for a new gig and I found quite a few.

    But one response has troubled me.

    They set up an interview, and then later cancelled it.

    The reason was they decided I was "too senior"

    Now I don't want to do anything about this, so do not think that.

    I just am wondering.  It sounds like a wrong reason to give.

    They could have said alot of things but that sounds to me like age descriminatation.

    My question is, can they really say that ?  Obviously they did say that.

    It did seems wrong.  So I'm looking for a couple of comments from those of you on this forum that know this stuff.

    Thanks

     

  • Fri, Oct 16 2015 11:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Job interview "Too Senior"

    Would you have preferred "overqualified?"

  • Sat, Oct 17 2015 12:50 AM In reply to

    Re: Job interview "Too Senior"

    If what they meant by that was that you were considered overqualified for the job then that is not illegal. Lots of employers don’t want someone overqualified for the job because they suspect the employee will only stay as long as it takes for the employee to find something better; a job that better fits the employee’s qualifications.

    If the employer meant you were too old and you are at least age 40, that would be illegal age discrimination under federal law if the employer has at least 15 employees. Few employers of that size would be stupid enough to take a statement that openly admits to age discrimination, though some do.

  • Sat, Oct 17 2015 5:44 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Job interview "Too Senior"

    I doubt an employer seeks under qualified people so in a sense everyone being sought is over  qualified?   

    I have no doubt at all that there is a good bit discrimination against older workers which perhaps varies by region and industry .....just how open it is depends on your point of view .....and I agree with taxagent that few employers would be stupid enough to openly admit age discrimination in any actionable context .   I doubt there is a sign over the door that says old men need not apply ....

    How about this one : large employer headquarters underpins the wage and recruitment cost of certain minority professional level  hires at division levels by 50% for 5 years .  ( Older professionals are NOT on the list of targeted persons ) 

    No easy answers out there.  But I doubt age 40 + is given the same protection interest as may be race or sex 



  • Sat, Oct 17 2015 6:17 AM In reply to

    Re: Job interview "Too Senior"

    Could it be age discrimination?  Yes.

    However, when you are in an IT field (if I remember correctly you are) or the medical field as I am, it isn't uncommon to get senior level people applying for a job that doesn't require that advanced level of skill.  This is more likely a reflection of the limits of the job and their budget.  If they can only recruit for a junior position and by your skills and experience they would HAVE to pay you more than the position is budgeted for you would be "too senior" for the job.

    I had that happen once where a physician wanted to hire me but due to my credentials and skills the salary the hospital would be required to offer was a lot more than the department was budgeted to hire for.  

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • Sat, Oct 17 2015 7:04 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Job interview "Too Senior"

    We may be off point..but rarely is employer "required" to pay more for somebody who brings higher qualifications to a job set up to pay less with less requirements .   

    An exception, not relevant to OP, might be in public education where a collective bargaining agreement requires paying more if person holds more degrees..even if irrelevant or unnecessary ones ...



  • Sat, Oct 17 2015 7:08 AM In reply to

    • cbg
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    Re: Job interview "Too Senior"

    "Too Senior" implies "overqualified", not "too old".

  • Sat, Oct 17 2015 7:59 AM In reply to

    Re: Job interview "Too Senior"

    Drew:
    We may be off point..but rarely is employer "required" to pay more for somebody who brings higher qualifications to a job set up to pay less with less requirements .

    By law, NO.  However, there are large employers that have policies that they do adhere to that they pay according to skills, experience, and education.  Therefore if the person applying has more skills etc. than what the position is budgeted for and wage policy dictates a higher wage they are "too senior" for the job.  

    I have experienced it.  

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • Sat, Oct 17 2015 8:27 AM In reply to

    Re: Job interview "Too Senior"

    superman1:
    I don't want to do anything about this

    Then why bother stewing over it?

    :-)

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Sat, Oct 17 2015 1:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Job interview "Too Senior"

    On the other hand (just for the sake of discussion) lots of people have jobs for which they are overqualified.  Barristas and taxi drivers with Ph.D.s come to mind, or attorneys applying for non-attorney jobs (we get lots of those).

    I could argue that one either is or is not qualified for a job.  If one's knowledge, skills and abilities exceed the minimum required, then one is qualified. There are many reasons why an employee might want a job for whch his or her qualifications exceed the minimum.  Perhaps the employee doesn't want the stress of working in a more demanding position.  Perhaps the employee has a spouse whose job pays much more so needs to find whatever he or she can get locally in order to support the spouse's career.  Perhaps the employee has a medical condition that he or she doesn't wish to disclose but which makes it imperative to find a job that doesn't exacerbate the condition.  Perhaps the employee is unemployed and desperate and willing to do anything.  The employer doesn't know, and to really probe the true reason might involve asking illegal hiring questions.

    If the employer is worried about how long the employee will stay, then the way to address this is contractually.  There is nothing preventing a private employer from asking a prospective employee to sign a 3 year contract, for example.  But employers don't want to do that because they want to be able to enjoy the benefits of employment at will.  They don't want to be obligated to keep an employee they no longer need. 

    And of course the same is true of employees (although at the time of hire is when the employer would have the best leverage, i.e., a job that the prospective employee wants, to negotiate a longer term commitment if that is what the employer really wants).

    It is a bit odd for an employer to decline to hire a qualified employee because of concerns about the prospective employee's commitment to longevity when the employer is unwilling to make a symmetrical commitment.  If they are, then hand the employee a longer term contract, and if the prospective employee is willing to sign it, they have a deal.

    I have, in fact, made this argument when I've served on hiring committees at my current job.  I don't care for the argument that says, "We're going to pay this employee as little as we can, and promise them no job security, but we're going to expect them to make a long term commitment to staying in our job."  In my opinion what that does is it guarantees that over time, you will be developing a workforce made up of minimally qualified employees who aren't able to get anything better anywhere else, or at least who don't believe they could.  In my opinion that is not conducive to workforce excellence.

  • Sat, Oct 17 2015 2:38 PM In reply to

    Re: Job interview "Too Senior"

    Naturally employers want the best of both worlds: getting good employees who will stay for a long time but without having to commit long term to the employee themselves. The best way to do that, in my view, is not by locking the employee into a long term contract but rather to make the job and workplace appealing enough that employees will want to stay employed there. 

    Employers’ views on hired an “overqualified” candidate are going to vary depending on their needs and experiences. But certainly employers that have experience that over qualified candidates tend to leave before long are not going to be eager to hire those people. That's particularly true if the employer has significant training costs incurred to bring the new employee up to snuff in the job. If you've put the investment into training an employee, you want to see the return on that investment.

    LegalSecy:
    I could argue that one either is or is not qualified for a job.  If one's knowledge, skills and abilities exceed the minimum required, then one is qualified. There are many reasons why an employee might want a job for whch his or her qualifications exceed the minimum.  Perhaps the employee doesn't want the stress of working in a more demanding position.  Perhaps the employee has a spouse whose job pays much more so needs to find whatever he or she can get locally in order to support the spouse's career.  Perhaps the employee has a medical condition that he or she doesn't wish to disclose but which makes it imperative to find a job that doesn't exacerbate the condition.  Perhaps the employee is unemployed and desperate and willing to do anything.  The employer doesn't know, and to really probe the true reason might involve asking illegal hiring questions.

    Sure, for any given employee he or she might really want that job even though he/she is overqualified for it for the sorts of reasons you mentioned. But as you noted, the employer isn’t going to know who those people are versus those that are just taking the job as a stop gap measure until they find something better. And if the employer’s experience is that most overqualified people don’t stay long then it doesn't make sense to take the risk that maybe, just maybe, this candidate is one of the few who will actually want that job and stay with it. 

    In any event, since this is a legal board, it is not illegal to reject an applicant for being overqualified (unless what is really going on is using that reason as a cover for some kind of illegal discrimination). 

  • Sat, Oct 17 2015 5:44 PM In reply to

    Re: Job interview "Too Senior"

    Taxagent:
    Naturally employers want the best of both worlds: getting good employees who will stay for a long time but without having to commit long term to the employee themselves. The best way to do that, in my view, is not by locking the employee into a long term contract but rather to make the job and workplace appealing enough that employees will want to stay employed there. 

    LOL

    Like wanting "entry level" Cobol programs who are experts but want to pay them dirt cheat:) LOL

     

    Yup.

    Just come on for a 2 week contract, move across the country for us, and we'll pay you nothing.:)

    And they cannot figure out why their rec is never filled and they cannot find candidates:)

    What a mystery:)

     

  • Sat, Oct 17 2015 8:26 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
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    Re: Job interview "Too Senior"

    The information network is far from perfect ....but there is a lot more of it than a a few years ago..and more dubious information too.....but if employers or a particular boss  treat thier staff like dirt..the,word,gets out there......



  • Mon, Oct 19 2015 3:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Job interview "Too Senior"

    superman1:
    My question is, can they really say that ?  Obviously they did say that.

    You answered your own question but obvious intended something different, and I agree that it is a stupid reason to give.  While it is a legitimate reason, it obviously gives the impression you suggested and can be misinterpreted quite easily.

  • Mon, Oct 19 2015 8:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Job interview "Too Senior"

    ca19lawyer2:

    superman1:
    My question is, can they really say that ?  Obviously they did say that.

    You answered your own question but obvious intended something different, and I agree that it is a stupid reason to give.  While it is a legitimate reason, it obviously gives the impression you suggested and can be misinterpreted quite easily.

    You are right.  It is what it is.

    It's just frustrating I block out time for their interview, and they decide to cancel the interview on me at the last second.

    Currently, it would appear to me, the job market is very hot.  At least for what I'm doing.  I have job offers all over the place, interview requests and to get a company having me block out a time and then come back 2 days later and change their minds, because I'm "too senior" it's just annoying that's all.

    And they could have at least dressed it up a little better.  Over qualified ok, I'll work with that one:)  

    Another nice one is "we've put that job on hold"  or hey I know, how about "we lost our funding"

    Anything but "too senior" would have worked better for me. Oh well, it's not big deal, just annoying I juggled my schedule for them, and then had to juggle it all again when they changed their minds.

     

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