FranklinIs Connected

Hiring Manager Insight

Hiring Manager Insight

Often job seekers fail to look at the application process from a hiring manager’s perspective.  They are so focused on how they are a fit for the position, that they ignore the reality they may not be suited for the opening. The hiring manager’s job is to find the best person for the job, so she is going to look at applicants in terms of fit, not potential. As a result, job seekers become frustrated and sometimes discouraged, because they are passed over for interviews. 

In my mind choosing the best candidates to interview boils down to supply and demand. If a hiring manager gets several applicants that appear to be a good fit, then she will not spend her time interviewing candidates that are under or over qualified for the position. Unfortunately, most job seekers they fall into one of these two categories. Below is an explanation why hiring managers don’t call over or under qualified candidates. Hopefully it will help shed some light as to why you didn’t get a call back on a position, so you won’t get discouraged in your job search.


Under Qualified. This group of candidates tends to be very eager and willing to learn new skills, but often does not receive a call back because an employer has received many qualified applicants. While you may not have all the skills an employer is looking for, don’t get discouraged. You should still work to get your foot in the door. Even if you don’t land this position your goal should be to get an interview. If you impress someone now you never know what opportunities this will open up in the future. Should you get an interview, your main selling point should be your energy and attitude. You should not go into an interview with the attitude “I’m a quick learner.”  Your new boss knows from your resume that she’s going to be spending time to train you. You need to focus on what intangibles you bring to the table to separate yourself from the crowd of other applicants.


Over Qualified.  As a job seekers one of the most discouraging things to hear is that you are over qualified. When I have an administrative assistant position open, I get literally dozens of applicants that have their bachelor’s degrees. 

Why do over qualified applicants have such difficulty? The answer is two fold. First, hiring managers assume that over qualified candidates will continue looking for a job that is a better fit while working for them. And honestly this situation usually holds true, especially if an employee has taken a pay cut. A hiring manager never wants to be in a situation where she is constantly training new staff. The second assumption is that over qualified candidates will feel under challenged in a position, so they won’t work as hard. Unfortunately these assumptions may not hold true in all cases and may cost you the opportunity to interview for a position, but if you do get an interview you are now armed with their built in assumptions. Your goal should then become addressing and overcoming these pre-conceived prejudices.


Matt Lowney is a Nashville, Tenn based recruiter, career consultant, and co-host of Career Talk, a weekly one hour career advice radio talk show that airs from 5 to 6 pm each Friday on WAKM 950.  For more information he can be reached at