Interviewing the Downshifting Candidate

Have you been coming across more and more resumes of people who appear to be “overqualified” for your open positions?

Before tossing them aside as a) people who are out of work who are desperate for any job and/or b) candidates who are willing to take work for which they’re overqualified until they can find one better suited to their skills and income needs, take a second look: “overqualified” job candidates may just be professionals who have decided to downshift their careers in an effort to acquire more balance in their work and personal lives.

Read below for some tips on how to interview these types of candidates:

  • Think for a moment about how the candidate came in contact with you. Was her resume one of hundreds submitted online, or did the candidate network her way into your company? Someone who networks her way in is savvy indeed. In addition, the candidate more than likely has thought long and hard about taking such a step to downshift and probably understands your natural skepticism regarding her desire to take a professional step back. Don’t throw away this candidate without at least speaking her – she knows what she wants and could be a very valuable asset to your firm.
  • Downshifters tend to know they need to convince you of their sincerity – that they’re not looking to bolt at the first (better) opportunity. The candidate more than likely knows that he needs to show you his valu and may actually approach you with a specific plan as to how his particular skills and background will be of benefit to you.
  • Do you think this candidate will fit into your company’s culture? No matter how much talent and no matter what types of terrific skills a downshifting candidate may offer, if you don’t feel the candidate will fit with your firm’s personality, it’s best to keep looking. You’ll need to delve deep into the candidate’s work-style preferences, etc. during the interview(s) to see if the two of you will make a good match.
  • Finally, if you feel that something is “off” regarding the candidate’s reasons for downshifting, delve a bit different. Perhaps the candidate really isn’t looking to downshift so much as he’s worried he’s going to be laid off soon and so is looking for something while still employed. Again, ask some probing questions.

When you need skilled and reliable workers for your Anchorage, Seattle, Tacoma, Chicago, Lake Oswego, and Portland company, call upon the recruiters at the Opti Staffing Group to find them for you. We look forward to hearing how we may be of service.

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