Is this job a step-back for you? This is the tenth of the series of typical interview questions. For each question we outline why the interviewer is asking the question and how the interviewee should respond to it.

 
Our suggestions should be treated as guidelines, always adapt them to your personal judgement of the situation and to your own particular experience and individual style.
 
 
10. Is this a step-back for you? 
You seem over-qualified / over-experienced? 
Why would you take a less challenging job / less senior title? 
 

Why is this question asked? 

 
  • The interviewer may have genuine concerns that this job will not challenge you enough or for long enough
  • To see if you truly understand the real requirements and/or possible limitations of the job
  • To probe whether you can see the possible ways of further development in this role
  • To understand what you could bring to enhance success of the organisation
  • To explore your interest, excitement and passion about the role
  • To see what drives and motivates you most: role development and challenge, interesting work, status, titles, money etc.
  • To gauge if you can work with less experienced team or manager
 
How to Answer? 
 
  • Emphasize aspects of the role that present opportunity for your self-development (e.g., international experience, new work culture and environment, senior stakeholders, challenging project, diverse team)
  • Research how this organisation is expanding, developing or changing – show how your experience and skills can bring it one step further
  • Consider if there is any new development in the industry you have been tracking or educating yourself in (e.g., green energy, sustainable projects, new technology, new legal development practices, compliance, etc.) and explain how you could help the target organisation benefit from it and learn at the same time
  • Point out your openness to the role developing and commitment to adapting and growing with the role and organisation
  • Show how you have developed and expanded the scope of every role you have taken (give examples) and how you could bring this also to the new organisation

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