What To Do When You’re Overqualified For A Job

I received the following email from a friend who interviewed for a PA job yesterday:

So that interview went great yesterday, I think too great. It was for an Office PA gig at [a film company on the sony/fox lot] and the interviewer told me I blew the other 5 candidates away mid interview. He continued though, that he thought I’d be bored in the job, and that I shouldn’t be PAing and need to get in somewhere as an assistant or working someones desk, and he’d be hesitant to give it to me because I’d likely leave in a matter of months. I actually thought he was being genuine and encouraging vs using it as an excuse. This was sort of nice to hear, however my inbox isn’t exactly being flooded with interviews for assistant gigs.

So I fully expect to get the ‘over qualified’ treatment today, 2 words I never thought I’d be associated with in LA, and it’s sort of baffling. Times are tough out here, jobs are few and far between, of course I’d jump at the opportunity to do grunt work on a studio lot.

Ever hear of anything like this before?

Yes. It happens all the time. And it used to happen to me. Employers don’t want to hire someone who will be bored by the job or who plans to leave as soon as they get a better offer. Here’s what I used to say in interviews to avoid this situation:

…I have a lot of assistant experience — answering phones and making copies — but I don’t have a lot of experience in production, and I think a PA gig would be great for me because I could learn about the other departments and how things work around the lot. I meet a lot of writers and even executive assistants who were never PAs, and some of them don’t have an understanding of how the entire machine works together, which I think is really important.

Have any of you ever encountered this situation? Any advice? Please share!


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