I have a burning question related to an interview two days ago.

A hiring manager with a startup interviewed me two days ago for the position of a Data Analyst. At that point, I was at the third stage out of four of the recruitment process. The interview was extremely causal where the interviewer dipped into her career journey.

Throughout the interview, the nature of the question revolves around "What would you do after completing a task set out by the team lead", "Are you OK with a role that doesn't allows you to be involved with computational modelling or utilise your current level of proficiency in....", "What doesn't motivate you" and "Can this task be completed within three days", etc. This is not the first time I've been met with questions of such nature ever since I started my job search as a fresh graduate towards the end of December 2017.

When I received the rejection email today, the reason for which I was rejected was due to a lack of skill in web analytics but yet my strong willingness to learn was further emphasised; this is not a difficult skill to acquired and most certificates in web analytics can gained in a day or two echoed from my friends who are in roles as Data Analyst. A couple of them have echoed that I may be "Overqualified" which seems to be a term loosely thrown around these days.

To be clear, Web Analytics skill is listed under the JD as "Bonus skills" rather than "Common core".

I mostly apply only to roles which are mathematical in nature and do my best to sell my skill related to computational modelling, mathematics and physics.

A couple of questions:

1) Can a fresh graduate be overqualified for entry level roles?

2) If they can be overqualified, what is the best course of strategy they should undertake? Should they play down the technical and quantitative skill while highlighting soft skills?

3) Should a stronger personal rapport be built with the interviewer during the interview?

4) Here's the tricky bit: if one or more candidate in this round have an equivalent or higher technical background than mine, then, clearly, the lack of skills in web analytic is not a concern. Instead, my disqualification would be premised that I was technically weaker candidate but, seemingly, this is not the case. If I am the technically stronger candidate, picking up something as trivial as web analytics would cease to be an issue.


1 Answer 1


What you can infer is that they decided that they were not interested in hiring you. Perhaps your competition already had that skill. Perhaps they didn't want to say the real reason. The actual reason is usually irrelevant (unless you came across as completely incompetent) because it won't help with the next company who will be looking at something else.

There are many things that are judged in the interview process besides technical skill. You will almost never know the real reason why you were not chosen. Sometimes it has nothing to do with you, but that they found someone they liked better even though you did well technically. Sometimes it is that the position got cancelled or the they thought you would be too expensive or they just didn't think your personality was a good fit for the existing team.

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