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Will companies consider hiring a person with more years of experience, than what they need, for a junior position provided the candidate is ready to work for the same salary offered for the junior position?

I am currently on a break (going to become a gap of 3 years soon since my last job) and would like to get back into the job market. I don't want to apply for senior roles that are demanding than I can handle given my personal situation. I believe I am better suited for mid-level positions that use the prior experience that I have gained over the years.

I have 10+ years of experience in programming. Can I apply for slightly lower level positions that need about 5 to 7 years of programming experience? I am willing to be flexible about the salary as it is not my primary objective. I need a job that keeps me engaged and programming is the only industry I know. I am not interested in growth per se.

Edit - Removed the word "overqualified" as it did not fit the context.

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    From an employer's perspective, the danger with "overqualified" hires is that they may have unrealistic expectations (regarding wanting a big salary for instance) or they may leave quickly (for a position more appropriate for their qualifications). You seem to indicate you can address the first point, what about the second? – dwizum Jan 31 at 20:06
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    Also - consider that "overqualified" may not be appropriate in your situation. If you think you're only good enough for a 5-7 year experience job, then that's what you're qualified for. Years of experience on resumes versus job positions is (hopefully) at best a minor consideration, compared to the real question, which is: Do you have the skills required for the job? – dwizum Jan 31 at 20:07
  • Is the only reason you want to apply for junior level positions because you have had a long break in working? Do you feel that you could succeed as a senior dev? – dbeer Jan 31 at 20:28
  • @dwizum - yes I have noticed job openings that I could perform well but there is a mismatch in terms of the years of experience that the company needs and I have. – goldilocks Jan 31 at 21:33
  • @dbeer my career had somewhat stagnated towards the end and I have no intention to jumpstart it now. Hence I wont suceed as a senior dev given my current skill set. – goldilocks Jan 31 at 21:40
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People worry about overqualified candidates because there is a chance they will leave once they find a better paying job more fitting of their skill set (or they are worried about you gunning for their role later on, though this one is not common I have seen it).

If the company or interviewing manager does not ask about why you are applying for a position you are overqualified for then do not mention it. On that note you may also want to tailor your resume to be more geared towards the role you are going for and leave out some of the higher level stuff as to not appear overqualified. Just make sure you leave enough in the resume to get an interview.

If they do ask then express what you have said here. "I am willing to be flexible about the salary as it is not my primary objective." and that you have been on a break for a few years are are only looking to get back into the market and are willing to start off at a lower level then when you went on break. This is not so uncommon that it is a red flag or anything. I actually had a similar experience myself. They did mention I was overqualified but I made sure they understood my reason for accepting a lower level position and insured them I would not just up and leave any time soon.

Will companies consider hiring an overqualified person for a junior position provided the candidate is ready to work for the same salary offered for the junior position?

This does depend on the company of coarse but for the most part the answer is yes. Companies do hire people who are over qualified all the time and offer that person the same salary range that position qualifies for. It is up to you to decide if you will accept that offer.

Can I apply for slightly lower level positions that need about 5 to 7 years of programming experience?

Simple answer: Yes

You can apply for whatever you want to apply for. It does not mean you will or wont get an interview but there is no reason you cannot apply for a position you have the skill set to perform. Just because you have a few year more than what they are looking for does not imply you should not apply for the position.

I would like to know if there are reasons I may be disqualified other than salary?

This question is a lot broader than the issue of over qualification. Maybe change this question to be more specific.

One can be disqualified for many reason. Could be personality clash with the company/interviewing manager. Could be a failure to answer some of the question correctly. Could be a simple matter of someone else being a better fit. And so on.

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IMHO, red flag for potential employer would be combination of experience and a break periods

Junior position you seek may be considered as step to "get back in the game" and search for adequate position from status of employed specialist.

I think biggest challenge for you may be convincing potential employer that you don't intend to use junior position you are applying to in this manner.

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