My job is being phased out (company going down in flames). The problem is that I was hired for strategic reasons (retaining old customer base, esoteric knowledge...) and realistically my pay was overly high. The industry I'm in is changing and I don't see a future for my job specialty (medical software/help desk/IT hardware/software support) and want to apply for a much lower position (straight computer technician). How do I handle the inevitable question of "You used to be paid almost twice what we're offering - isn't this job something you're overqualified for/likely to be unhappy with/likely to be feeling underpaid..."?
First of, I find it very good to think of the future and go for a change of career when you still have the luxury of choice and its not a matter of utmost importance to support yourself financially in a dire way. That being said I would still consider if my current line of work is welcome in another firm before I did something radical, unless you really dont enjoy it either in which case; move on.
About the pay issue, its perfectly normal to say you didn't enjoy your last job or want a new "challenge" as the reason you re changing and as such you recognize you may have been fairly specialized in your last line of work(and equally well compensated- do NOT mention you think your pay was overly high even for that) but seeing you consciously looking for a change(which will come with a learning period and all) and that you will accept a pay cut in the process of switching careers and having to start lower.I wouldn't insinuate necessity as the reason for this change as it may play against you during such a negotiation.