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Case Analysis (Sorry, You’re Too Smart)
Have you ever been turned down for a job because you were “overqualified”?
Although this may sound like a compliment, it can be disappointing when you are job hunting. Consider applicants who are turned down for jobs because they are “too smart.” This could be determined by pre-employment testing or the interviewer may assume applicants’ cognitive ability based on education level, GPA, or certifications. You don’t often hear someone say that an applicant is “too emotionally intelligent” or “too physically coordinated.” So why does it matter if you are overqualified in cognitive ability?
Employers may argue that cognitively overqualified employees will not perform well in their jobs. The lack of challenge they feel in the job tasks could make them bored and unmotivated and then lead to low performance. In fact, research shows that cognitively overqualified employees perform just as well as other employees, but not necessarily better. If the employees are in leadership positions and are cognitively overqualified, they perform better than other leaders. So if someone tries to tell you that you won’t perform well if you are cognitively overqualified, that’s not a fact. Employers may also argue that employees who are cognitively overqualified for their jobs will have higher job dissatisfaction. Specifically, they may be dissatisfied with the wages, challenges, and potential for career advancement. In short, these employees see the gap between their current and potential situations and that makes them unhappy at work. We all don’t have intelligence tests when we are employed, so what about when you perceive you are overqualified in your cognitive skills, but don’t have actual test scores to support your assumption? Employees who perceive they are cognitively overqualified tend to actually be correct. They also tend to have higher levels of openness to experience personality trait from the Big Five model.
8.3 Test your knowledge:(Questions)
1. An interviewer who assumes you have a certain average cognitive ability level because she knows your level of education would be correct according to what test?
2. According to the case, what might a company do to raise job satisfaction and retain employees who are cognitively overqualified?
In this exercise, please read the mini-case and answer the questions that follow. Post your answer in the discussion board using the discussion link below
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