4 Common Hiring Objections That MBAs Can Overcome

4 Common Hiring Objections That MBAs Can Overcome


According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, three in four employers expect to hire Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduates in 2016. Of this group, 85% plan to hire ‘as many or more’ of these candidates than they did in 2015. It’s clear that the job market for MBAs is bright, but even so, it still remains a competitive process. Like everyone, MBAs are still subject to hiring objections that are often raised by recruiters. If you’ve encountered objections during recruitment processes, or will soon be looking for a new position post-MBA, use the below advice to demonstrate your worth and highlight the points that employers need to know.

1. “You don’t have enough experience”

The MBA programme provides a wealth of experience, yet a lack of experience is one of the most common hiring objections highlighted by recruiters. In this case, what the employer wants to know is how much practical experience you’ve had. As a recent MBA graduate, you should focus on the skills that you’ve learnt that are most relevant to the specific role and organisation. If you do lack professional experience, you should discuss how your degree was practical and enabled you to apply knowledge to real world business issues. Discuss this with a tailored example so that you can show that you are not all talk, and that real life scenarios were the focus of your studies.

2. “You’re overqualified”

When a recruiter uses this statement, they think it is because you will get bored in the role. When facing common hiring objections like this, try to turn your level of experience into a positive asset, rather than something to be feared. For example, you can say that you’re pleased that they value your skills, but you don’t think that they’ll be wasted in the role. If anything, they allow you to be more productive in the workplace, with your MBA giving you a better understanding of the bigger picture. Another suggestion is that with these skills, you could mentor people to further diversify the role, keep you stimulated, and ensure that they don’t go to waste.

3. “We can’t meet your salary expectations”

As a graduate of an esteemed programme with many skills to offer, it is logical for MBAs to request higher salaries after completing their degree. If an employer says that they can’t meet salary expectations and you believe the role is perfect for you, you should let them know that you’re happy to enter negotiations. This is one of the common hiring objections that is overused, and often employers are gauging whether they can recruit you for less. If you believe you are worth the money, then professionally stand your ground. Otherwise, look for different ways for the employer to compensate you, such as additional leave or industry memberships. With an MBA in hand, you should show that you’re willing to negotiate, however, often you just need to demonstrate that your diverse skillset is worth the money.

4. “You’re overconfident”

After at least a year of studying in a high achieving environment, you should definitely feel confident in your knowledge and the skills that come with it. That being said, you need to be mindful of seeming too arrogant or dismissive, as most organisations do not value an overconfident demeanour. In a leadership role, confidence is certainly important, but you must show the employer that you know when it is appropriate and when it needs to be toned down. Throughout the recruitment process, show that you’re willing to get your hands dirty in order to get the job done, and this will demonstrate that you are not only confident, but also humble and eager to get into it. 

What do you think?

I’d love to hear from MBAs and learn about the common hiring objections that they have faced. How have you overcome these perceptions, and used your MBA to get you there? Comment your views below to join the conversation!

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. 

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