Just from my own experience (13 years as a supervisor/manager) and in my opinion from my last 2 years of unemployment....
You are correct with many of your comments.
Yes it does.
I was not above doing anything either when I was looking.
It's all about telling them what they want to hear ... another words lying.
Actually, I disagree with you.
Of all the jobs out there, why did you chose to apply for THAT particular job?
For example, my DH took a pay cut and a step down to work for a warehouse. When asked why he wanted the job he told them that the hours worked perfectly for his family life. (it was 4 days of afternoons and three days off so we saved HUGE on childcare costs) IRONICALLY he got promoted after only 6 mos and last year he made more money than he has ever made in his life. Now he doesn't want to give it up even tho it's not part of our long term plans, LOL.
I also applied for a job I was overqualified for as basically a paper pusher. When asked why I wanted the job, my honest answer was that I had small children and I needed a shorter commute for my energy level and time. I also do enjoy support roles at work.
There are lots of low lever jobs out there...unless you are applying to everything and anything, there has to be a reason you chose the ones you chose.
I would respond about the prositive attributes about the company first.
Hi eveyone !
Thanks for all your replies.