Five Powerful Interview Success Tips for Older Job Seekers

Posted February 09, 2016 in Job Hunting Tips by Elizabeth Tischer

Acing a job interview past a certain age becomes a somewhat challenging task. Though employers in most countries can’t legally discriminate against candidates on the basis of their age, this phenomenon happens much more often than we’d like to admit.

Competing against younger (and eventually more technologically-savvy) job seekers may seem like mission impossible, but certain behaviors and preparatory steps will help you make an excellent first impression. The following guide will help you ace the interview, if you’re an older job seeker.

Dress to Impress

Your appearance, your body language and your confidence will be judged within seconds of entering the room. Your appearance should be polished and professional – this is one of the ways in which you can differentiate yourself from younger job seekers.

Be polished but choose current styles of formal wear. A suit can look very outdated, especially if you haven’t taken it out of the closet for more than 15 years. It’s a better idea to invest in something new, especially if you expect to attend numerous job interviews.

Think about your hair and your accessories, as well. A hair stylist will know how to give you a youthful appearance without altering your hairstyle too much.

Experience is Your Biggest Asset

You have tons of experience that other candidates may be lacking. This is your biggest strength and the one that you should be putting emphasis on.

A well-developed portfolio brought to the interview is a great idea. Focus on some of the most important projects you were responsible for, their outcomes and the core competences you’ve gained through each.

Learn Everything You can about the Company

This is a tip that’s important for all job seekers but knowledge about the potential employer that is paired with your rich history can be a winning combination.

Use the interview to share how your skills and experience are a good match for the particular job and the specific company. Talking in abstract terms isn’t going to impress anyone. You have to get straight to the point and you have to give real-life examples. The more practical your approach towards presenting your skills is, the better.

Work on Your Confidence

Your age could be having a negative impact on your confidence. This is a serious problem that you should deal with before going to the interview.

The lack of confidence will deprive you of the opportunity to deliver an impressive presentation, even if you’re the best professional for the job. Remember that the interviewer is going to assess everything – from your handshake and your posture to the reputation of the companies you’ve worked for in the past.

Go through your resume to remind yourself about your biggest accomplishments. Use these accomplishments as a source of inspiration and confidence. Know your strengths and don’t be afraid to flaunt them. If you aren’t doing self-promotion in the best possible way, you aren’t getting a second chance to get that message across.

Respond to Inappropriate Questions in a Professional Manner

Regardless of professionalism level, some human resources experts can ask inappropriate questions during the interview. Get ready for some of those and come up with dignified responses.

Prejudices do exist, even in the professional world. The manner in which you handle those can make or break you.

Age-related and biased questions should be anticipated. If the interviewer gets into this territory, you should focus on your experience and the positives stemming from your maturity rather than any eventual limitations.

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