40 Interview Tips You Need To Know If You're Over 40

Every job hunter's story is different.

  • You may be a stay-at-home parent returning to the workplace after raising your family and managing your home.

  • Your job may not be challenging you, your strengths, and the unique value you offer.

  • You may just be ready to move forward in your career.


No matter what your story looks like, it’s likely been years (maybe even decades!) since you’ve been in a job interview. And interview trends have certainly changed.

It’s time for a crash course in late-career job interviewing skills! Luckily, this list of 40 interview tips you need to know if you’re over 40 was put together just for you…


40 Interview Tips You Need To Know If You're Over 40 | Off The Clock Resumes

Preparing For Your Interview

An employer will need to see that you are still willing and able to learn, forward-thinking, and up-to-date on trends. When interviewing an older candidate, employers are looking to see if you have a "I've-seen-it-all-done-it-all-know-it-all" attitude. Be prepared by looking for opportunities for growth, expanding your skills, and updating your job search materials.

1 | Be open to workshops and seminars that will boost your skills

2 | Refresh your computer and relevant technical skills

3 | Embrace LinkedIn to show that you don’t fear technology

4 | Research the employer to familiarize yourself with their mission and and values

5 | Stay up to date on industry news and terminology

6 | Take advantage of resources, like the Do-It-Yourself Resume, to stand out

7 | Create a portfolio if you have visual examples of your work

8 | Showcase solid Recommendations if you don’t have visual examples of your work

9 | Dress in current styles to draw less attention to your age

10 | Practice your interview skills


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Checking Your Attitude

Employers want to know that this job won't just be a way to fill your time. Employers have a need to fill, and they need to know you’ll fulfill that need. That’s challenging to show with a negative or nonchalant attitude. By checking your attitude before your next job interview, you’ll more easily reaffirm to employers that you are the right fit for the job.

11 | Consider how the opportunity will fulfill your needs right now

12 | Don't make assumptions about an employer

13 | Be passionate about the opportunity or someone else will outshine you

14 | Be willing and able to hit the ground running if you’re changing careers

15 | Be energetic in all forms of communication including body language

In The Moment Do’s

Depending on your situation, if you have been self-employed or unemployed prior to this, showing that you stayed productive by focusing on transferable skills you gained may be your greatest selling point. Your other greatest selling point may be your reliability and flexibility. No matter your situation, how you handle interview questions will make all the difference.

16 | Answer questions thoughtfully

17 | Keep all of your answers positive

18 | Be honest about being unemployed or overqualified

19 | Focus on your goals and the future

20 | Highlight your knowledge as an asset when lacking experience

21 | Give detailed examples of applying your expertise to stand out

22 | Discuss your strengths in detail including how you gained those strengths

23 | Share your success stories

24 | Show enthusiasm for younger management

25 | Accentuate your reliability and flexibility

26 | Highlight your unique value when lacking desired education

27 | Show employers that you can be cross-trained

28 | Discuss problem solving skills with solid examples of what resulted

29 | Describe how you’ve stayed productive outside of work experience

30 | Direct more negative conversations back toward your job performance

31 | Take your time answering tricky questions

32 | Ask questions about the company culture

33 | Be bold and ask for feedback about your interviewing skills

34 | Send a thank you card after the interview

35 | Follow up with a phone call (or LinkedIn message!)

Definite Don’ts

Don't assume that employers will turn you down when they realize how old you are, and do not assume they will ask you questions about your age. Be prepared to address the illegality of any discriminatory questions, but put your best foot forward as an asset with keen knowledge.

36 | Don't show up too early

37 | Don’t have a weak handshake

38 | Don't forget the value of transferable skills

39 | Don’t criticize past employers

40 | Don’t focus only on salary

I challenge you to think ahead, update your job search materials, and prepare for your next job interview before it’s even scheduled!

Which aspect of job interviewing is giving you the most anxiety?