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…
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
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!)
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
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?