GUEST POST BY LUKE MCCANN
Many professionals over 50 years old will find themselves looking for a job and kick-starting a second phase of their career. The interview process can seem daunting and overwhelming as many professionals over 50 have not gone through the interview process in decades.
While age brings wisdom and experience, many young interviewers may view it as a negative. Below are some tips to help you ace an interview and land a new job while being over 50.
1 | Be Sharp
Looking sharp with clothes that are clean and shows off a neat appearance is important. If someone comes in wearing shoes that are scuffed and dull or a shirt that’s color is faded, the interviewer could connect that to being out of touch with today’s work environment.
Furthermore, keeping a sharp memory can be challenging as we age. Review any important details several times before the interview so they can be recalled easily. Taking notes during the interview can help you remember details so that you can follow up with a more detailed thank you note.
2 | Show Energy
One of the main concerns employers will have when hiring employees over 50 is the amount of energy they have to complete the job’s daily tasks. Presenting yourself with good posture and being well groomed can help convey good health and stamina for the job.
Being prepared with facts about the company or industry that others will not have researched shows the ability to outwork others who may be younger than you.
3 | Bring Tech Savvy
Many jobs will request a first interview over Skype or another video chat platform. If you aren’t familiar with Skype, don’t admit it to the interviewer as it could date you. Your kids, neighbors, or even grandkids will gladly help you learn Skype and set you up for a successful interview.
Have a general working knowledge of the tech being used within your industry. For example, if you are interviewing for a job in marketing then be familiar with social media marketing on Facebook and Instagram. Furthermore, having some knowledge on marketing tactics with search engine marketing such as pay-per-click or search engine optimization (SEO).
Employers aren’t expecting you have a 1,000 Twitter followers but being able to use social media such as LinkedIn can help you land a job.
4 | Respect A Younger Boss
There is a good chance that the individual interviewing will be younger than you. Show respect by listening closely and making eye contact.
Keep answers short so that you do not come off as “lecturing” the younger interviewer. Also, never mention the age of the interviewer or your age by saying phrases such as, “I guess this shows my age.” Keep the focus of the interview on the positives that you bring to the table and not your age.
Do not mention examples of work experiences from decades ago. The company could view you as out of touch with the current market and could add concerns of being able to succeed with the current workforce.
5 | Embrace Flexible Work Schedules
It’s easy to get use to a set schedule after you has been at a job for decades. Some jobs may require working nights or weekends. Many careers now require an open-ended work life where you will need to complete tasks on the weekend or prepare for meetings at night from your home.
Showing flexibility will also ease concerns that you are “set in your ways” and let the company know that can adapt to new work environments quickly.
6 | Make Age An Asset
There are many positives that come along with age such as sound judgement, a calm personality, and reliability. You can mention previous job experience where you excelled in high pressure situations while others melted under pressure.
If you held a position within a company for many years, bring up the successes of the company during your tenure when possible. If you had a solid track record of attendance, this can also be appealing to a potential employer. Younger applicants may not have taken the job serious in the past so hearing someone refer to years of solid job attendance can be a major positive.
For example, an industry such as debt collection has high turnover due to employees having unreliable attendance. Many collection agencies look to hire employees over 50 because they view them as more stable and dependable.
The current job market is changing faster than ever from how we find and connect with potential employers to remote interviews performed online. Staying positive during moments of career uncertainty can be challenging but remember that change can bring new opportunities for growth as well. Your age is only one part of the equation and many interviewers will not be concerned with your age or will even view it as a plus.
Conquering age discrimination is only one part of the process in landing a new job. Make sure you have a refreshed resume that will stand out from the crowd and help you land the job of your dreams.