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How to Win at Job Interviews Over 50

Article courtesy of Exertus

Since the recession and record unemployment levels it has been harder than ever to find a job and the average over-50 job seeker will have to search up to 50% longer than a younger candidate to land a position.

A job candidate who is 50+ can be quite an asset to any company because they have experience and a strong work ethic. It can be difficult sometimes to make an interviewer see past the age and stereotypes though. So here are some tips that could help you nail that next job interview!

Update and improve your resume

First and foremost, in order to get to the interviewer’s table you have to have an updated and relevant resume. If you are over 50 and looking for a job it is quite possible that you were at your last job for over 20 years. While this shows stability it also hints that you might be suffering from tunnel vision created by the last position and do not have the necessary modern skills to perform a new job. You can’t make up a new job but you can attend some workshops or classes to learn about whatever technology is currently being used in your industry. Update your resume accordingly and make sure these things stand out.

Appearance does matter

As much as we all hate to admit it, appearance does matter. Before you interview it might be time to update your wardrobe and hairstyle to something a little more modern. You don’t have to look as though you are about to attend a Lady Ga-Ga concert, but do look smart and sophisticated. When in doubt, have your teenage and adult children give you a quick review before stepping out the door, if nothing else they are good for a little honesty regarding your appearance!

Work up your enthusiasm

Enter the door to your potential new company with pep and enthusiasm. Your job search has taken a lot out of you, it’s frustrating and it’s easy to wear that frustration on your face. Take a few deep breaths and get ready for the interview to begin!

Honesty is the best policy

While the interviewer cannot focus on your age specifically, they will read your resume and then ask you questions about your ability to use modern technology and inquire about why you have been out of work for so long (if you are returning after a period of time). Be prepared to share stories that feature you as an innovative thinker, open to learning new things and able to think outside the box. If you’ve been out of work for a while, honesty is the best policy. Explain that you lost your job and with the recession you have been one of many applying for each job and you are hoping to end your long search with this firm.

Be prepared for all eventualities

Your years of experience may be hurting you. How many times have you heard the interviewer say the dreaded words, “I’m sorry but I feel like you are over qualified for this job?” Can someone really be too qualified to be hired? Many employers think so. Be ready to explain what drew you to this particular company and how you can use your experience to get to work right away, avoiding long training delays and how you can be a steady and reliable employee that will benefit the company.

Now that you are well-armed to ace your next interview, hop on the computer and look for a few new jobs to apply to! Use this opportunity to learn a new piece of technology by creating your own LinkedIn account to market yourself to recruiters. Good luck out there!

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