How to Ace Your Next Interview as an Older Adult
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It is no secret that many older adults find the job market challenging because many companies seem to favor the new graduates who are fresh out of school and have decades of working years ahead of them. However, do not let this keep you down because as an older adult, you have many things to offer that younger people have not yet developed. The key is to know how to use your qualifications in the best way to get the attention of the hiring manager so that you can get an interview and walk away with a new job.
Focus Your Skills on the Job at Hand
Older adults have a wealth of experience under their belt, but when you go to a job interview, it is important that you are focusing on your skills that pertain to that specific job. For example, if you are going for a job at a bank, you want to focus on your qualifications that make you a good fit for a bank position. Things like experience with money and other financial things should be brought to the forefront of your interview. Customer service and time management skills can also be helpful for this type of job.
You just want to avoid getting off track and discussing jobs from your past that are not related to this industry. To put it simple, you want the hiring manager to see how you can take your experience and tailor it to the job that you are specifically interviewing for.
Always Be Honest and Open
Some older adults downplay their skills and qualifications because they fear that they will be overqualified for the job they are applying for. There will always be instances where hiring managers see you as overqualified, but if you are open and honest, you can be confident that more managers will actually appreciate this quality and see it as a good thing. When you are asked about how long you have been doing something, just tell them without hesitation. Most jobs can appreciate a candidate that has extensive experience in a specific field.
Tailor Your Resume to the Job
You have a lot of experience and you want to make sure that the hiring manager is able to see exactly what you can bring to the job that you are applying for. This often means tweaking your resume for the specific job so that your qualifications that directly apply are readily relevant. For example, if you are applying for a job in customer service, you want to put your customer service skills and experience at the forefront of your resume so that these are the first things that your potential employer sees when your resume hits their desk.
Make Sure to Dress for the Job
Now, this does not mean that you have to dress like the 30-year-old career candidates today, but when you go to an interview, dress for the job you are applying for. Older people tend to get very dressed up for job interviews and this is appropriate in some instances. However, keeping it business casual is going to be the best option. While you want the hiring manager to take notice of your ability to look great, you want the majority of the focus to be on what you can bring to the company should you be extended employment.
Do Not Over-Sell Yourself
You have a lot of experience and it is easy to bank on this fact and be a little overzealous when talking about what you have to bring to the table. Now, you never want to downplay your experience and qualifications, but you want to make sure that everything you discuss is honest. Never tell potential employers you have more experience with something than you actually have because you want to get the job based on exactly what you have to offer.
Make sure that you present your qualifications and the length of your experience with a solid balance. For example, be clear about how long you have been doing the tasks that relate to this specific job. You can also draw in your life experiences as appropriate to solidify your experience and qualifications. The balance comes when you do not want to remind the hiring manager that you will be retiring in 15 or fewer years. This takes practice, but you can do mock interviews to get this balance down and ace your next interview.