Interview tips beyond the usual

  • Stephanie Clark

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Do things come in threes?

Posted by Stephanie on June 17, 2011

I am convinced that ideas float in the air, picked up those who are open to possibilities. My last post was about a person of “a certain age” who had not interviewed in years, and then today I had a call from another older job hunter, a 56 year old forced to change careers recently. His job of many years, tool and die, teeters on the brink of extinction.  

Yes, interviewing when you are older is a challenge. Along with ensuring that your “look” is youthful, and that you are as well prepared as the next candidate in terms of relating your subject matter knowledge, the older career changer must also be prepared to reply to possible ageism related questions.

“This is a physically demanding job – do you think you’ll be able to handle it?”

“Our workforce is mainly younger men – do you find it challenging to work with the younger generation?”

No matter what the question, the candidate must consider carefully before replying. Take the focus off age, and put it onto transferable skills, workplace value and so on.

A question about fitness can easily be deflected by sharing weekly cycling, gym, and walking regimen. Adding “I’ve not been sick, even with a cold, in years” or something to that effect should put that concern to rest.

And the question about working with a different generation? Share how you mentored young workers in your last job, or how you volunteer with youth at a local shelter or at your church, or how you coach a minor league team.

Anticipation and strategy handily eliminate these issues; ignoring these and simply “hoping for the best” summarily ensure the candidate’s hopes being dashed and his candidacy being ignored.

We’ll see if a third call comes in!


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