5 Ways to Resolve the Age Issue in Interviews
Do you think employers are shying away from hiring you because of your age? Have you been told you’re “overqualified”? You may not be able to hide your age, but there are ways to make hiring you appealing.
There are five main reasons why employers don’t want to hire older applicants, and here is what to do:
1. Convey energy. People believe that young, fresh minds and bodies have more energy which leads them to get more accomplished more quickly and that they are more interested in new ideas and ways of doing things. You don’t want to come across as being passive and sedentary. How do you demonstrate energy? Walk quickly, have a lively smile, and give a firm handshake. During the interview, sit leaning slightly forward to show interest. Nod often and interject comments when appropriate. Use hand gestures freely when discussing interview answers.
2. Present a modern appearance. Businesses want to communicate to the public that they are up to date on business practices, technology, and consumer trends. Impressions about the company are affected by the appearance of employees who represent them, so you want the employer to believe you are up to date with those things too. If your hair is gray, I strongly recommend you color it. If you’ve never done that before, go to a professional. Also, look at the clothing styles and shoes in magazines and ensure that your interview outfit, make-up, and glasses match the current fashions.
3. Be proficient in the latest technology. Employers don’t have to take the time to train new hires on software, because there are plenty of applicants on the job market who already have the skills. Employers can be wary of older applicants, worrying that they are familiar with mostly older software no longer used by their company. Whatever your industry is, get knowledgeable about the newest programs. Have that information on your resume and let the employer know during the interview as well.
4. Communicate flexibility. The willingness to learn new skills and to change as the industry changes are important to employers. Who wants a stuffy old worker stuck in the old way of doing things? Flexibility also includes being open to having a supervisor who is younger than you and may have less experience than you do. At the interview, ask who would be your direct supervisor and smile with enthusiasm as you tell that person how great that would be.
5. Tell them you won’t be retiring any time soon. Employers don’t want to hire you only to have to go through the process of replacing you in two years. It’s time-consuming and stressful for your supervisor and co-workers and affects productivity. Even if they don’t ask and even if it’s not true, let them know you plan to work for at least 10 more years.
Also remember to let them know how your abundance of experience makes you, not overqualified, but more valuable to the business with advanced knowledge and expertise and possibly a large number of dedicated customers and contacts. Although it’s not fair and in a perfect world age discrimination wouldn’t exist, it’s your job to overcompensate for not being young. Do it with style and get hired!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Krista Mitchell is a Certified Professional Resume Writer crafting resumes designed to showcase your value with impact and is a leading job search industry expert. Her website also features articles to aid you in your job search. Free comprehensive resume reviews as well as full resume and cover letter writing services offered. http://www.composureresumes.com ~Pages for the next chapter in your career...~