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Job Interview Tips If You're 50 or Over

Those who are 50 and over know that it's not easy to get job interviews and scoop up choice jobs. As a prime-time job seeker, you can greatly improve your odds of being chosen by learning new and improved job search skills and interviewing techniques.

Try the following techniques when interviewing for a new position:

  • Experiment with statements clarifying that contributing to the employer’s goals is your first priority.

  • Storytell by preparing examples of your high energy, fresh enthusiasm, and willingness to compete.

  • Carry yourself with a young attitude. Enter the room with pep in your step.

  • Don’t enter an interviewing room with the attitude that your experience should speak for itself. Merely listing your tasks doesn’t impress employers. Instead answer the so-what question: Explain what difference you made and how your experience translates to their needs right now.

  • Downplay ancient history. Unless you have a compelling reason to look way back in your career, focus your comments on the past 10 or 15 years. Talk only about your past experience that relates to the job at hand.

  • To get around being seen as a tiresome know-it-all, don’t constantly say “I know.” Instead, acknowledge an interviewer’s statement with “That’s interesting.” “You make a good point.” “I see what you mean.”

  • Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “uppity child” when you’re being interviewed by a younger hiring manager. Your interview mindset should realign your ideas of authority: Mutual respect is the right tone — even when the interviewer is young enough to be your kid.

  • Use the question technique to avoid seeming to take charge of the interview: “Did I fully explain how I can make a difference in solving the problem we’ve just discussed?” or “Have I left unanswered any questions that you may have about my being the best person for this job?” When the answer indicates no reservations remain, smile and ask “When do I start?”

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