The chances of job hunters running into age discrimination is likely, and as the population grows older, this issue becomes more of a reality especially since it’s partly about health and money. How do you turn your age and years of experience into an advantage?
1. Be prepared for those inappropriate questions. There’s nothing that exudes confidence and professionalism better than being prepared for those awkward and sometimes illegal questions that come out in an interview.
Don’t… be defensive. Recruiters and hiring managers look at a defensive behavior and try to read between the lines.
Do… your best to turn the situation around. For example, if the interviewer is focusing on your age, highlight how your expertise in the field and years of experience has prepared you for positions of increasingly higher responsibility.
2. Showcase your unique talents and skills. Your interviewers have not walked in your shoes. What you may take for granted as an easy job or task, may be quite impressive to an interviewer.
Don’t… assume that everyone knows what you know. You will be selling yourself short if you don’t point out how your accomplishments, skills, and experience bring a unique perspective to any new position you consider.
Do… share stories of your successes to demonstrate your abilities. Often, a company is interviewing you because they see something in your past that they like, or you’re an expert in an area that they are lacking and want you to help them create a solution.
3. Show enthusiasm! Companies want to hire great leaders, ones that are not only knowledgeable but passionate about their contributions to an organization. They lead with excitement and are great motivators to their teams.
Don’t… walk into an interview with a cloud hanging over your head or a bad attitude. Even if you’ve had a particularly hard time getting interviews, have been rejected or are feeling undervalued, don’t let that show.
Do… lean in a little closer in your chair to show more interest in the interviewer. Keep your voice upbeat and talk about how this type of work motivates you. Explain how your definition of success goes beyond a paycheck and is more about job satisfaction and your passion for excellence.
Turn your many years of history to your advantage. When you do this well, your age can be considered an asset and you become an extremely attractive candidate.