How to Interview: Strategies for Older Workers
If you are an older worker looking for a job, you face many challenges similar to your younger counterparts but also challenges that are distinct to your age group. Seniors are often an overlooked demographic. However, this age group is staying in the work force longer. A recent survey conducted by the AARP indicates that more than 60 percent of Americans who are nearing retirement age are looking to subsidize their incomes with part-time jobs as they do not feel financially secure.
All of these circumstances may seem daunting aspects for those deep in the job search process, and more so for anyone about to conduct one of many a job interview. America’s Job Exchange offers several strategies you can employ to help your mindset as you begin the interview process.
First and foremost, as an older employee, you have a depth and breadth of knowledge to bring to a job. When interviewing, emphasize your results and accomplishments. This can actually work in your favor as you may have more career highlights to tout vs. a younger candidate - this can help set you apart.
Here is where you can also outline your desire to learn and expand your experience even further. Do your research and be prepared to discuss the skills, education, seminars and programs that you have participated in that are directly applicable to the position you are seeking. Also discuss how you are looking to augment your credentials with continuing education, if applicable.
It is more than likely that you will be interviewed by someone who is younger than you. This may be an awkward situation, but again, you can make this work in your favor. The goal for any job candidate is to showcase themselves as a good prospect; someone that is knowledgeable, is adept to adjusting to changing situations and can communicate and interact with a wide-range of co-workers - younger or older.
Here is where you need to recognize that you are part of a larger, dynamic group. By 2015 the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that 20 percent of workers will be over the age of 55. Use this statistic and your maturity to your advantage. You are a large part of the labor market and your age group will be required to fill many jobs along with your younger counterparts.
Recognize that ageism does exist. When conducting interviews be aware of this fact and prepared to respond. Remember that Equal Opportunity Employment (EEO) dictates that no employer can discriminate against someone based on an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or age.
Lastly, keep a positive attitude. When all is said and done, attitude is everything in a job search and more so during an interview. Ultimately, people want to work with people they like. Those that have demonstrated a depth and breadth of knowledge, a willingness to learn and adapt, coupled with a can-do, positive attitude, are considered ideal candidates. Is that you?
For job opportunities for seniors, visit America’s Job Exchange and register today.