Candidates who review possible interview questions and rehearse their response are more likely to be comfortable and confident in the interview.
By: Deborah Thomas
As a baby-boomer woman, you could be in the market for a new job for several reasons. Whether your kids are all grown up or you are just ready for a new challenge, consider this advice:
Demonstrate Passion for What You Do
Share your personality and look for ways to inject enthusiasm into your conversation. Don’t fake something you are not, but show true interest in the company, your work and how what you have done in the past and what you will do in the future excites you. Instead of just talking about daily responsibilities in this job or others, acknowledge how a company’s products or services affect people’s lives as a whole. Tell what got you into the industry. If that’s not relevant, then tell what’s kept you there. Employers want to know you are committed to the work and have a real interest in it — not that you are just taking whatever job you can get.
Be Prepared to Respond to Tricky Questions
Don’t enter the interview with a chip on your shoulder, but know how you’ll respond if questionable topics are approached. For example, the interviewer may not ask you how old you are, but he or she may fish for the answer with questions such as “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” or “When did you graduate from college?” If broached, turn the subject around in your favor. Calmly talk about how your knowledge and years of experience have prepared you to handle just about anything, then share a relevant example. According to Job-Applications.com, candidates who review possible interview questions and rehearse their response are more likely to be comfortable and confident in the interview. Ask a friend to mock interview you so you can practice giving clear, interesting answers.
Have a Sense of Humor
The most qualified candidates don’t always get the callback — the most memorable ones generally do. Granted, you must be memorable for the right reasons. As an older candidate, show your confidence and character. If you make a mistake, slip up or don’t know the answer to something, admit it and move on. Interviewers will respect that you have great training, education and experience but they appreciate if you are a fun, likable human being, too.
Revamp Your Resume
Don’t let your resume date you. Change the wording and format to bring your resume up to date. Use current terminology in your field. Focus on skills, accomplishments and relevant experience instead of dates or employment history. If employers don’t request a specific format, send your resume as a PDF so fonts and formats aren’t changed if they don’t have the same operating system as you do. Maintain an active LinkedIn account, and consider creating a personal website if additional space or unique formatting would be beneficial. Weebly.com is a free website builder that requires little to no technical skills.
Don’t Assume Your Resume Speaks for Itself
Often seasoned workers think their experience and skills are enough to earn them the respect they enjoyed in previous positions. Don’t make this mistake. Enter every networking opportunity and job interview with an easy break-down of your history, why it’s important and what it means. Be prepared to share specific examples of your abilities and accomplishments. Everything you say should demonstrate why you are of value to your next employer, even if it is just something about your personality that shows you are an enthusiastic, passionate worker.
About the Author:
Deborah Thomas is a working mom with a private legal practice. She also sells travel insurance part time.
Photo: Hashoo Foundation