6 winning ways to succeed at a job interview when you’re over 50

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Article by Elisa Nardi, CEO of Notebook Mentor

If you’re over 50 and applying for a job, follow these 6 useful tips from career development expert Elisa Nardi of Notebook Mentor to ensure you give yourself maximum chance of success and stand out from the crowd.

  1.      Don’t assume bias. It’s easy to assume that because you’re over 50 somehow everyone is going to be against you, and all sorts of bias will prevent you from being successful. If you go into any interview or application process with this on your mind, chances are you’ll bring your own unconscious bias into the situation – and that may really work against you.  CVs generally don’t have age on them anymore but obviously experience will indicate your age – wear it as a badge of honour. Life and work experience is worthy of respect.
  2.      Showcase your modernity. Just because you’re over 50 doesn’t mean you don’t understand technology. Being tech savvy is important in most jobs today, so even if you’re not a tech whizz or social media lover, make sure you’re up to date and you understand what technology solutions are important to the company you’re applying to.  You’ll get plenty of clues from their website.
  3.      Check your socials. Going for an interview?  Check that all your social media and online profiles are up to date. There’s nothing more embarrassing than sending someone your CV with lots of recent and relevant experience shown, only for the recruiter to find that your LinkedIn profile was last updated 5 years ago. Google yourself and ensure that what’s out there is relevant and up to date!
  4.      Don’t get flustered or annoyed. You’ve just dialled into your first interview with the recruitment agency used by your prospective employer, and guess what, the interviewer looks like they are still at college?  Do not take offence at being interviewed by someone much younger (or in your eyes) less experienced than you. Be professional in all circumstances and listen carefully to the questions asked. The job-hunting process is about mutual respect.
  5.      Skinny down. Perhaps you’ve been working for a good 25 years? You accumulated a lot of experience and knowledge along the way, right?  Don’t be over enthusiastic about needing to tell a prospective employer about every aspect of your history.  Choose events and experiences that really shaped you as a person. Talk about the most challenges obstacles overcome, or projects delivered.  Rather than deep diving into the entirety of your CV, pick and choose what you think might matter most to the recruiting company.
  6.      Be yourself. No matter, age, experience or other protected characteristics, everyone has the right to be recruited with equality, diversity, and inclusion in mind.  Good employers want people who are different – and that should include the difference of age.  Be yourself and celebrate your history. If an employer doesn’t cherish that, then they are probably not right for you!

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