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Job Tips for Workers 50+

How to Ace the Job Interview

Don't be afraid to sell your strengths

Anticipate Age-Related Questions

  • “Aren’t you overqualified?” Explain why you’re interested in this job and this employer at this time in your career. Focus on what you bring to the job.
  • “Will you be comfortable working for someone younger?” Stress your ability to work with people of all ages, with examples from your recent work history.
  • “You haven’t worked for a long time. Why is that?” Be matter-of-fact in explaining employment gaps. Emphasize skills gained through volunteering, raising a family, or caregiving.

What About Salary Issues?

  • Do not raise the issue of salary unless the interviewer brings it up.
  • If asked about your salary history, ask what range the employer is working with for the position.
  • If the interviewer presses you to say what salary you are looking for, you can say “negotiable,” or use a range rather than a specific number. Be prepared by researching salary levels for similar positions in your area.

Act the Part

  • Be on time. If you’re extremely early, it can signal that you’re overanxious. But absolutely do not be late. Know where you’re going ahead of time, and map your route if necessary.
  • Dress appropriately and professionally. Better to dress up than to look too casual. Update your wardrobe and replace that interview suit from 20 years ago!
  • Walk tall, speak clearly, use eye contact, and smile. Practice your handshake; it should be firm—neither a wet noodle nor a vise grip.

Follow Up After the Interview

  • Send a thank-you note or e-mail immediately.
  • If you don’t hear anything in the expected time, wait a few more days. Then call once more to check in.

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