Help Decide the Future of Aging. Join the White House’s Live Stream Tomorrow. Learn more

Job Tips for Workers 50+

How to Ace the Job Interview

Don't be afraid to sell your strengths

Interviews are stressful at any age, but much more so if you are bogged down by fears of age bias. The secret of having a good interview is in selling your strengths—and that means being positive and parking your baggage at the door.

See also: Write a winning resume.

If you take time to research the employer, to anticipate questions, and to prepare your talking points, you’re well on your way to success.

What to Expect

  • De-stress yourself before the interview. Use relaxation techniques, such as exercise, deep breathing, visualization, or whatever works for you (excluding a stiff drink!).
  • Employers want to know you’re a good fit. Be prepared to answer this question: How will hiring you add to the success of our organization?
  • If you can, find out who will be interviewing you and whether it’s an individual or a group interview. Know that there’s a good chance the interviewer will be younger than you.
  • You may be asked how you would respond to specific situations (often referred to as behavioral interviewing). For example: “Tell me about a time when you were faced with making a difficult decision.” Cite examples from recent jobs.

What to Say and What Not to Say

  • Focus on skills and achievements rather than on your many years of experience. Talk only about your accomplishments that relate to this particular job.
  • Respond to questions directly, but limit your answers to what was asked. Ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question.
  • Learn and use the current language and terminology in the field. Industry jargon may have changed since you last interviewed for a job.
  • Never say anything negative about former employers or coworkers.

Next: How to tackle age-related questions. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Jobs You Might Like

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

UPS Store membership discount aarp benefits

Members save 15% on eligible products/services, 5% on UPS shipping at The UPS Store®.

membership adt

Small business owners save 20% on new installation of any new ADT security system.

Man using cell phone outdoors

Members save on monthly service & usage fees and get free activation with Consumer Cellular.

Member Benefits

Renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.