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How to Interview with People Who Are Older than You Are

How to Interview with People Who Are Older than You Are

Have you ever been interviewed by someone who is a lot older than you are? If you have, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Your interviewer is 10, 20 or even 30 years older than you are, someone with years of experience. You sit there wondering how you can connect with someone who doesn’t really understand the music you love, the technology you use, the clothes you wear, or what’s on your mind most of the time.

Don’t sweat about it. Here are some strategies that will help reduce the distance between you and your interviewer and prove that you deserve a job offer because you bring exceptional strengths and abilities to the job.

Talk Enthusiastically about what You Are Doing Right Now

Avoid the tendency to be too modest about your current activities. If you have a job, talk about everything you are learning from it, about the good people you work with, and more. If you aren’t working right now, talk with that same level of enthusiasm about everything you are up to. Say that you love your church involvements, you cherish spending time with the kids or elders in your family, and that you are learning from every course that you are taking. Portray everything you are doing as good, great or better. And never apologize about what you are up to.

Enthusiasm counts more than experience in the minds of people who are recruiting young job applicants. Get it working for you.

Do Your Homework Ahead of Time

If you come armed with knowledge about the company that’s hiring, you will stand out in a way that cuts across generations and years. So get to know about what the company does, what makes it unusual, who its customers are – and more.

A little preparation will make you stand out from other job applicants who didn’t invest the time to prepare.

Ask a Lot of Questions

Ask about the company and the job. Ask about what a typical workday will be like. Ask about the most important skills that you need to do the job well. Ask what kind of promotions you can look forward to if you excel in your new job. If you and the interviewer seem to be communicating well, you can also ask the interviewer some slightly personal questions – how long has she been with the company, for example? Does she live nearby?

When you ask questions in an interview, you show that you are genuinely interested in the job – and that interest makes you stand out as a potential employee.

Be Observant and Connect

If you are lucky, the things you see in your interviewer’s office might offer you cues to what he or she thinks are important. Notice those things and connect about them. If there are pictures of children, for example, ask about them. How old are they? Where do they go to school? If there is a picture of your interviewer’s car or what looks like a favorite vacation spot, ask about those things too.

When you notice and connect, you demonstrate maturity – a trait that seems to reduce the distance between your age and your interviewer’s.

Say, “I Really Want this Job!”

We’ve recommended this strategy before on the Apploi blog, because it works! If you really want a job, saying so helps you stand out from other applicants. It shows you are responsible, decisive and eager to move your career ahead.

Now Go and Get Those Interviews!

Why not get started! It’s easy to find your next job using the Apploi job search app and start lining up those job interviews. To get started, email your resume to apploimyresume@apploi.com. We’ll send you an email with instructions for activating your account. It’s as easy as that.

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