Have You Ever Been Asked an Interview Question That Made You Feel Like You Were Too Old for The Job?
Unfortunately, ageism is alive and well in the US.
Age-related bias (whether it is conscious or unconscious) can become painfully apparent during the interview process.
How can you respond to age-related interview questions to show you are a great candidate for the job, not despite of your years of experience, but because of your experience?
Here are some subtle age-related questions and how you can answer them well:
Q: “We use state-of-the-art ABC software. Do you have experience working with this type of technology?” This is a perfect opportunity to speak about your comfort level with technology. Be honest about your familiarity with the specific software and be ready to show examples of how you adapted quickly to new technology in your past roles.
A: “I’m not familiar with ABC software, but I’m a fast learner. I’m confident I can learn the technology very quickly. In my last job, not only did I learn the new system within 2 weeks, but I was selected as a subject matter expert to train other team members.”
Q: “A lot of our employees are recent college grads. How will you interact with them?” In our multi-generational workforce, both your interviewer and the hiring manager may be younger than you. Reassure the interviewer that you welcome the opportunity to work with a diverse workforce.
A: “I’m very comfortable working alongside and learning from young people, and I have a feeling they’ll learn from me as well. My last team also included a very diverse and high-performing workforce.”
Q: “How have you kept your skills up to date?” This question may show the interviewer’s unconscious bias that younger applicants have more current skills than more mature applicants.
A: Use this question as an opportunity to showcase your current skills such as participating in online courses, obtaining certifications, or attending industry-specific online conferences. “I am so glad you asked. I have recently achieved my PMP certification to keep my skills fresh and to qualify for more Project Manager jobs.”
If your resume is getting you to the interview, but you are not landing the job, you may need some help to prepare for your next interview.
Now is the best time to prepare for your next job. I am happy to help you gain the confidence to tell your unique career story.
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Remain positive and be proactive about your career goals.
With warm regards,