By Guest Author Judy Bitterli, Senior Vice President of Marketing for AVG: the free antivirus software provider.
During the past few years, I have witnessed some amazing job interviews by people over fifty and sadly observed many dismal failures. Here are five tips to make sure your skills shine through:
- Get your head in the right place. Remind yourself, this is not about you. This is about what you can offer the company. No one owes “boomers” anything. Start with a mental list of what you would bring to the company and keep the list succinct and ready. Then, learn everything you can about them. If the company is public, read their annual report. If they are private read their press clippings.
- Show up with energy. No, I’m not talking about hitting up Starbucks. What I mean is that you need to convey you can still “hang” through the hours and have intensity. Simple things like sitting up straight and speaking with conviction will hit this. Also, practice at home. Practice standard interview questions with your friends and record them on your phone. Playback. Practice. Playback. Practice. How you sound may surprise you but by using this tool you’ll get a head start and make a great impression.
- Relax and Smile. People want a coworker who is a pleasure to be around. If you make the experience stressful, you’re less likely to be hired. Create a music play list for that last half hour before an interview. Make sure it’s happy music that keeps you relaxed. Or try an app like Simply Being to get in touch with your inner Zen. But don’t get so relaxed you fall asleep. Pre-install extreme Alarm Clock just in case.
- Convey passion about the opportunity. Frame this job as a calling, but don’t go over the top. Tell them why it gets you out of bed every day. Whatever it is from answering a phone to driving a bus. Be passionate about the position.
- Start off with the question, “What skills are you looking for in the person you hire for this position?” It creates a conversation and gives you time to frame your skills around the requirements.
Make sure you express no technology gaps, are proficient on Microsoft Office, have an up to date LinkedIn profile that matches your resume and recommendations on your LinkedIn account. When putting together your resume, make sure it’s in a file format accessible to all computers, such as a PDF or Word document saved in a .doc format. And scan that resume with your antivirus software before you send along to ensure it isn’t blocked by your Internet Service Provider or a company’s firewall system.