Interview Tips for Older Job Seekers You Need to Know About

Landing a job in today's market can be difficult, but seniors have some unique advantages. Here are some interview tips for older job seekers to help you.
mature lady prepares for her interview while holding her cv

Job interviewing can be a nerve-wracking experience at any age. If you're a senior citizen looking for a job, you may have additional concerns about how to present yourself to potential employers. After all, you're competing against people who may have more recent experience or advanced degrees. However, there are some things you can do to give yourself an edge in the job market. Here are some job interview tips for older workers.

Interview Tips for Older Job Seekers


Research the Company Before Your Interview

Our first tip for older job seekers is to research the company before the interview. This will help you answer questions during the interview, but it will also give you a better sense of whether or not the company is a good fit for you. Make sure to learn about the company's mission, vision, and values. This information can be found on their website or through other online resources.

Keep in mind that your goal is not just to impress the interviewer with your knowledge, but also to determine if this is a company you would be happy working for. Ask yourself if their mission resonates with you and if you would be proud to be a part of their team. Take your time and make sure you have a good understanding of the company before making any decisions.

Dress Professionally

The job opportunities for older people can be tough to get. To make sure you have the best chance possible of impressing your potential employer and landing the job, it's important to make a good first impression - and that starts with what you wear to your interview.

Even if the dress code at the company is casual, take the time to put together an outfit that reflects that you are taking the interview process seriously.

Choose clean, wrinkle-free clothes, and avoid anything too flashy or revealing. First impressions matter, so make sure you present yourself as a polished and professional candidate by dressing like you mean business. The effort will reflect well on you and could make all the difference in whether or not you get the job.

Be Prepared to Talk About Your Experience

Our next interview tip for senior citizens is to be comfortable with talking about yourself.

Even if you've been out of the workforce for a while, you likely have plenty of relevant experience to share with potential employers. Be sure to highlight your skills and accomplishments in your cover letter and resume and be prepared to discuss them in detail during the interview.

Your experience is valuable, and employers will be interested in hearing what you have to offer. Tell them about your unique perspective on the organization and how your skills can help them achieve their goals.

Ask Questions

Your interviewer will likely ask if you have any questions near the end of the conversation. This is your opportunity to get more information about the position and the company. Prepare a few questions in advance so you don't struggle to come up with something on the spot. Some good questions to ask include:

  • What are the biggest challenges in this role?
  • What would a successful candidate look like?
  • What is the team dynamic like?
  • What are the next steps in the hiring process?

Asking thoughtful questions shows that you're engaged and interested in the position and can give you insight into whether or not it's the right fit for you. So, take some time to prepare in advance, and make sure you make a great impression by asking smart, relevant questions during your interview.

Now that you know the job interview tips to help older workers sail smoothly through the interview, let's look at the things you shouldn't do during your interview.


Apologize for Any Gaps in Employment History on Your Resume

First on our list of don’ts when it comes to job interview tips for seniors is to not sweat gaps in your resume!

While employment gaps can raise eyebrows on a resume, there are a variety of reasons why someone might take an extended break from the workforce. If you're nervous about explaining a gap in your employment history, try to frame it in a positive light.

For example, if you took time off to raise a family, you can discuss how that experience has helped you develop strong organizational and time management skills. Alternatively, if you left the workforce to care for an ill relative, you can highlight the compassion and patience you gained from that experience.

Regardless of your reason for taking time off, be honest and thoughtful in your explanation. By doing so, you'll show that you're capable of overcoming challenges and adapting to changing circumstances—skills that will undoubtedly come in handy in any job.

senior job seeker confidently talks to her interviewers

Talk Badly About Past Employers

Even if you had the worst job in the world, avoiding badmouthing your previous employer during a job interview is important. This kind of negativity will only serve to make you look unprofessional and difficult to work with. Instead, focus on highlighting the positive aspects of your previous position, such as what you learned or the skills you developed.

If you left your last job due to conflict with your boss, try to frame it in a way that emphasizes your commitment to teamwork and resolving conflict. For example, you might say something like, “I’ve found that I work best in an environment where there is open communication and a team-based approach to problem-solving.”

By framing your experience in a positive light, you’ll show potential employers that you’re a mature, adaptable professional who is ready for any challenges that come your way.

Interrupt the Interviewer or Talk Over Them

One of the most important things to remember when being interviewed is to not interrupt your interviewer. This shows a lack of respect and consideration. Wait until they've finished speaking before sharing your thoughts. Not only is it rude to interrupt, but it also makes it difficult for the interviewer to understand what you're saying.

When you're in interview hiring mode, think of it as a conversation. You want to be respectful and considerate of the other person's time and ideas. By waiting until they finish speaking, you're able to show that you respect their time and thoughts. And, in turn, they'll be more likely to listen to what you have to say.

Be Afraid to Ask for What You Want

Many people are under the false impression that the hard part is over once they've landed a job. In reality, however, the real work begins when it's time to negotiate your salary and benefits package. It's important to remember that you are in the driver's seat when it comes to salary negotiations.

If there's something specific that you're looking for in terms of salary, benefits, or scheduling, don't be afraid to discuss it with your potential employer. The worst they can say is no! Keep in mind, however, that you should always enter into negotiations with a realistic understanding of what you're worth.

Doing your research ahead of time will give you a better idea of what to expect and help you avoid settling for less than you deserve. Finally, remember that salary negotiation is a two-way street. Be prepared to compromise and be flexible to reach an agreement that works for both parties.

Assistance Club Summary

Landing a job as a senior citizen can be a challenge, but it's not impossible! Following these interview tips for seniors will increase your chances of impressing potential employers and landing the job of your dreams, whether that’s a career you’ve long dreamed of or something as simple as a gig economy job for seniors. We hope this Senior Assistance Club guide has been useful to you. Good luck!