You may be like so many others who are 50 plus, finding yourself, during this turbulent time, fearful and concerned about how to prepare for the guardian of your next job, the dragon at the gate: the dreaded interview process.
The first mistake on the list of Common Boomer Job Interview Mistakes is "winging it." Walking into an interview unprepared is never a good idea. Always prepare as completely as you can for the interview. Research the company. Prepare your answers and questions, and always be sure to practice, practice, and practice.
Your preparation process can be in five steps:
Always be mindful that you must be completely prepared to discuss how your skills, experience, and accomplishments meet the duties required. You will always have competition.
Know as much information as you can about the industry, the job and of the needs and problems of the company. As the saying goes, find out “what keeps them up at night.” Conduct a thorough research campaign of the industry, the company, and the job functions.
[MORE: Guide to Company Research.]
Always try to find out about the individuals who will be interviewing you. Know who will be involved in the interview process. I have had clients report back after an interview that they were interviewed by four people, but only expected one interviewer. Don’t let this happen to you.
Call the company ahead of the interview to ask who will be interviewing you and what their job titles are. Don’t be caught by surprise.
When I interviewed for my last position I actually found myself in a conference room surrounded by six program directors, all asking questions. Was I prepared? You bet I was. I knew each name and area of responsibility. This may seem unusual but believe me it can happen.
Find out ahead of time and don’t walk into the room like a deer in the headlights. Be prepared, not surprised.
(And by the way, I got the job.)
Gathering current, up-to-date information is important. There are many resources available to you to get the information you need.
The fifth step is practice, practice, your questions and answers, Write them down, speak into a mirror, and speak into a tape recorder. Listen to how you sound. Are you convincing? Would you hire you?
Be mindful of your filler words, your tone, and your pitch. Remember! Winging it will never get you the next interview or the offer.
With a Master's degree in Vocational Counseling, Boomer Renée Lee Rosenberg, MA, is a specialist in vocational counseling, career management, job search, and retirement. Renée is also a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) with over 25 years of experience helping individuals navigate career change, cope with stress, and achieve successful outcomes and a Certified Five O’Clock Club coach for over 20 years. For more information about Renée, visit her websites RetirementTutor.com and PositivityPro.com. You can also find her Profile on LinkedIn, send her an email at [email protected], or call her office at (212) 924-2117.
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