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Interview Preparation for Mid-Life Career Job Seekers

By Dr. Jan Cannon

Often the challenge of interviewing is knowing what to prepare. With a long or varied work experience, choosing what's relevant to the new job can be a challenge.

Generally the interview is behavior-related, and questions will be asked related to how you acted on the job.

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Relate Job Requirements to Your Previous Accomplishments

When preparing for the interview, identify the skills and activities you'll be using in the new job. How are they related to skills and activities you used in the past? Think of some specific instances where you excelled – three to five should be enough.

Include Recent Accomplishments

What have you accomplished recently? Interviewers are looking for up-to-date skills, especially in their older workers. What did you learn from your experiences, both positive and negative? What might you do differently if the same problem presented itself?

Don't Forget Non-Work Accomplishments

When thinking about situations to discuss in the interview, do not limit yourself to work experiences. If you've returned to school recently, or taken additional training courses, think about how you behaved in situations you encountered there. Or if you've volunteered or participated in community or political activities, maybe you applied your knowledge or skills in a way that reveals your abilities that related to the job you're interviewing for. These are often resources when changing job fields.

Prepare Examples in Advance

Be sure to write down your stories or notes about them to refer to in the intensity of the interview without anxiety. The more you can think through the situations you'll be discussing before the actual interview, the more you'll be able to mine the experiences for relevant details which related to the job at hand.

The Boy Scouts are right: Be Prepared.


About the author...

Dr. Jan Cannon, Job-Hunt's Mid-Life Career Expert, is author of Now What Do I Do? The Woman's Guide to a New Career, Find a Job: 7 Steps to Success, Finding a Job in a Slow Economy, co-author of Exceptional Accomplishment, and a career professional for 20 years. Visit her website, JobSearchDoctor.com, and circle Jan on Google+ for more career advice and help.