As an older adult with plenty of experience in the workforce, there’s nothing more frustrating than being denied a job to a younger, inexperienced worker. This scenario, however, is often the case, with nearly two out of three workers age 45 or older saying they have experienced age discrimination.
If you’re worried about ageism going into your next job interview, there are plenty of strategies you can deploy to help make age a non-issue. For instance, you can lead with energy instead of talking about your experience. Instead of discussing how many years of experience you have, or how many times you’ve done a certain type of project, show your enthusiasm for the job by saying something like, “This is my sweet spot. This is the work I love to do.” Calling out all of your years of experience (no matter how valid or meaningful) can have the unintended consequence of alienating or intimidating your interviewer, or making you appear to be a know-it-all.
Another strategy is to adopt a consulting mindset. Approach your interviews as consulting conversations, showing curiosity and a learning mindset. Use good open-ended questions, combined with engaged listening, to better understand the organization’s context and unique challenges to identify where and how you can most add value. This approach will not only be more compelling but also will help you show up more confidently, as you elevate yourself to being a peer of your interviewer.
Want more strategies to deal with age discrimination? Look no further.