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Returning to Work at 50: How to ace that job interview

Fa calendar 16 grey June 17, 2020   
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Re-entering the workforce in our 50s is nerve-wracking, challenging, intimidating, and bothersome. Not easy-peasy. But also, not impossible.

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Finding a new job is as hard as it is. Most of the available and easily attainable jobs are saturated with individuals who are just as qualified and competent as the other. It is even more complicated when we are competing with applicants half our age, and everything else seems to be advancing faster than we can say "koosh balls" or "shoulder pads."

Re-entering the workforce in our 50s is nerve-wracking, challenging, intimidating, and bothersome. Not easy-peasy. But also, not impossible. Just not as comfortable as it was 30 or so years ago. Everyone has reasons for re-entering the workforce - a change of pace, applying a recently perfected skill as a profession, midlife crisis, or want to keep learning.

Before applying for a job, make sure that the company is a fit for you and vice-versa. Researching the company's background and culture before sending your resume should give you a brief understanding if it is a fit. While age discrimination is illegal in recruitment, the sad reality is, it happens. Companies know what they are looking for before job vacancies are released. They also hire at their discretion, so qualifications required may more or less be adjusted if they feel the need to do so. Before you hit 'apply,' do your research and make sure both you and the company you are aiming to land a job with fit together.

The beauty of the world advancing at an overwhelmingly fast pace is that learning never stops. Continue educating yourself and keep posted with what is happening - be it what is trending in the workplace, what is new in the tech world, learn the most used apps, or even only learning a new skill. Staying up-to-date instead of being outdated gives us an added edge for whenever we need the advantage.

A career change or job search midlife is not something to be scared of. Wary - maybe, but never scared. But we will do just fine. Now, you've got one foot on the door and have piqued the recruiter's interest; you landed that interview meeting. As with any interview, it boils down to preparation and adapting a go-getter mindset. Keep scrolling for excellent tips on how to prepare for a job interview.

1. Update your look

Times have changed. It was easier before when one can never go wrong in wearing a traditional suit for an interview. Now, business casual is the new chic way to dress for that interview. Keep in mind that business casual differs from one age bracket to the other. Pick an outfit that is both fashion-forward yet age-appropriate. Get that haircut and pair the new look with a classic handbag or leather shoes. Times may have changed, but the old saying still applies: "The first impression lasts," and how you put yourself together is an advantage when you walk in that door.

2. Age is nothing but a number

Mindset plays a crucial role in how you carry yourself. Do not put a negative relevance on age. Doing so will reflect on your mannerisms during the interview. Instead, focus on your life experience and how valuable it is. It makes us seasoned employees and uses it to our advantage by selling it as a useful asset. Your age is not a weakness. Highlight that while your long life and work experience enables you to mentor and guide the younger employees, there is still much room for you to learn from the company and colleagues.

 3. Be comfortable & knowledgeable with technology

This competency is a must. We are in a digital age. While recruiters have preconceived expectations about our proficiency in technology, it will help to know how to use basic office tools like MS PowerPoint, Excel, and Word. It's even better if you are comfortable with the rest of the widely used apps like Slack, Zoom, Teamviewer, and others. If you are not, address it. But, for every weakness, five strengths must replace it. Being tech-savvy is an asset and is valued. If you haven't yet, now is the perfect time to start learning.

4. Be confident

Our brain processes raw emotions. Doubting oneself, no matter how terrific you memorize your script for an interview, eventually leaks out through your body language and behavior. If you are not confident (or at least psyching yourself out to be), it will reflect during the meeting, and nothing discourages a recruiter more than speaking to a potential hire who doesn't believe in themselves.

 5. Be enthusiastic

Whatever your reasons for re-entering the workforce may be, always state the positive. Being enthusiastic about entering the workforce is easily swayed as an advantage. It could be that you are not ready to retire, there is still a lot to look forward to with your professional career, or only because you want to keep learning and be up-to date with current events, which can be achieved on a job. Being upbeat and enthusiastic is always a vibe that recruiters appreciate and showcases one's optimism. Keep the interview on a positive beat, always.

 

By Aubrey Lacuna, a passionate writer and a contributor to contentcampfire.com. She keeps on top of job search and career trends to provide helpful tips on career development.

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Comments

    Wicylif Tusingwire | July 06, 2020 16:20

    Its nice to work with company


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