Jason Roberson
8 months ago
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Interviewing Balance #Ageism

Hello Community, I've really tried to keep an open eye on issues around ageism, especially since I"m no spring chicken myself, and since I was made aware of the trend via this group. In my efforts, I've not only spoken with co-workers who hire but also 40+ friends about their job hunt challenges. I wanted to provide some perspectives, I think will be helpful.

Before I do, I want to say that although potential solutions can be on us, that doesn't mean you are the problem or that you are to blame and I'm also not saying you are the reason for this widespread discrimination.

With that being said, it is still true until larger solutions are in place we as individuals must take our personal situations in our own hands and try to make due.

A trend that could lead to an older candidate flopping in the interview has been brought to my attention and I wanted to share it with you all.

This trend is an unbalanced approach to experience.

-On one side, the older potential employee comes across as an over experienced know it all, who will step in like a wise parental figure and get this new generation office into shape with their wisdom.

-On the other side, it's the older potential employee who shows up to too eager to follow and take direction akin to the first job college student.

To be blunt few want to hire someone who will come in and question and fire back at all the company procedures and cultural items in place with their personal opinion. On the other end, very few want to hire an "aged newbie" who seems way too eager to find a mentor.

Is your interview balanced in the area of experience?

Find the balance. Discover ways to avoid seeming rigid, a know it all or unable to adjust quickly, because business is moving faster than ever these days. On the other side, show leadership and the ability to mix learning with providing expertise and sharing experience. It's all about balance.

Lastly, it would help to research the companies culture and only seek opportunities you would truly enjoy. In the interview speak about how you can see yourself fitting in. If the company mentions they have a game room with a stocked fridge like a lot of companies do these days, don't say "I hope I don't sit near that game room, I hate noise."

Try an "I will thrive in this environment" type of statement. I.E "I've researched your culture and I can really see myself enjoying the game room when appropriate and even winning the annual WII or Ping Pong tournament I read about".

SUMMARY

  1. Don't be the older know-it-all wanting to revert the company to the good ol days.
  2. Avoid being the "I'm just here to learn the new-ways-person". Sadly, nobody wants to get us up to speed.
  3. Research company culture and apply only to places where you would ENJOY hanging out 40 hours a week.
  4. Talk about how great of a match the culture is for you and your ability to add any "needed" value to it.

This is a wide range observation so of course, job type and a host of other factors are key to deploying this but overall just something to be aware of.

Best of success to you all. Please continue to have a year "FOCUSED" on success. No easy task but we control our focus right. :) #ageism

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Cathy Mattie
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I now no why I'm not working. Thank you!!! I guess I knew this but in denial. It's really hard to go into a new job knowing more than your coworkers! Being trained by people who are inexperienced and making your job 3x harder. When I offer SUGGESTIONS, IM THE KNOW IT ALL. I'm too old to be running like a chicken with my head cut off! I know my job! I'm exhausted working with this lazy new bunch! I'm either doing it all, or have to shut my mouth with a smile and struggle in stupidity!?!?!?! PLEASE GIVE ME SOME ADVICE. I have to work. I'm single and 59.

32w
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Sandy Malone
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Great insight!

32w
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Mike Snyder
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You will never be able to prove Ageism as a reason for termination or anything else (training, etc). It's been done to me twice. Just roll with the punches. Tenacity will get you that new job. I'm not in my 40's or 50's. I'm older than that.

32w
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Debbie Cruz
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thank you for great advice!

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Jairo Fortuna-Hernandez
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I have enjoyed reading this articule. Thanks for your advice

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Monique Mason
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Thanks a lot for this article!!...your advice is greatly appreciated!!!

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Sandy Malone
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Hi Jason, I appreciate the post and your insight. I do agree with what you have to say, on the other hand when companies are using videos for interviewing purposes as I have had to do last week I feel this is their way of weeding out people that either do not fit the part of their culture or are gauging your age.

32w
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Sandy Malone
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Question: when you say “too eager” does this mean to not call them let them call you! I was supposed to have a follow up call as per the Executive Assistant of the President of a company and so far have not heard back. I would at least like to have an email at least saying they are moving on to other candidates!

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ARCHIMEDE RUSANGIZA
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i like your comment

31w
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Lynn Tadej
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Wow. You are good. Very helpful advice actually for all ages. Many young people as well as older go into am interview and think they know it all. One situation I was in, thank God nothing like that, was I was the number candidate for the position, which I didn't know going in. I got the job after my interview, oddly enough, was because I was being interviewed by a male HR person and a female Accounting Supervisor. After all was said and done, I was told I was a good fit and that I was hired because I made eye contact with not only HR but with her, the supervisor. She said every person that came for an interview never made eye contact with her and she felt she was invisible and that people must have thought she wasn't important because she was a woman and HR did hiring, who was a man, which was and usually not the case. Very important obseration on her part as the one that would be working with the hiree and a lesson to be learned by all looking for a job. Everyone in the room is important to acknowledge when talking'!!!! Or answering, no matter who is asking the question.

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