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4 Toughest Job Interview Questions for People Over 50

Be prepared for these hardballs and you'll be a stronger candidate

By Martin Yate, CPC

Getting hired in today’s economy isn’t easy, and men and women over 50 often have an extremely rough time. Some employers assume these candidates are overqualified or out of touch. So Next Avenue asked Martin Yate, author of the new book, Knock 'Em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide 2012, to tell us which questions are toughest for over-50 job seekers to answer in an interview — even more important, the best ways to answer them.

 

Aren’t you over qualified for this job?

 

 

Are you up to date with the latest technology and use of social networks?

 

Then, show how comfortable you are using social networks for work, especially LinkedIn. You might say: “I have an up-to-date profile on LinkedIn.com (be sure you do). I belong to professional networking groups through LinkedIn and monitor posts there weekly. I consider social networking to be a valuable tool in my ongoing professional development, and the information shared in those forums keeps me up to date with happenings and innovations within the industry.”

    

Why have you been out of work for so long?

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How to answer: Use facts. Be honest. Say something like this: “If you look at my work history you’ll see it has been steady for many years. Then I lost my job in this last recession. I’d never had a problem finding a job before, but when I’ve applied for jobs lately, my resumé often got stuck in a database and was never even seen by recruiters or prospective employers.”

 

Then move the conversation forward to what’s most important to the interviewer: What you can do for him or her and how quickly you’d be productive. You might finish with a question of your own, asking about the most difficult and/or urgent responsibilities of the job. The interviewer’s answer should give you ammunition to talk about how well suited you’d be for the position.

 

What is your greatest strength?

 

Interviewers try to determine how well you possess these types of skills and values. Be sure you can easily communicate how well they’ve contributed to the success of your career. That way, they’ll become an integral part of a desirable professional brand that happens to be you.

Martin Yate, CPCYate is an expert in the world of job search and career management and author of numerous books including Knock 'Em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide. He offers job-hunting resources and advice at www.knockemdead.com and at twitter.com/knockemdead. Read More
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