6 ageist job interview questions and how to answer them


In a survey by career counseling site CAREEREALISM, of the 55% of professionals who identified themselves as “seasoned workers” or “mid-life career changers,” 87% responded that they believed discrimination based on age hampered their job search.

Some industries are particularly difficult for seasoned workers. In the tech industry, for example, baby boomers and Gen Xers are both at higher risk of age discrimination. A Dice Insights survey found that 68% of baby boomers in tech say they were discouraged from applying for a job because of their age.

Just getting a job interview in the first place can also be more difficult. In a 2017 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, researchers examined how often fictitious CVs of men and women ages 29 to 31, 49 to 51, and 64 to 66 led to claims for maintenance.

The results: The recall rate was uniformly lower for older applicants, especially women. For example, women aged 64 to 66 applying for administrative jobs were contacted for interviews 47% less often than their counterparts aged 29 to 31.

Even if you do land an interview, age discrimination can arise in the type of questions you are faced with. Knowing how to respond to a query that reveals a bias could help you stay in the race for that job.

1. “How old are you? “

This issue is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and it can expose an employer to prosecution, said Deborah Burkholder, Executive Director of the Institute for Career Transitions.

Some questions violate the law on age discrimination in employment, but not all hiring managers are familiar with ADEA’s restrictions.

That said, many recruiters are unfamiliar with ADEA’s restrictions and still ask applicants their age.

You can respond in several ways. Try to steer the conversation towards your experience, “focusing on what you’ve done most recently, rather than a detailed look at a 20 or 30-year career,” recommends Marci Alboher, author of The Encore Career Handbook: How To Make A Living And Make A Difference In The Second Half Of Your Life.

For example, you can pivot and say, “I don’t think age matters, so let me explain how my experience makes me a great candidate.”

But keep in mind that any kind of confrontational response can put an end to your chances of getting hired.

2. “In what year did you graduate from university?” “

Some recruiters try to indirectly determine your age by asking you about the stages of education. While this question is not illegal under ADEA, you may want to answer it without revealing any details.

Try to focus the discussion to your education, not your time. “As you can see from my resume, I graduated with honors. Would you like to know more about my studies? “

3. “How did you keep your skills up to date? “

Don’t take this question as a personal attack – use it as an opportunity to show off your skills. “You have to go into marketing mode and really sell yourself,” says Susan P. Joyce, online job search specialist and editor of Job-Hunt.org.

Point out the specific things you’ve done to keep your skills up to date, says Marc Miller, co-author of Shift Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers. This can include taking online courses, getting certifications, subscribing to email newsletters, following industry leaders on social media, attending conferences and events. networking, or volunteering.

4. “We have advanced technology. Do you know how to use it? ”

Although this question is similar to the previous question, it requires a different tact. Your best approach, says Joyce, is to ask this follow-up question: “I’m very comfortable with new technologies. What specific technology are you talking about? Then come up with an anecdote that shows how you have applied technology to a job in the past.

New to this particular tool or program? Be honest about it, but also point out to the interviewer that you can learn it quickly on the job. (“I am not familiar with this software, but I learn quickly. I am convinced that I can learn whatever it takes to get the job done.”)

5. “Will this position be stimulating enough for you?” “

“It’s a classic way of asking an experienced candidate if she’s overqualified,” says Alboher. To allay the interviewer’s concern, Alboher recommends this response:

“First of all, I get a lot of satisfaction from doing something well, whatever the job. Second, I see many challenges in this role. Finally, I’m at a point in my career where mentoring and learning from others is really important to me, and I see a lot of ways to do both of these things in this role and environment.

6. “Many of our employees are fresh out of school. Do you mind?”

Are you interviewing for a job in a startup made up largely of millennials, or simply in a company with a lot of young professionals? Be prepared to explain why you look forward to becoming a senior staff member.

An answer, says Alboher: “Quite the contrary: I am passionate about it. I enjoy the chance to work alongside young people and learn from the young ones, and I have a feeling that they will learn from me too. I know it takes humility, and I’m comfortable with it.

Another approach? Burkholder recommends this answer: I know that teams that are diverse in terms of age, culture and gender perform better, and I love being part of a high performing team.

Source link


Leave A Reply