Here are eight sticky questions that older job candidates often encounter—with several appropriate responses to each:
"You appear to be overqualified for this position. Won't you get bored?"
• " You are an excellent company. You deserve excellence in employees. "
• " Experience is a great premium today. "
• " There is a greater return on your money if I hit the ground running. Less training time."
"This company is on the fast track. Do you think that you can keep up?"
• " I have stayed on top of the industry and am computer literate. " (Use this opportunity to showcase any training classes or courses you have taken.)
• Consider hitting this question head-on by stating politely that you have not noticed any slowdown or stagnancy in attitude or energy.
"This is a completely different industry than you were in before. Can you tell us how you will transfer your skills?"
• " I have accessed your website and have read everything about your company. " (Then, draw some analogy to a previous area of expertise, and relate it to the new company's product or service.)
"I have noticed that you have been out of work for over six months. Can you explain this break in employment?"
• " I tried retirement, and it's not for me. I am a do-er and like to be active. I feel I have many more years of productivity left. "
• " I am looking for something different. I am fortunate to be in a position to take time to make sure this job is right for both of us. "
• " I have used this time to brush up (or learn) a new skill, and now I am ready to contribute my knowledge and expertise to a viable company such as yours. "
"Why do you think you are qualified for this job? I don't see where you have experience that would match our business needs."
• " My excitement at learning new things never diminishes. With my work experience, I know I will be a quick learner. "
• Take this opportunity to point out any skills you have added to your repertoire.
Identify a skill you have, and align it to something you would need to do on the new job.
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