How to conduct an age friendly interview

Interviews are nerve racking at the best of times, however if you are an older jobseeker and haven’t had an interview for a while or had quite a few knock backs (which is often the case with older workers) then they can be simply terrifying. It goes without saying that you won’t get the best in an interview situation from someone who is terrified.

So, how do you conduct an age-friendly interview?

  • If you call the applicant ensure you have a friendly tone over the phone – first impressions are valuable
  • Use age-friendly language, words like ‘young, trendy, fit & energetic’ all send the signal that the company is not looking for over 45’s.  Language at interview is important.
  • When the applicant presents for the interview spend a few minutes relaxing them to ensure they are settled and ready for the interview. Don’t start asking questions straight away.
  • Ensure you talk about what the job entails, what exactly will they be doing if they are successful. Will they be part of a team, working autonomously, supervising other staff, what sort of skills will they need, do you provide training. Paint an accurate picture of the environment they will be working in
  • Explain the conditions of employment to them. Are there flexible hours of work, leave loading, does annual leave have to be taken at a certain time each year due to down times – these issues should be explained prior to the person considering whether or not they would want to work for your organisation
  • Do you provide on-going training and what are the opportunities for advancement in the organisation
  • Ask some questions that will give you some idea of the values and attitudes of the applicant to ensure that he/she will fit into the existing work team. In this environment of skills  shortage many employers are putting this high on the list of ‘must haves’.
  • Make sure you don’t leave any questions unanswered for you or the applicant – you should both have a very good idea of what is on offer
  • If there is more than one person on the interview panel try to ensure there is at least one who is over 45 years of age. The impressions of your organisation formed by the applicant are as important as the impression you form of the applicant. If you want to be seen as age-friendly then ensure you act and talk age-friendly
  • Advise the applicant within a reasonable time whether or not they have been successfully. Normally this would be within 2-3 days.
  • Be prepared to provide valuable feedback on why the person didn’t get the job.

 

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