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EP 1634 Self-sabotage shows up frequently in interviews. Here is how many of  you invite ageism to appear.

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Now, I thought I would do one related to ageism and the way people invite the ageist view upon themselves in the course of an interview. Now, when you look at this face, I'm sure you'll recognized. I'm not 34, right? So, I'm acutely aware that there are things that I have done that invite that sort of reaction or response to me at times in the things I say and the things that I do. And I try to be conscious of them and I want to make you aware of it, as well, just in case you fall into the trap.
And, the first thing you do is you walk into the interview and you see the person sitting opposite you is not a contemporary and the first thing you think to yourself is, "I'm doomed here," or language that basically says, "I have no chance to get this job." What you're doing is sending a signal in your face. I have to tell you, you think you don't have "a tell" there? You do. The result winds up being you're signaling into the interviewer defeat because you don't believe you can get by them.
I know the argument is, you don't get by them but there are things that people do that cause that to occur. It's not just the fact that someone 20 or 30 years there junior was sitting there (although sometimes that person doesn't believe that you will take direction from them. That's their bias). Today, I'm dealing with yours. So, you walk in and you signal in some way shape or form that you believe that this person isn't going to give you a fair shot.
The next thing is you use language that signals age. So, for example, when I forget things, you know, I used to say something something like whoops, a senior moment. Okay. Basically, what you're doing is you're signaling, you know, I'm old.
Another thing is you don't dress appropriately. Your clothing is old. Your hairstyle is 25 years past its prime. You've done nothing to update your appearance. The result winds up being, for some people, that clothing doesn't even fit. It fit and it looked great when they were about 25 pounds. lighter, and it just exploded. For women that tends not to occur, but, for men, it occurs much more often. Folks, you gotta dress appropriately and you have to style your hair well. Now, I'm not suggesting for those of you who are balding or bald that you do what I did, but you can certainly look even better.
Another thing that you stopped doing professionally, and they pick up on it, is you stop learning and growing and trying to develop in your career and it shows. You've stopped taking courses. You don't listen to podcast and for different industries, different ways that you can learn and grow show up. You know, like I said, no classes, no podcasts, no video viewing, they're learning nothing. You're static professionally . . . and you get stale. They pick up on this because you're able to do the same task over and over again like a robot but, it's just not enough anymore. They want to hear the creative mind going. They want to see that you think, and can adapt and grow. And you have passion for what you do, and are not just simply, you know, "I did this interview four years ago, the last time I looked for a job and people ask me the same questions. That's good enough." No one likes that. Right?
Another thing that you do is you act like a Know it all. And, you know, it's, you know, "I did that back in the day." You may not use those particular words, but fundamentally, that's the signal that you're sending out.
And, you know, one of the other things that shows up is you never get out of your comfort zone to stretch. Folks, I'll speak for myself. I did recruiting for more than 40 years and I've transitioned into career and leadership country. I'm not suggesting you do something as aggressive as that but staying in the same predictable model of work, you know, you're always in a comfort zone. You're never really pushing yourself. And they pick up on that just like you're not learning and growing.
You're stale; you're stuck. You're boring and frankly, you ARE bored. And they sense that about you. Younger individuals have drive and passion. You're getting by and I'm going to use that phrase very specifically, based upon your experiences from before . . . and that's not good enough. And, thus, you start inviting ageism.
Oh, yeah, this one I jotted down a few notes. This last one. You network, specifically within your generational group, and never dropped down to a younger demographic. Unless your relationship skills with people at this level at this age are stale. The result winds up being that you hurt yourself and signal to folks that you can't manage or lead these people or can't be a team member with folks like that. And it signals . . . it invites the ageism that you wind up receiving because you present yourself as being awkward.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1600 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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