Over 50 and Job Hunting? A Friendly Reminder

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

I offer a friendly reminder to help you stay focused on what you need to accomplish.

The Missing Ingredient in Your Interviews (Branding, Resumes, Networking)

Now, this is a video that’s designed for those of you who are over 50 to remind you of something. Now, if you look at this face, you’ll figure out that I’m over 50. Now, if I’m over 60 at this point, and I clearly recognize that discrimination exists. I’m also aware that those that who discriminate often don’t realize that they’re discriminating. So, this is true for age. Sometimes it’s true for race. Sometimes, it’s true for national origin, but time will be dealing with age. Yeah, the thing I want to remind you of is that if we turned down for a job often, it doesn’t have to deal with age; often it has to deal with skills often and has to deal with interview technique. It doesn’t always deal with age.

Now, I know it’s very tempting that when you see the 19-year-old manager (I’m using a stereotype here just as readily as they might use a stereotype of you as 65. I’m 64 as of this video, by the way), that they may use a stereotype of you as part of their bias. But, let’s work with a 19-year-old manager interviewing you and you’re in your 50s or 60s for a position.

As soon as you see them, your jaw drops. Mentally, you go, “Oh, I’m not going to get this,” and, thus, you don’t deliver the goods. You don’t try to impress them. Now, the reality is it’s probably not going to be the 19-year-old manager unless, of course, we’re interviewing for a greeter job at a gas station but, the more likely scenario is you’re meeting a manager in the 30s or 40s, you’re in your 50s or 60s, you see them and they like younger than you. You become concerned that they might discriminate, and then you start jumping through all sorts of hoops and don’t act naturally and perform like it. you normally could.

If they covered territory in the interview that you don’t know, sometimes, I’ve heard candidates talk about how they were biased, when in point of fact, they were actually trying to measure a particular skill that you had and whether you had that skill and you didn’t.

To me, that’s a fair reason for being turned down as it was when you were interviewing people and you listened to them talk about how they could learn what it was that you were looking for, and it didn’t wash with you, it’s not going to wash with them. You need to learn the things that, in your market area, firms look for, hiring managers look for and deliver the goods in your interview.

Again, age discrimination definitely exists. No question about it. And you can’t get fixated on the age of the hiring manager and basically resign yourself to being doomed in the interview. You have to win every interview. You have to demonstrate your knowledge and experience. You can’t have “attitude.”

“Hey, I did this 20 years ago.” Yeah, that kind of attitude that suggest to them that you’re going to be a pain in the rear throughout because you’re z “know it all.” Again, for them, it’s a new situation. For you, you may have done it five times before. You just demonstrate that you can handle with ease and grace and if you get to the age question about how everyone in the organization is much younger, you can smile and say, “At my age, that’s pretty common, but what I learned a long time ago is to be supportive of people in their growth and they’re learning, to share with I know. If they don’t want to hear that’s okay too. People go through their own process. “

You might also enjoy this less than 1 minute video I did about networking


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2400 episodes.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? People hire me to provide No BS career advice whether that is about a job search, hiring better, leadership, management or support with a workplace issue. Schedule a discovery call at my website, www.TheBigGameHunter.us 

My courses are available on my websitewww.TheBigGameHunter.us/courses The courses include ones about Informational InterviewsInterviewing, final interview preparation, salary negotiation mistakes to avoidthe top 10 questions to prepare for on any job interview, and starting a new job.

I do a livestream on LinkedIn, YouTube (on the JobSearchTV.com account) and on Facebook (on the Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter page) Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 PM Eastern. You can send your questions about job search, hiring better, management, leadership or to get advice about a workplace issue to me via messaging on LinkedIn or in chat during the approximately 30 minute show.

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2 Responses
  1. Leonard F Reid

    Sometimes you can not learn their way of doing things if they won’t give you a job. Each company uses the same technology in different ways and for different purposes.

    1. Jeff Altman

      Actually, you can by speaking with former employees or by looking at employee profiles on LinkedIn and doing pattern recognition.

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