Age discrimination in recruitment is rampant – how can you avoid it at interviews?
This Post shows you what to do at interview so you are screened IN?
How can mature age people avoid age discrimination? What you MUST know to do at interviews…
Firstly, Plan and Prepare carefully for every interview. None of us, not even you, can rely just on charm and intellect to see us through!
Experienced interviewers always notice poor preparation and may assume that you are not interested in their company. Or that you lack organisation skills; or have poor meeting skills. You don’t want them to assume any of these bad things!
What you want them to say is what I’ve heard many times from employers after meeting candidates I referred…
“Great to see how much effort she put into learning about us – she had even printed and made notes on some of our website pages!”
The 2 Benefits of Research to avoid recruitment discrimination…
Whiteboard with text ‘must-know’ underlined in pink
It tells you what you need to know – so you can ask them serious questions
To impress the interviewer and show that you are serious about them and their company – that you feel they are worth the effort
Many applicants treat job interviews as a one-way street – where the interviewer ‘drives the truck’ and has 100% of the control. Actually, it doesn’t work that way – the process involves the 2 of you.
The bleeding obvious…
People build relationships with people – good relationships result when both parties are interested in one another. Hiring someone is just the beginning of a long term relationship.
What do you need to research about them?
Is it profitable (if not, is that likely to change?).
Is it growing, stable or shrinking? If shrinking, think hard about joining as opportunities dry up, with redundancies usually based on ‘last in, first out’
Who owns them?
What’s their main business; main products and services; who are the main competitors?
Google them, look for what is being written about them, try and get a feeling for their reputation. If you have time, pick up a copy of their sales brochures and their annual report.
Interview Prep Checklist and follow up to end recruitment discrimination…
Bring a printed copy of your resume along with your ‘cover email’ – interviewers sometimes don’t have one to hand.
If you have the chance to pick the time of your interview, always aim to be first or, if that’s taken, aim for their last interview. Then you’ll maximise your chances of ‘standing out’ to your advantage.
Get a copy of the job description well before the interview.
Re-read the advertisement and check out their website. Work out your most relevant strengths, experience and skills. Memorise the 5 or 6 most important points that this job requires.
Never assume that they’ve read or remembered anything in your resume.
Find out the names and positions of the people who will be interviewing you, and anything you can about their personality and areas of interest.
Plan your journey there, put the address in your phone, and allow big error margins.
Telling the interviewer you were late because of bad traffic won’t cut it – you might as well say: “Sorry, I’m very disorganised” or “Sorry, I care about this interview, but not too much.” And you do want this job don’t you – if not, why did you go?
Have a meal or snack beforehand as interviews are often delayed. So if your 11:30 am interview is delayed 2 hours and you are nowhere near a cafe or shop, you might not be at your best. We all operate better with fuel in our body.
Arrive with time to spare, so that you can be as relaxed as possible. Ideally be early, find where they are, and then go to a café (maybe have a green or camomile tea to relax you rather than a coffee?).
When speaking with receptionists or EAs, remember they are often asked by the interviewers how you acted when arriving and leaving. Good recruiters always do this – it’s revealing, particularly about those
who treat the ‘little people’ rudely.
Visit the bathroom in your 5 minute early time – but not just for the obvious. Walking there often takes you past working areas and you’ll learn a little about their atmosphere, friendliness, tidiness and efficiency.
Practice the interview with a friend or colleague – always using their phone video.
Discuss the organisation with your family, especially if there is a possible relocation. If they are not keen to move, best to know before wasting everyone’s time.
If you have a medical condition that’s visible and might be seen as negative, consider your responses to ‘health questions’.
Health replies: You might reply “I’m happy to undergo a medical examination with a doctor you appoint if you think it’s needed”. Be discreet here – you don’t have to bare everything, save that for the Doctor.
Some final tips to escape discrimination in recruitment…
If you are between jobs, always check what your last employer will say about the reason you left. Unfortunately, it’s all too common that they tell a different story to yours when called for a reference. If you think this is likely, perhaps negotiate an agreed statement.
Think over an acceptable range for your salary expectations should they raise it. But don’t you raise it, and certainly not in the first interview. As with all negotiations, whoever provides the number first always loses. They may have had a higher number in mind, and are grateful to pay less! So state a salary range, and say it’s dependent on the job – they might just be fishing and don’t expect you to answer.