Get Hired After 50:  7 Tips to Make a Memorable First Impression During an Interview

Get Hired After 50:  7 Tips to Make a Memorable First Impression During an Interview!

Good News! If you are looking for a job due to retirement, layoff, or a fear of not having enough money for retirement, the job market looks great for workers over the age of 50.  According to the June 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics report,  the unemployment rate for all workers 55 and over is 3.1%, which is a full percentage point lower than the current overall unemployment rate of 4.2%.

Employers value your years of life and business experience, so all you need to do is go out, get an interview and Get Hired!

1. It Takes Just 7 Seconds

I’m sure you are already aware of the importance of first impressions, but what you may not know is that the first impression occurs in the first seven-seconds of the initial meeting!

This means that when it comes to an interview situation, you need to arrive prepared and act quickly to make a fabulous first impression.

To be remembered and get hired, here are seven tips for things to do in those first seven seconds and to keep doing during the interview.

2. Look Good

“When you look good, you feel good.” This has always been my motto and it’s true. You will automatically walk taller, look confident, comfortable, and happy.

Appearances really matter in first impressions. This is the first non-verbal clue someone receives about you – and it plays a bigger role in the first meeting than in the later meetings.

Dress the part and project a professional presence.  Employers are seeking people who exude a sense of poise, confidence, and competence.  Be sure to wear a touch of color, for example, a matching black outfit with a red blouse.  Red symbolizes confidence and power.

What is your style?  This matters too. A person can usually figure out by the clothes your wear if you have a serious, fun, traditional or progressive look. Your style tells an “instant story” about you. It’s important you project your story the way you want it to be told.  You are your own walking billboard.

It’s important to point out that you don’t have to be “good-looking” to look good.  Beauty is nice, but confidence is what matters.  I was once hired based on the confidence that I projected in the interview.  My boss said that she was very impressed and wished she had my confidence; as a result, she felt confident that I could do the job.

When you look good, you will feel good and project a positive image that shows your style, poise, and comfort in your own skin.

3. Be Present

Walk tall, maintain eye contact, smile and present a firm handshake.

Don’t forget to smile. A smile represents that you are happy, positive and approachable. This is an invitation to the interviewer to make contact.

The handshake impacts your initial impression and should be moderately firm, but not so firm  that the recipient’s hand is left numb.  A firm handshake is perceived as confident and assertive.

Stay in the moment and listen to the interviewer intently with eye contact. This indicates to the interviewer that you are focused on the conversation and interested in the subject matter. Focus on what’s being said so you can use the information in your answers. Usually the person is giving you information about the position, along with what kind of person they are looking for to fill the role. By making eye contact and nodding toward them, it makes them feel comfortable with you.

4. Show Your Energy and Ability to Adapt to Change

While employers have indicated their desire to hire older workers, they have also expressed concern about their energy level and ability to change focus at a moment’s notice.

Even though, at this age, we are much calmer than when we were younger, we must show that we still have it – our energy that is.

Your energy includes how much you talk, how fast, and how loud. You can still have a calming nature but be involved in conversations for current ideas and thinking.  Competition is fierce, and employers are always trying to keep up and think of faster and innovative ways of doing things.  Be involved.

When speaking to the interviewer or potential coworkers, “lean in” or slightly forward. This shows your interest and energy as well.

A younger interviewer may have the impression that “mature” applicants are stuck in their ways and don’t want to change.  Counter this idea by showing your flexibility.  Unlike prior decades, working for more than one company is now perceived as a good thing as it shows resilience and adaptability.

5. Have a Conversation, Not an Interview

Forget the word interview and think “conversation“.  This creates an entirely different mindset. Get to know the interviewer and show interest in what they are saying.

The interviewer is trying to determine if you are the right “fit” for the position and the company. Yes, your skills are important, but if you had a phone screen or phone interview, it’s evident you have the skills they want. You know you passed the first level because you are in their office.

Employers want to know that you will be able to get along with the current team and staff at the company.  Do you fit in? Do they feel comfortable with you? Do they like you?  Being able to have a conversation shows you have the ability to engage with strangers and do what’s necessary to get to know your future coworkers.

6. Make a Connection

People are comfortable working with someone who has similar interests, lifestyle or know some of the same people. I knew a past employee of the company that I interviewed with and the interviewer was very fond of her.  I also commented on my potential boss’s picture of her granddaughter hanging on the wall.  She was so excited that I noticed! She proceeded to talk another five minutes about her.  Of course, she couldn’t ask me any questions about my family since its illegal, but by openly giving her some personal information about me having a daughter, she immediately felt we had similar interests.

You can also look around the room and find any pictures that you can comment about to generate a conversation and connection. Show interest in the interviewer as a person. People like to talk about themselves and want to work with someone who they feel a connection.

7. Prove Your Worth Without Mentioning Salary

Arrive with prepared questions to ask the interviewer, team, and hiring manager.  Another very important thing is to bring supporting documents to the interview that showcase your accomplishments.

For example, if the position requires you to create a new process, bring the document where you performed that process at another company. Be prepared to leave it with the company and remove any confidential information in advance.

Prove why you are the most qualified and Get Hired!

Find out how to get noticed and identify your First Impressions personal style and brand. Learn how they impact your career and business success and sign up for my 11-page assessment workbook @



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