Let’s face it — there may be times when you interview someone older than you, and these instances can be awkward and challenging.
When it comes to interviewing a candidate who is older than you, the right approach is key. Otherwise, if you feel unsure of yourself during an interview, you risk alienating a candidate. Perhaps even worse, you risk missing out on an opportunity to add a seasoned professional who can help your company accomplish its goals.
There are many things you can do to make an interview comfortable for both you and an applicant, regardless of the candidate’s age. Here are five tips to interview someone older than you.
1. Be Empathetic
Accept the fact that a candidate is older than you, but avoid discussing the topic or bringing it to the forefront of an interview. Remember, the goal of an interview is to learn about a candidate, assess their expertise, and find out if he or she is a good fit for a particular role. So, be empathetic to the fact that a candidate may have many years of industry experience. At the same time, try to conduct an interview as you would with any other candidate.
2. Find Common Ground
Bridge the gap between yourself and a candidate. To do so, identify any commonalities that you share. For instance, if you and a candidate attended the same college or university, you may want to mention this at the beginning of the interview. Although commonalities should not be the deciding factors in whether an applicant earns a job, they can help both you and a candidate feel more comfortable during an interview.
3. Remain Objective
Stay the course throughout an interview. Regardless of an applicant’s age, you must use the interview to learn as much as possible about the candidate. Thus, prepare your interview questions and ask them in the same way you would with any other candidate. You should also view the candidate’s qualifications without considering his or her age.
4. Try Not to Overcompensate
Resist the temptation to become exceedingly quiet and reserved during an interview with a candidate who is older than you. You may only get one opportunity to interview a candidate for a job, and you need to make the most of it. Thus, you should take a deep breath and stay focused on the task at hand. This will allow you to remain calm, cool, and collected as you interview a candidate, even if he or she is older than you.
5. Maintain Mutual Respect
Treat every candidate with respect during an interview. Be an active listener, respond to the candidate’s concerns or questions, and offer updates about his or her candidacy after the interview. This ensures that candidates of all ages will feel good about the interview experience. It can also help your business to stand out to job seekers young and old.
Want to Streamline the Interview Process? Techneeds Can Help
At Techneeds, we offer guidance to help you identify quality candidates and streamline the interview and hiring processes. To learn more, please call us today at 800-346-8810.