Talk to the Back – Interviewing Tips for Women Over 50

Many of my baby boomer friends are looking for work, and finding that as soon as they walk in the room the 25 year-old human resources employee mentally checks the “no chance” box on his or her little form.

I have a solution for all of us, particularly women, over fifty. I had this epiphany while watching commercials last night. A new show is starting where people are singing to a panel of judges (nothing new), but the judges have their backs turned to the singers and can only judge them by their voices.

Eureka!! If human resource interviewers would turn their chairs around so they can’t visually see their candidates, then they would not immediately rule out those of us over the age of 50.

I will work on the human resources side, but to make this work we all need to do the following:

  1. Make sure we don’t say things like, “Is it really hot in here to you?” while being consumed by a hot flash. They can’t see your red face or the sweat on your brow, so play it cool.
  2. Try to say things like, “wow, your office is really wicked.” Don’t say things like, “wow, your office is really hip.” Also, avoid using words like “eureka!”
  3. Do not discuss any physical ailments. The mention of one broken hip could knock you out of the running immediately.
  4. Try not to call the interviewer “sweetie” or “honey.” Not from a sexual discrimination standpoint, but from a mothering perspective. I’ve found that the older I get the more I’m turning into Flo from “Alice.” I see all of these kids as my kids, and suddenly they’re my little darlings.
  5. Wear stylish shoes. Odds are the HR person might see your shoes if you have to hand them something over their shoulder, so make sure they’re cool. I mean wicked. In other words, don’t wear Easy Spirit or Naturalizers. You can put those back on once you get back to the car.

Those are my ideas – now I want to hear some of yours. Really! I’m doing all of the talking on this site, and I’m getting lonely. Leave a comment below and tell me your suggestions for an interview with the back of a human resources representative. If you don’t want your name mentioned, send it to my e-mail and I’ll post it as “anonymous Dame.”

Now I’m going to walk to 7-11 in my Naturalizers and sunglasses that wrap around the side of my eyes and get some Advil for my back.

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