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Making your experience count – interview tips for people over 50

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Hannah, a jobcentre work coach, gives her tips on how to prepare for a job interview so your skills and experience shine through.


The advice and information on our ‘Making your mark in interviews’ page is useful for everyone being interviewed for a new job.

But if you are over 50 and looking for a job, you may have additional questions or concerns about job interviews. Here are some hints and tips on how to address some of those questions so you show your experience and skills in the best light.    


I haven’t had a job interview in a long time.

  • Preparation and practice will help to reduce any nerves you have. For example, if your interview is online and you’ve never done that before, practice with a friend or family member.
  • Job interviews may have changed since the last time you had one but remember that businesses are still looking for many of the same things they always have – for example, the right skills, a strong work ethic, the ability to work in a team.
  • Don’t forget, your experience can be an advantage to you.

I’ve got loads of experience, but my age will count against me.

  • There are lots of businesses looking for employees with experience and life skills. Take a look at some quotes from major employers.
  • If you have the skills and experience an employer wants, you need to make sure you bring these out during the interview. Don’t forget, the fact that you’ve got an interview shows that the employer is interested in what you have to offer. This is your chance to sell yourself.
  • If you’ve done your preparation, you’ll have a clear idea of what the employer is interested in. Be positive and focus your answers on those key points.

I can’t possibly talk about all my work experience, but I don’t want to miss anything.

  • Deciding how much of your work history to talk about can be particularly challenging for someone who’s worked for a long time.
  • This is where good preparation will help you. Return to the job advert and spot the key words the employer uses. Spend some time thinking about how your skills match these and prepare answers or examples that are the most relevant.
  • Practice your answers. Say them out loud to a friend or family member – it will help you fine-tune each answer and build your confidence.
  • Staying focused on the key points will not only help you to keep your answers clear and to the point, but it will also show the interviewer that you’ve done your homework.
  • It may be tough, but if some of your experience is less relevant to the job, leave it out.

Take a look at our page on CV tips for people over 50.