Well, many people feel a bit like that when sitting across from a younger interviewer too – especially when the interviewer is young enough to be their son or daughter.
Interestingly enough, the opposite is also true:
Younger interviewers sometimes feel awkward about interviewing someone who is old enough to be their mother or father.
However, it doesn't have to be this way.
I know some excellent techniques for turning an awkward situation into a great experience – and transforming a younger interviewer from a skeptic into an ally.
To help illustrate how this works, I'd like to share an inspiring story from “Sarah” (not her real name), where she talks about how she successfully won over a younger interviewer and landed a great job.
Hi Kathleen, Alan, and Crew!
I can't thank you enough, I landed a great job!
Sure enough, at the interview was my future boss, about 33 years old, and me at 53!
I had been through your free webinar...
I asked her how she liked things done. I backed off my power stance. I expressed several times my enthusiasm and willingness to learn from her and her team. I assured her that I had no doubts about my ability to handle the job... that I had a proven track record of overcoming my challenges and succeeding beyond expectations continually.
That is my hallmark.
And they know this.
I was amazed to watch her turn from slight skeptic to ally.
They confided to me, upon offering me the position, that even though I had no background in this highly sought after position, it was my proven ability to overcome endless challenges that landed me the job.
So in the end, I won the position based on my CHARACTER!
Years of devotion to this business and a presence there as customer and fan. And a flexible and engaging attitude with my much younger boss.
As the whole thing was unfolding, I was ticking off the things that I had learned from you.
It really made a HUGE difference.
After getting the offer, I sat back, thanked God and my support team, and was hit with a let-down wave of absolute exhaustion. I am going to bed for three days.
There is a lot of healing to do before this next adventure of my life begins!
I am forever indebted.
I will never lose the interview skills I have learned, and I will apply for things every quarter just to keep current.
Let me know if I can help in any way.
One last thought.
I often felt, in endless months of sheer terror, that I would have paid anything for a one-on-one with a career coach or just a wise, live body to lean on. You can only reach out to your immediate circle so often before you weigh them down.
But still, you must be able to express fear and tears; they are real.
If you ever set up a program like this, please keep me in mind. I would be a great mentor for others.
With Best Regards,
Isn’t that inspiring?
Sarah applied some techniques that I taught in a free webinar a while back about how to win over younger interviewers.
I taught the webinar because the techniques for dealing with a younger interviewer are different than those you’d use when the interviewer is the same age or older. (Because the dynamic is different.)
Chances are, you may find yourself in this situation at some point, so I think it helps to know the difference.