Rochester NY Stake Employment Center

January 25, 2012

10 Questions Interviewers May Ask Older Job Hunters

Filed under: Interviewing — Larry @ 12:56 pm

Summary (see full article at ):

One of the biggest challenges for older job hunters is how to get past entrenched age bias issues that often surface during a face-to-face interview. Many interviewers will ask questions, some pointed, others subtle, that are meant to probe your "fitness" for the position. Give the "wrong" answer, and you may be screened out from further consideration.

Here are 10 questions you’ll likely be asked by interviewers. Learn what they’re really asking and how to answer each question to your advantage.

1. Tell me about yourself.
– provide a succinct description of who you are, your major strength and the biggest benefit that you bring to them. Research both the organization and the particular position so you can bring the conversation back to their needs in this job and how your unique strengths can be of immediate benefit to them.

2. What are your salary requirements?
– check out comparable salaries that organizations are paying for this type of position in your geographical area. You can find information about corporate salaries on sites like and, while offers salary surveys for the nonprofit sector.
– respond with a range based on your research, saying something like, "I’ve found from my research that the typical salary range is from $X to $Y. Is that what you were thinking of?"

3. With all your experience, you may be overqualified for this opportunity. Won’t this position bore you?
– stress why you may no longer want a higher level of responsibility with a response like, "At this point in my career, I’d much rather leave the responsibility and management to someone else. This position offers exactly what I’ve become best at, which is solving the immediate problems at hand that your organization may be experiencing now.” Then talk about how you can help solve a major challenge that they face.
• emphasize your passion for the mission of the organization.
• stress that you are able to hit the ground running and provide solutions without the ramp-up of additional training or hand-holding that they might have to provide a younger candidate.

4. I see you went to X University. My friend, Sara Adams, graduated from there also. Did you know her? (Or, when were you there?)
It’s illegal to come out and ask “How old are you?”, but interviewers have other ways to get you to reveal your age. Asking about school graduation is one of them. One approach is to answer with a vague response like, "Oh it has been a few years since I’ve been there, but my ability to solve problems for my employers has grown substantially since then."

5. How do you work with others?
– give specific examples of past projects or problems (especially in team situations or working with other departments) you’ve had to take on and your positive influence on the outcome.
– stay focused on examples that relate to the job you’re applying for and don’t bring up past duties or responsibilities from previous jobs if they’re not directly related to your target position.

6. There aren’t any employees here your age. Would that make you uncomfortable?
– give an example or two of a situation in your past where you’ve worked on teams with much younger employees. If possible, give a specific example of how you have grown or learned something from a much younger team member.

7. What are your long-term career plans?
– emphasize your enthusiasm for the job and that you plan to work for many years to come. For instance, you might say, “While you can see that I have accomplished some things during my career, I still have much to contribute. I want to keep growing and learning and help your organization be successful.”

8. We run a very fast-paced team (or department/division/company) here. Will you be able to keep up?
– Reassure them by mentioning any recent courses or certifications you’ve completed.
– give specific examples about a time when you made an extra effort and went all out to achieve a larger goal.

9. You’ll be working for a (much) younger supervisor here. Do you anticipate any problems with that?
• Emphasize your past experience working with superiors younger than you.
• Reassure interviewers that you’re a team player who is able to work with diverse teams to achieve a goal.

10. What have you been doing most recently?
Don’t think of yourself as someone who’s looking for a job. You’re a problem solver. You’re a caregiver. You’re a team leader, a group organizer, a student, a consultant or any number of other roles.
– give an example of something you’ve accomplished or are making progress on, such as schooling, professional certification courses or achievements, personal projects, outside contracts or projects (paid or pro bono), overcoming a crisis or leading a group to achieve some goal.
– demonstrate that you’re still relevant in your profession or industry. Show how you’ve gained experience and have become more valuable as a potential employee as a result of recent activities or accomplishments.

“If you’re an older, experienced worker, you don’t have to settle for a lower position that doesn’t use your skills. Sure, there’s age discrimination out there with some employers, but you can still stack the deck in your favor. During an interview, focus on the employer’s needs and draw from successes in your past to provide solid return-on-investment answers to questions. It’s important to be honest, but be sure to emphasize your strengths rather than magnify your vulnerabilities.” – Joe Turner


LDSJobs Update: Now You Can Search Articles and Videos!

Filed under: Using — Larry @ 12:50 pm

On Monday, December 19th the 4.0 of LDSJobs was released. Upgrades to the site include:

1. Key word search of the content.
2. Improved Site Map
3. Many articles are reformatted.

– posted by Richard Pedersen on LinkedIn

New Year: New Job Search

Filed under: The Job Search Process — Larry @ 12:48 pm

By Alison Doyle, Guide January 1, 2012 (read full article at

These 10 steps to find a new job include:
• using job search engines
• building your brand using LinkedIn, Facebook, and VisualCV
• connecting with your contacts
• using job search tools
• creating a list of companies for whom you would like to work
• finding job listings
• targeting your resume and cover letter
• having a successful interview
• successfully following up
• accepting a job offer

For more advice on getting a new job, an improved career, or transforming your job or work, the article includes tips and suggestions (there are 28 of these tips included) from’s Jobs and Careers channels will get your New Year off to a great start.

10 job-search tips for 2012

Filed under: Job Search Preparation, The Job Search Process — Larry @ 12:46 pm

Justin Thompson, CareerBuilder Writer, offers 10 tips for a successful job search in 2012 which are summarized below:

1. Create a job-search strategy.
Do not use shotgun approach to job search. Tailor your existing skills to a job’s requirements and spend time preparing better résumés and cover letters instead of just blasting a generic one to every single posting.

2. Define your goals.
Ask yourself, "What do I really want out of a job?". Define what you want out of your job besides cash. Then you can figure out what your best selling points are and the most valuable skills you have to sell to an employer.

3. Diversify your search.
The more ways you can put yourself out in front of potential employers (social networking, face-to-face networking, applying in person, etc.), the more opportunities you’ll come across and the more you will place yourself ahead of the rest.

4. Evaluate your skills and add more.
Brush up on your skills with online courses or community classes. Government funding and other programs are available for out-of-work job seekers who want to enroll in training or continue their education to better position themselves in the current workforce. And there are free online courses that are available – check out the list of these courses at RochesterWorks Virtual Career Center.

5. Be unique.
Do something that will help you stand out and be memorable to the employer. Find out the name of the hiring manager or someone who heads up the department the position is in, and contact him directly. Use the information on LinkedIn to your benefit. Reach out with a brief introduction, and let him know you’ve applied for the position and you hope to be in touch. After applying, it  never hurts to follow up with a company via social media to share your excitement about the position.

6. Listen.
Pay attention to how employers are communicating their open positions in the social media and their websites. Connect with other job seekers or career experts, and see what methods you can adopt from their job-search strategies. Join Twitter chats and online career fairs to connect with more employers and broaden your network.

7. Set goals.
Yes, the goal is to get a job, but to achieve that, you need to break it down into smaller goals that can be successfully completed. First, choose monthly goals such as joining professional organizations or volunteering at a nonprofit that will allow you to flex and use your skills. Then create a weekly goals and then a daily to-do list. Hold yourself accountable for achieving these goals, you’ll feel better about yourself. And this can be used in your job search and interviews as a great example of your problem-solving skills.

8. Prepare for anything.
Always be ready. Have at least five examples that demonstrate your best qualities. Have your success stories ready. Rehearse for interviews. Have a complete list of references and their contact information to give to interviewers.

9. Positive thinking can lead to positive results.
See every situation as a learning opportunity. A positive attitude is contagious, and the more positive you are, the more likely others will be to go out of their way to help you.

10. Stay balanced.
Get sufficient rest. Meet with friends. Stay active. Do things you enjoy.

See the full article at

Prepare now to take advantage of job opportunities when they arise

Filed under: Job Search Preparation, The Job Search Process — Larry @ 12:39 pm

From 25 January Democrat & Chronicle

12:45 AM, Jan. 22, 2012  | 


Written by

Deb Koen

Question: I’m currently employed but I’m waiting for the hiring picture to improve. I am eager to get into something that is related to my profession and in a better company. I’m grateful to have a job, but I hate feeling like I’m in a holding pattern. What can I do in the meantime?

Answer: Patience, not to be confused with passivity, is a virtue. Apply your efforts in three areas, so you’ll be ready to move when opportunities do arise.

Maximize your current work experience. Every job presents a platform for development. Although your current role is not in your profession, you can uncover learning opportunities. Rather than hovering in a holding pattern, kick into action by seeking out a cross-functional project or asking to shadow an employee with a specific skill set. Soak up everything you can about job skills and office dynamics. Creating efficiencies and improving morale, for example, are portable skills that will add value in any environment. While you’re there, seek out the most interesting and influential people on staff to work with and study.

Get involved in your career field now. No need to wait until you have the perfect match to become involved in your chosen profession. Follow blogs, or better yet, start your own. Expand both your network and your experience by becoming an active member of a professional association to develop your leadership skills, build relationships and tap into job leads.

Track the trends. Concentrate on working behind the scenes, for now, following the employers you’re most interested in. Familiarize yourself with key players. Watch for news, awards and developments about these employers. Contact them to congratulate or inquire only after you’ve researched them and are ready to make a powerful first impression. Know the key points you will convey about yourself and the questions you will ask. This type of preparation and positioning is a perfect use of your time during a lull in hiring.

January 11, 2012

Rev Up Your Job Search During the Holidays

Filed under: The Job Search Process — Larry @ 11:34 pm

Many people believe the myth that companies stop hiring during the whirlwind of winter holidays. Although hiring does taper in December, hiring activity never really stops — something to consider if you’re considering ramping up the job hunt in the new year.

Forty percent of hiring managers told in August (prior to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma) reported they plan to recruit new workers in the fourth quarter, down from 50 percent in the third quarter. At the same time, 15 percent expected to decrease headcount, up from 11 percent previously.

A study by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. found that the odds of being downsized increase by as much as 54 percent between October 1 and New Year’s Eve. This is the time when companies finalize their budgets for the coming year or make last minute cutbacks to improve the year-end bottom line. But, they’ll also know if they’ll be hiring or expanding their employee base in the
near future.

The smart job seeker can take advantage of having an edge over their competitors who have become lax in searching. Here are some job tips for the year-end job seeker.

Beef up your portfolio.
Print and take home personal files on your computer and locate copies of your performance appraisals and other personnel records. At the same time, update your resume with all of the past year’s skills and accomplishments. Make PDFs of any work samples, presentations, published work and research.

Begin immediately.
If the bad news is that most layoffs occur during the last three months of the year, the good news is that the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is one of the best times to find a job. "Because budget approvals expire at the end of the year, there is a sense of urgency among hiring managers and recruiters," explains Human Resources expert Lori Kocon. "Yet while HR is usually in full recruiting mode, most people put their job searches on hold during the holidays. The result is it’s more of a candidate’s market."

Exhaust your resources.
Try some of the best tactics rarely used, says Don Straits, CEO of Corporate Warriors. Add graphs or charts to your resume. Send work samples with your resume. Create an online portfolio. Directly contact department heads by name rather than the generic human resources contact. Attend industry association meetings. Burn your portfolio and resume onto a CD and send to potential employers.

Capitalize on the holiday spirit.
What better time to network than when people are in good spirits and socializing frequently? Go to parties and gatherings, especially those where you’re likely to meet new people who could be sources of job leads. Make it a point to listen more than talk. Be positive and upbeat. While you won’t want to hand out resumes or press for contacts or referrals, you will want to let people know you are looking and follow up with them after the party. Seek out all the other participants and network like crazy.

Keep your schedule flexible for interviews and meetings.
Avoid taking weeklong trips. Though there may be a strong interest in hiring, the hectic pace of parties and shopping makes it harder to schedule mutually convenient appointments. Roger Martin had been out of work for nine months, when on December 21, he got called back to interview with the head of a brand marketing firm. He flew to California to meet the CEO, who was vacationing with his wife’s family, and received an offer on Christmas Eve. He was later told his willingness to make the trip during the holidays helped him clinch the job.

– MONROE COUNTY DHS Weekly Employment Bulletin – November 14, 2011

January 10, 2012

How to get a job in the new year

Filed under: Networking, The Job Search Process — Larry @ 12:08 pm

Job search strategy not working? In her article at, Miriam Salpeter offers some tips that may help you to stand out from the crowd so you can win an interview, and ultimately, the job.

She suggests:

Narrow your list to your highest-priority targets

Get referred in

Do the unexpected.

Research all the people in the organization. Take that list and run it by your entire network to see if they know anyone who might know someone in this organization. Search every name against your LinkedIn database.

Cover Letters

Filed under: Cover Letter — Larry @ 10:37 am is an excellent overview of all the aspects of writing cover letters, with cover letter samples, as well as tips and tools for writing effective cover letters and other job search correspondence.

How to Get a Retail Job

Filed under: Job Search Resources — Larry @ 10:30 am

This step-by-step guide ( on how to get a retail job includes information on finding and applying for retail job listings, writing resumes and cover letters, taking tests that many retailers require as part of the application process, what to wear to a retail interview, sample interview questions, plus tips for acing a retail interview.

Pre-Interview Questionnaires

Filed under: Interviewing — Larry @ 10:27 am

Pre-interview questionnaires are used by employers to get further information about a job applicant prior to a job interview.

You may need to provide some of the same information that is on your resume and the job application you submitted. You may also be asked questions related to your background, your skills, your experience, and your availability for work.

Find out more about these questionnaires and how to prepare for them at

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