5 Job Interview Questions You Can’t Get Wrong

3. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Job seekers of all ages get asked this question, but it can take on a different meaning for older candidates. Employers sometimes think older applicants plan to retire in a few years and are just trying to make some money until then. If they assume that’s the case with you, they could be more likely to choose a younger candidate who they think might contribute to their company for many years to come.

It is always good to talk about your willingness to keep up with your industry and skills, especially tech skills.

— Regina Rear-Connor, founder of Regina Recruits

“I would say something like, ‘Five years is a long time from now, but I see myself continuing to learn and grow while contributing to your organization,’ ” Rear-Connor says. “It is always good to talk about your willingness to keep up with your industry and skills, especially tech skills.”

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One way to get ready for this question is to look at typical career paths connected to the job you want. One place to check is O*Net, a helpful website sponsored by the federal Department of Labor. Enter the job title in the site’s search function, click on the job, then scroll down to the section on “Related Occupations.” Another option is to go to LinkedIn, type the job title and company in the site’s search box, then look at the profiles of people who have filled that position at the company. Once you know the skills and steps others have taken to grow through the job, you’ll be able to answer this question with confidence.

4. You have so much experience. Are you sure you’ll be comfortable in this position?

“Overqualified.” That label has hindered many older adults when they apply for jobs, and that might be what the interviewer is thinking in asking you this question. According to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, as many as one-third of people 50 and older who looked for work had been told they were overqualified for the job.

Answer this question by offering a clear and concise explanation about why this new role would be a great opportunity for your career.

“There are a few ways to go with this one, and one is to own up to the fact that in this stage of your career, you are not looking to be CEO,” Rear-Connor says. “Emphasize that you are willing to get into the weeds and learn some new skills while bringing years of experience to a team.”

Rather than talking about the challenges of finding a job that matches your level of experience, you might say the new position would enable you to use the skills you developed earlier in your career that helped you advance. The key is to convince the employer that you are genuinely excited about the job and not settling because you’re having difficulty finding a higher-level job.