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DOWNLOA Interview strategies for fighting age bias

By JodyGilbert ·

After you take a look at this download, please post your feedback, ideas for improvements, or further thoughts on this topic.

--The TechRepublic Downloads Team

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Link to ADEA info

by JodyGilbert In reply to Some good ideas

Excellent point -- I'm going to update the download to include a link to this fact sheet (, which in turn offers a link to the ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act) itself.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Jody Gilbert
TechRepublic Downloads Team

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Thanks. I'll definitely look at this.

by stress junkie In reply to Link to ADEA info

I appreciate the pointer to the information. Thank you.

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Interview techniques for age bias

by oded In reply to DOWNLOAD: Interview strat ...

1. you have to get to the interview first.
2. the agency will probably not submit you.
3. the agency usually asks for Date Of Birth.
4. salary question hardly ever is asked in interview in UK.
5. young team comes up in the advert when 6 months experience is enough.
I wonder if this was written by a UK or USA person.

Oded Szpiro C.Eng., MBCS

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Age bias

by yeoman In reply to Interview techniques for ...

I found these tips useful, particularly the first two, but I am convinced that nothing will overcome age bias in a hiring manager or recruitment agency. In Australia you do not have to provide your age nor will you ever be asked (only fools would ask!) By the experience you state on your resume you will disclose your approximate age. As oded states, you have to get to the interview first.

If you do get to an interview it would suggest there is no age bias, but there may be some apprehension as to how you would fill the role. I was once interviewed by a manager who was recruiting a 2ic, but he was so obviously uneasy that I had much more experience than he had. Perhaps I should have broached the subject with him to help him overcome his fears.
Salary is usually determined by budget. If there is age bias you will not get the job even if you accept half the pay.

My experience in Australia indicates the following are of value.
1. It makes a huge difference if you know someone in the organisation. Because of the intangibles in assessing whether someone is suitable or not, having someone who has worked with you and known your abilities is a great asset, and age does not come into the picture. ?Networking? is the key.
2. Relevant experience. If you have specific experience that an employer is looking for the agents will be pushing you forward urgently. E.g., in IT project work any experience with Sarbanes-Oxley, Basel II or IFRS is currently highly valued. Also experience in an ERP product such as SAP, Peoplesoft, JD Edwards. Of course, this is a Catch-22 situation.
3. Being able to read people (not my strength). It seems to me that ?successful? job applicants can read the interviewer(s) and play to their desires and fears. Although we are encouraged to find out as much as we can about the company we are applying to, a couple of times I think I learnt too much and probed too deeply, thus frightening off the interviewer.
Well, that?s my experience, and after being retrenched over two years ago I have only worked on short-term contracts.

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It works both ways...

by kyle In reply to DOWNLOAD: Interview strat ...

I can't tell you how many it management jobs I get turned down for simply because on some days, I still look like I am in high school (and it has nothing to do with my clothing.)

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...It certainly does.

by JUSTJOEL99 In reply to It works both ways...

I have several years of experience and training in management of technologists, and have always received high praise and evaluation around my ability to do so.

I was recently interviewed via phone for a management position at a **major** consumer electronics firm. I was asked to meet the unit director in person for a second interview, and was in her office for no more than 5 minutes before she let me know that she didn't think that my experience and qualifications meet the position' requirements.

Never mind the fact that it wasn't a problem for them to call me for an interview from my resume, or that my experience was discussed with the recruiter during the phone interview.

I went over the interview in my mind to try and determine if I had said or done anything for her to cut the interview so short, when I thought about the three other managers whom I met while waiting for the director to be available. They were all at least 10 years older than I am. I also look much younger than my 30 years, though a quick glance at the education portion of my resume will tip my hand toward my age.

The director recommended that I interview for a tech support position that would be one rung down the ladder from the position I had originally applied for. Wanting to be a team player, I agreed, and was interviewed by three people in my general age range or younger. Needless to say, I was overqualified for the position, the duties would have me bored in a week, and the salary was 1/3 of what I need to support my family.

I joked with some colleagues about needing to dye a touch of gray to my temples when I go in for interviews, but I really need to figure out how I can get past that bias against youth in regard to management positions.

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