Returning to Work After Retirement: Interview Tips


If you’ve decided to go back to work after retiring, you are not alone. The number of working seniors has more than doubled since the 1990’s. It may feel difficult to get back in the game, especially if you are changing careers. If you are anxious going into the interview process, don’t worry. Just brush up on a few of your skills with these tips. Remember to focus on your experience and be confident. A new, fulfilling job is just around the corner.

Try Something New

HR Practitioner Michael VanDervort has created thriving workplaces for the past 25 years. VanDervort directs the non-profit organization CUE Inc, which assists companies in making positive work environments where people thrive.

If you’re still deciding on a job to apply for, VanDervort suggests trying something new.

Michael-VanDervortView the opportunity as a chance to experiment again. Remember that this is a great time to try something new for you, and chance to share your knowledge and experience with others. It can be a double win.

What are you passionate about? Think of a way you can turn your hobbies and interests into a career.

Show Your Skill are Contemporary

When it comes to Human Resources, Franz Gilbert is an accomplished expert. Gilbert, who is currently the Director of Delivery and Operations for one of the world’s top recruiting firms, is also an internationally recognized HR practitioner and speaker. Gilbert is passionate about helping people find the right job.

Gilbert recommends making sure the skills you bring to the table are up to date.

Franz-GilbertRegardless of the role, make sure that you are showcasing the skills that you have – that have been used most recently. The last thing you want is an interviewer going, “Wow, they had great skills, but things have changed so much since then….” Remember, a Hiring Manager wants someone who can come in and do the job as quickly as possible, with as little ramp up required as possible. Use your retirement activities, where applicable, to show capability.

Gilbert goes on to give a good example of how you can showcase your skills.

For instance, a potential interview example could be, ” Mrs. Hiring Manager, an example of my ability to lead groups was my role leading the Southeastern Bridge Tournament. It may sound small, but in reality, it had a budget of $50,000 based on enrollment, registrations, etc. We had a marketing plan that reached out to over 10,000 bridge players, and the tournament had a turnout of 3,000 players.

Since I have been running the tournament, we have been growing the attendance by 500 people a year, and the budget has never run over. In fact, I think this has made me an even better leader as working with volunteers has required an increased emotional quotient and need to be able to influence much more than when I was in the corporate world 5 years ago.”

Use the life experience you have to help you land the job you want!

Be Seen Online

Tim Sackett has over 20 years experience at being an HR and Recruiting Talent Pro. He is currently the president of a $40M IT and Engineering contract staffing firm.

Sacketts insists that before you go into an interview, you need to ensure you have some kind of online presence.

Tim-SackettMake sure you have some sort of social footprint: a LinkedIn profile and a Facebook profile for sure. You want to be able to be found on the internet. Anyone under 50 can be found on the internet, you need a presence as well.

Be sure you have a fairly recent, professional picture on all of your social media profiles.

Simplify Your Interview Answers

Ben Eubanks is an HR Analyst and the successful blogger behind upstartHR. Eubanks primarily focuses on case studies of global organization to highlight leading and practices in learning, delivery and technology.

Eubanks says to make sure you try to narrow down your experience and simplify answers in an interview.

Ben-EubanksThe hardest part will be condensing down what is likely to be many years of experience into cohesive and coherent answers to interview questions. Have a few stories prepared that detail your specific experiences and strengths and use them as appropriate throughout the interview.

Eubanks had one more piece of advice: be yourself.

People hire people they like and feel comfortable with, so be genuine, warm, and friendly.

When it comes down to it, nothing is more important in an interview than being liked.

Follow Up

Cathy Missildine has years of experience working in many areas of Human Resources Management. Cathy is the Co-Founder of Intellectual Capital Consulting Inc, and the president of SHRM-Atlanta.

Missildine suggests making sure you send an email to follow up after your initial interview.

Cathy-MissildineTo stand out in the crowd, a handwritten note is nice, but an email follow up is critical to show professionalism and motivation and follow through.

It’s a good idea to send a follow-up email within 24 hours after your interview. Make sure to be brief and friendly, restate your interest in the job and thank them for the opportunity to interview.

Go Conqueror that Interview!

Dress in your best professional outfit, gather your resume and go confidently into your interview. Even though it may have been years since your last one, you will be surprised how everything in the process comes back to you. Be prepared and be yourself and you’ll be on your way to landing a great job.


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