In the technology world, sometimes you need to interview an experienced candidate – something likely older than you. After all, in a competitive market for tech professionals, qualified and skillful candidates are worth their weight in gold, no matter their age. If this thought makes you a bit nervous, you need not worry as it happens all the time in the industry.
Here are a few tips for how to approach interviewing an IT candidate that’s older than you. Leverage these insights to ensure you get the right insights on these experienced professionals. It helps you make the correct hiring decision in the end.
An Empathetic Approach Works Best
If you feel awkward interviewing an older candidate, consider how they feel. Being interviewed by someone younger might be something new for this person, especially if they haven’t looked for a job in many years. So try to feel some empathy for them, since they might boast decades more experience than you.
In the end, taking an empathetic tack leads to a relaxed and ultimately more successful interview.
Don’t Feel Intimidated By The Interviewee
As noted earlier, chances are good your interviewee boasts significantly more experience than you. Still, don’t feel intimidated by their large résumé, as you are still the one in charge of the interview and are likely making the final decision on their candidacy. Approach the interview with confidence and remember not to compare the candidate’s résumé with your own. The most important point is their fit with your company’s open position.
Keep Ageism Out of Your Decision-Making Process
Again, the candidate’s qualifications and fit for your position are the most important factors in their candidacy – not their age. You don’t want ageism to encroach upon your company’s final hiring decision. At the same time, don’t even mention their age during the interview. If the topic arises, just emphasize that it’s not a factor to their candidacy.
Find Common Ground During The Interview
Make it a point to find common ground with the candidate during the interview. Any gap in your ages or relative experience levels simply doesn’t matter. This approach serves to make the interviewee feel more comfortable, leading to a more conversational interview that’s ultimately more effective in determining their ultimate fit for the open position.
Simply put, make the correct hiring decision based on the candidate’s qualifications, not their age.
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If your company needs help building a great IT team, speak with the experts at Synerfac. As one of the top technical staffing agencies on the East Coast, we provide great candidates able to make a difference for your organization. Schedule some time with us as soon as possible.