Answer An Age Question At A Job Interview By Focusing On Experience

Answer an Age Question At a Job interview by Focusing on Experience

Even though it's illegal, an interviewer may ask your age when trying out for a job. Business Insider recommends redirectiong your answer to focus on experience.

Photo by Public Affairs

Ultimately, you face a choice in answering this question. If you tell them it's an illegal question -- which it is -- you risk not getting the job. The interviewer may ask out of ignorance rather than malice. Sometimes hiring managers just don't know proper questions.

Instead of refusing the question, Business Insider has some tips on phrasing your answer in such a way that redirects the question, suggested by workplace expert Lynn Taylor. The answers focus on your job experience or skills, rather than your chronological age. For example:

"If you're concerned about my level of experience, I have focused on this specialty area for several years and contributed [xyz] to my former employers. I'd like to expound on some of the projects that specifically relate to this job description -- and the excellent results I achieved. Would that be helpful?"

Check out the link for other ways to respond to the question.

When an Interviewer Asks Your Age [Business Insider]


Comments

    "Even though it’s illegal, an interviewer may ask your age when trying out for a job"

    It's not illegal. Well, not in this country.

    "Ultimately, you face a choice in answering this question. If you tell them it’s an illegal question — which it is — you risk not getting the job"

    Yeah, if you say that it's an illegal question - WHICH IT ISN'T - you might well annoy the interviewer that is doing their job.

    You'd (writer of this article / applicant within an interview) have a point IF it was illegal to ask that question - but given that it isn't, you don't.

      It's illegal to base a hiring decision on someone's age. Asking their age is a pretty strong indication that you are doing just that. As such, any company that does this is going to find it almost impossible to win a subsequent lawsuit. So, illegal is pretty accurate here.

    "It's illegal to base a hiring decision on someone's age"

    In most cases. Not all cases. Remember it's the government that decided it was fair to have award rates for those that are under 21. Discriminatory? Oh yes, in every sense of the word. And it's the government that has retirement ages - isn't it? Could be wrong on that one. And isn't the government introducing some financial incentive to hire those over 50?

    So if the question is does the Australian government encourage employers to be ageist, the answer would be most certainly yes.

    "Asking their age is a pretty strong indication that you are doing just that."

    No it isn't. It's evidence of having an interest, to whatever extent, and to whatever end, in the persons age - no more than that.

    You can't accuse someone of planning a murder just because they've asked how much a potato peeler costs.

    "As such, any company that does this is going to find it almost impossible to win a subsequent lawsuit"

    Does this? Does what? Ask a perfectly legal question? So, according to you, anyone that does something perfectly legal and with no evidence of any malice or intention of breaking any laws will almost certainly lose a lawsuit? Are you basing your statements on any facts or statistics? Or mere hyperbole?

    "So, illegal is pretty accurate here"

    Umm, no.

    Illegal would be pretty accurate, and indeed entirely accurate, if it were illegal. But given that it's not illegal, then illegal would be a pretty, and indeed entirely, inaccurate description to use.

    Look, to be honest this is a very important subject and it's a shame that it's not being treated with adequate respect. A shame, not at all a surprise.

    Last edited 10/06/14 7:38 pm

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