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How to Prepare for Your First Interview in 10 Years

4/06/2018 by Nandip Aulak

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Sometimes you have the luxury of enjoying your work so much you never want to leave. The work is engaging, the company supports your growth and nothing outside of work has given you cause to make a change. But sometimes, change comes and you need to start looking to pastures new. But after so many years, where do you start? 

Interviewing for a new job can feel daunting if you’ve been with your employer for ten or even fifteen years. Having such a long record under the same business has its advantages, however. It demonstrates to the interviewer that you are loyal and have many years of consistent experience. When it comes to the interview, remember these advantages, lean into your strengths and remember these top tips...

 

1. Focus on why you want a change

One of the big questions facing a hiring manager when they look at your CV is “why are you moving?”. The fact that you’ve stayed loyal to your previous employer will reflect well on you, so make sure you have a convincing reason to change. Emphasise that you are ready for a new start. Don’t talk negatively about your previous employer, but rather about why you are interested in this specific job and company. If they ask you why you want to leave your current role, focus on the changes you are excited about.

 

2. Show off your achievements

Show your interviewer that all those years in the same business weren’t spent in complacency. Just because you’ve stayed in the same company, doesn’t mean your career haven’t progressed. Make sure you mention any promotions or increased responsibilities. This will show your potential employer your development and growth. It will also show them that you are ambitious and a valuable asset.

 

3. Show that you’re an expert

Building on your achievements, remember to show off your greatest attribute: your expertise. Experience is invaluable, so show that you are knowledgeable about all aspects of your field and that you keep up to date with the latest trends. As with any interview you need to show you are passionate about your job. Be specific and mention that you have kept your skills up to date, either through webinars, training courses or reading industry publications. The aim should be to show you interviewer that you have a wealth of knowledge that can be a key asset to their projects and future success.

 

4. Demonstrate your flexibility

An interviewer might be concerned that you’re not adaptable to new situations or may struggle to adjust to different ways of doing things. Address this doubt directly by showing ways in which you have adapted well to internal changes. Highlight projects that have taken your role in a new direction or share times when you have taken the initiative to learn something new to improve your job.

 

5. Show that you can build relationships

You have probably worked alongside the same people for a long time. So it’s important to show to an interviewer that you can still build and maintain strong working relationships. Even though you have worked with the some of the same people for a long time, you will undoubtedly have had to work with new people during your career. Maybe you have trained new starters, worked alongside agencies or gone to networking events. Have some examples ready in your mind so you are prepared for any specific questions. Showcase how you have built up a rapport with other people over a short period of time and how this has helped your work.

 

6. Don’t doubt yourself

This is the most important thing! After so many years in the same comfortable space, it’s normal to have doubts. But how are you going to convince a potential employer if you’ve not convinced yourself? Take the time to practice and prepare for your interview. Have your recruiter drill you on potential questions that might arise. This will help build your confidence and put yourself in the best possible position. It can be difficult for some people to talk themselves up again, but practicing smiling, presenting and body language will help. Practice makes perfect, and if you act confident you’ll feel more confident.

 

In the end, your years of experience can give you an edge on the competition. The trick is to leverage your experience advantage with detailed examples, rich knowledge and business insight. Get back into practice, let go of your reservations that the interviewer has in relation to your ambition and adaptability. Prepare you answers to make the most of your assets, demonstrate your expertise, interpersonal skills and enthusiasm for a new and exciting opportunity.

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