Interview Fears when you’re over fifty

Increase your confidence when it comes to interviews

There’s no doubt about it – interviewing can be nerve-wracking! So whether you find it a little unsettling or have a full-on phobia, we’ve put this simple guide together to increase confidence and help you ace the process!

Interview Fears when you’re over fifty

Prepare, prepare, prepare!

It’s very simple. The more prepared you are the more confident you will feel. Treat an interview like an exam. To pass with flying colours you need to revise! Read and re-read your cover letter and CV. Practice memorising your skills, knowledge and experience. You should be able to readily recall your CV details. 


Know the job spec 


Review the job description thoroughly. Yes, you’ll be given more details in the interview, but make sure you have read and re-read the details. You should have a clear view of what the job entails. If there are any gaps, you can ask about that in the interview. This will act to demonstrate your interest.


Do your Research 


Make sure you look into the company online. You won’t be expected to know every detail, but you will be expected to know that the company does, number of employees, how long it has been trading etc. Look at the home page and see what that tells you.


Get the Dress Code spot on


Make sure you’re dressed appropriately. Ask about the dress code, or do some research to make sure you’ve got it right. You need to show that you’re a great fit for the business and wearing the correct clothes is a big part of that. Don’t assume it’s suited and booted. Many companies are dressing-down these days, and interview attire is smart-casual rather than smart. Creative companies will be less formal than professional services or public sector. For a full guide on what to wear when you’re over 50, take a look at our What to Wear for Interview.




When under pressure your breathing becomes shallow and your heart rate increases fuelling further feelings of anxiety. Try this simple breathing technique whenever needed. It only takes 2 minutes to reset your breathing. Do this before you enter the building or in the bathroom before the interview. Breathe in through your nose for 4 counts. Hold your breath for 4 counts. Breathe out through your mouth for 4 counts. Repeat this for as little as 2 minutes and you will feel much calmer. You’ll feel more relaxed and confident and ready for your interview.

Body language


Beware – when you’re feeling a little nervous your handshake can suffer. Don’t be caught out with a limp handshake. Make sure it’s firm and that you maintain eye contact and smile whilst shaking someone’s hand.

Make sure your body language is positive and confident looking. Sit up straight, don’t slouch. Keep arms uncrossed. Maintain regular eye contact with the interviewers as the discussion unfolds, but don’t stare! It’s hard to smile when you’re nervous, but it’s very important and will make you more approachable. Don’t look down at the floor, stay focused on the interviewers or you’ll seem disinterested. Don’t fidget or play with your nails, hair or pen.


Don’t be late!


You want to make a good impression – so you mustn’t be late. It’s a common fear to worry about not turning up on time. The key is to think ahead. Ensure you have the full address. Do you know where it is? Have you been there before? Are you going to drive or take public transport? How long does it take to get there? Will there be parking, and does it take cash or card? Make sure you account for the time of day, traffic and delays. We recommend that you practice the journey at the same time as your interview, before the interview so that you know exactly where you’re going and what you’re doing.

The key is to leave plenty of time for unforeseen delays. But do remember, even if you arrive very early, don’t make yourself known until about 5-10 minutes before your interview time. Whilst it’s bad to be later, it’s also considered inappropriate to turn up super early. 


Fail safe!


If in doubt, take your cover letter, CV and the job description with you. That way, if your mind does go blank you can refer to your papers. Prepare a list of questions that you want to ask. You’ll look prepared and organised, and also ensure you get all the info you need.


Finally, don’t forget to read all of our full guides for more tips on how to ace your interview.