Speed Up My Job Search

Am I not hearing back because potential employer thinks I'm too old

  • During a phone interview on 3/21 with the VP of Sales Mark we found out that we both went to the same high school ironically enough and he asked me when I graduated and I told him 1976. I felt like the call went very well and I sent my followup email thanking him and expressing how interested I was in the job but I haven’t heard back. I sent a followup email to the recruiter this past Friday 3/30 at 11:45 am and haven’t heard back. I really want this job and wondering since I basically told Mark my age, which is 59 btw, when I said when I graduated that he might think I’m too old. I’ve had thoughts of replying to him or the recruiter or calling the recruiter to let him or her know that I’m in good health and won’t be retiring anytime soon but I’m thinking that could be a mistake. Can somebody offer some advice?

    Paul Cameron

    That’s a great question because there are two parts to it that should be addressed, thanks for putting it out there.

    First, recruiters tend not to call people back unless they have news. So to get them to call back, keep calling. They won’t pull you from contention if you’re just checking in to see where things stand. Once a day is fine, not more than that, but call and email once a day to see what’s going on. If that seems like a lot, start with once every other day.

    Second, this is going to seem like some armchair quarterbacking after the game is over, but for future interviews, when you’re concerned about age discrimination it’s important to focus on your 5 or 10 year goals, instead of the fact that you “won’t be retiring anytime soon”. When you talk about goals their mind shifts to picturing you there long term. When you talk about not retiring, they hear “retiring” and then try to justify why you might not. It’s like telling someone on a tall ladder not to look down, the first thing they’ll do is look down! 😀

    If your exact age is identified in the interview, that would require an extra step of dropping a convincing statement that you plan to work for at least 10 more years, or for an indefinite amount of time. As an example, casually adding on to the conversation as it’s happening, “For me, I’m one of those people who can’t sit still for too long, so my goal is to find a [position title, i.e. customer success manager position] like this one where I can do something I love doing for the next 10 or 15 years…” or, “The best part this position I’m in now is that I get to pick a position I really love, not for the money, but for the chance to do something I love. For me that’s a [position title] at a company like this one.” and there are little quips you can use like “I really like being married, and if I ever did retire and stayed home all day, I don’t think my spouse could handle that so I need a great position to go to.” or “like they say, if you rest you rust, and I still have 10 and 20 year career goals to achieve!” Just keep it positive.

    For your situation since it already happened, call and that recruiter asap, then if you don’t hear back by tomorrow afternoon, send the hiring manager a note via email with a short check in note. Light, casual, just checking in. And use a line to the effect of, “one of the secrets to a great customer experience is following up, so I just wanted to follow up with you to see if I’m still in the running for your Customer Success Manager role.”

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