3 major mistakes boomers make in job interviews

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(MoneyWatch) Interviewing for jobs in your 40s, 50s and 60s can be tricky. While most baby boomers have solid industry experience, some may behind their younger peers in terms of technology. Luckily, new skills in this area are generally easy to acquire. Once you're up to speed, ace any interview by avoiding these common mistakes. (This is Part 5 of a five-part series on disastrous job interview mistakes. Please read Part 1, "Skype disasters: 4 ways to ruin an online job interview"; Part 2, "5 ways social media can cost you a great new job"; Part 3, "3 job interview mistakes Gen-Yers make" and Part 4, "5 disastrous job interview thank-you-note mistakes.")

Treating your interviewer like a child

If the hiring manager is young enough to be your son or daughter, it can be easy to speak to them in the same way you would your own kid. Unfortunately, this comes off as condescending. Career consultant Bruce Hurwitz noticed this tone during a mock interview with a client and had him practice speaking in a more neutral one. "As soon as he stopped treating them like his kids and started treating them like professional colleagues, things turned around and he got a job offer," says Hurwitz.

Trying to be someone you're not

It can be tempting to dress and act like a younger person, and to some extent, you should try to fit into the general culture (for instance, dress accordingly if the office requires employees to wear suits or encourages more casual wear). But Hurwitz recalls one candidate he counseled who dyed his gray hair pitch black, which backfired. "There was one problem: He neglected to dye his eyebrows, which were salt-and-pepper gray," recalls Hurwitz. In another effort to look the part, the man took notes on his iPad, but struggled with the technology. "He tried to appear up-to-date and savvy and wound up appearing old school." Just be the best version of who you are.

Not being prepared to answer questions about age

Clearly, it's illegal for a hiring manager to discriminate against you based on your age, but that doesn't mean they might not ask you questions related to it. "If the hiring manager is a Gen Xer, be prepared to answer 'How will it feel to work for someone who has less experience than you?' " suggests Marc Miller, author of "Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers." These aren't easy questions to answer, so practicing is crucial.

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