Older New Grad: Need interview tips


  • Career Columnist / Author
    Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I am a new nurse graduate. I received my Bachelors recently and have passed the NCLEX. I am "older" and wonder if there is any advice you'd give an old homemaker in being received well during an interview. I would love a chance to learn all I can to become the nurse I have always dreamed of being. Thanks for any input! Joanne

P.S. Felt odd selecting "Nurse" as I have yet to acquire a "job" :)

Dear Older”,

Congrats on your achievement!

It's wise to be aware of ageism in the workplace. Some managers value the life experience, maturity and skills you bring to the table, but not all.

For starters, do not buy into it yourself by describing yourself as older”. Do not put yourself down in an interview by making self-deprecating remarks or jokes about your age. So many women draw attention to their age by apologizing for it.

By the same token, don't refer to others as younger” or the younger generation” That too, draws attention to your age.

Break the older-people-aren't-tech-savvy-stereotype and embrace technology. Be the most cutting edge user of technology person you know. Do you have a smart phone, use medical/nursing apps, read on kindle? At least have a working knowledge of technology and what's out there to stay current.

During the interview, let them know you are skilled at technology and adept at computer charting.

Employers can figure out your age easily enough on the internet, but avoid putting your age on your resume, such as the date you graduated high school, or earlier years of college. Limit your work history to the last 10 years.

You can highlight the transferable life skills you've acquired, such as conflict management and customer satisfaction. Give examples.

Here is a related article that might help you:

How to Prepare for Your Interview

Good luck in your interviews.

Nurse Beth



4 Posts

Thanks for answering some of my concerns! I agree that apologizing for age only encourages the false belief that older means less than. I hope to live the example that being older is a good thing.

I have seen many issues with the false belief that older people aren't tech savvy and although I understand I also believe it just isn't fact. As a secretary, we began the process of incorporating word processors, computers into our daily duties. I saw how some of the other secretaries loathed this change. I was able to help, encourage and teach them to not be afraid of the machine. Some took to it very easily and some needed more time. I don't believe that there are many computing needs that aren't within the realm of learning. Therefore, I hope that any employer takes this under consideration before deciding who to hire. I happen to love technology so am excited to learn all about the various "machines" nurses need to use in their daily functions.

Thanks again for your words of advice.


Joanne (Jody)