What Are They Really Asking?

There is nothing inherently wrong with an aol email address, but…


Over the years interviewers have developed a lot of tricks to determine an applicant’s age without actually asking – which is technically illegal.


Among these telltale signs are: aol email address. Aol email addresses have been around for roughly 30 years and if you still have one – you’re old. What about a flip phone? We’ve heard of interviewers who figure out ways to cajole the applicant to get out his phone. Once they see it’s a flip phone, again, you’re old.


We recently ran an item about an interviewer who asked an applicant about rotary phones. If you remember rotary phones, you’re really old.


Job seeker beware


In situations such as these, you may delude yourself into thinking that they just want to know your age and then dismiss your candidacy based solely on that. Really? Let’s take a closer look.


In virtually all these cases – and other similar such examples – your chronological age isn’t all that important. If you fail any one of these “tests,” you’re revealing more than just your age.


What these examples show can be any one of several things. One, you’re resistant to change. I have my aol and I don’t want anything else. Two, you’re fearful of change. If I get an gmail address, I’ll have to learn a whole new system, or some new technology – and I might not be able to transfer my contacts and their phone numbers (which isn’t true.) Three, if this is the case, it could be that you can’t learn something new or you just flat out don’t want to learn something new.


In the end, you’re not revealing your age. What you are revealing is that you’re set in your ways; you’re reluctant to learn something new; or that you have no interest in keeping current with the world around you. And it’s those reasons – not your age – that make you unappealing to a job interviewer.


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