You have all the tools to dominate an interview at your disposal, yet most are unprepared when the time comes to prove themselves. Describing your strategy for the first 30-60-90 days of a new job is possibly the strongest resource you can have while in the interview process. Many will spew clichés with little substance towards the hiring manager and hope for the best… Don’t be that candidate!!!
Take the time to prepare and show you’re interested in what you are applying for. Be willing to put in the work to get the offer! The below guidelines will help in your approach to this relatively common question. For more interview questions and answers see our article on the 50 Top Job Interview Questions And Answers.
What better way to pitch yourself in a new position than to describe what your plans are for the opportunity? Helping the hiring manager envision you in the position with actual research and realistic goals will heighten your chances of receiving an offer, exponentially!
Some of you may think this is a 20-page thesis paper. However, the more focused and to the point your plan is, the better. Try and stick to a short PowerPoint presentation or a 1-3 page written document. To find out how to create a 30-60-90 day plan, see our article How To Create A 30-60-90 Day Plan For An Interview.
Focus on the question
Assuming you have created your plan and an attractive means of presenting the plan, you must focus on what the hiring manager wants to hear. It is essential that you only discuss actions and outcomes that you can control. Don’t get caught up in imaginary targets that are irrelevant because you do not know the inner workings of the company.
Ideally, this question would be asked in a second interview because of limited sources of information for most companies. In the first interview, you will be able to ask questions and get a more realistic outlook on the company culture and what they will expect of you. If you are applying for a position that only requires one interview, your margin of error will decrease. This plan will then focus on what you can do as a new hire and the hoops you are willing to jump through to be successful.
Who needs the answer to this question
This question is typically asked of candidates who have a lot of freedom to make decisions on their own. This includes manager's and executives as most entry-level jobs have a moderately defined job description with little wiggle room. Just because you may be applying for an entry-level job does not mean you cannot build and present a plan. In this case, you would describe how you will best utilize your training and build relationships with your coworkers.
If you are a manager or higher, you will have built this plan based on your industry experience and your expectations for your given industry. You will be able to go into detail of how you intend to interact with your new employees while gaining their trust and respect. This is essential for any managers’ success as you are only as good as the production of your team.
Some resources suggest a flat 90-day plan. Although this is fine, breaking up your plan in 30-day increments displays a step-by-step plan with each tier building upon the other. The below outline will describe what your plan should focus on for each period:
First 30 days – Focus on training, finding mentors, and embracing the company culture as it relates to both your job description and the people around you.
30-60 days – Implementing your training and experience into action while working with your supervisor to optimize your performance
60-90 days – Add your personal touch to the position. Be an effective leader/coworker and build relationships that benefit your position and the company as a whole.
Now, there is some room to play with your plan as the position calls for it. But do not step out of what you know. The hiring manager will know what a realistic approach to the position is. So, you will not be able to “Fake it till you make it” so to speak. The fact that you have this plan in place will speak volumes about your work ethic and make a great impression on the interviewer.
Remember, as long as you do your homework and prepare to present your plan, you'll separate yourself from other candidates. Prepare to take constructive criticism and make sure you can back up what you plan to do. Good Luck!