There’s a bit of a buzz around 30-60-90 day plans at the moment. Written plans that detail as far as possible what you would aim to achieve in the first three months of a new job and how you would do it, they are often hailed as the magic pill for interview success.

A lot of sites advocate taking the plan to the final stages of interview and presenting it to the interviewer, which can be impressive, and if it’s been specifically requested then of course you must comply. However, the problem is that unless you do it very well it can backfire, leaving you looking a weaker candidate than if you hadn’t handed one in at all.

Nevertheless, the process you go through to produce a 30-60-90 day plan can be incredibly useful in the interviewing process without actually handing anything in.

At almost any interview you’ll face questions such as
“What do you think a day in the life of this role would be like?”
“What tasks/responsibilities might the role have?”
“What objectives/goals might you set yourself in the first 30/60/90 days?”
“What would be the three things you’d like to find out?”
“What would you need in order to make the best possible start?”

All these questions can be answered when a little thought has gone into a three-month plan.

Although every role is different and every manager will have different expectations you can use the plan as a guideline for thinking through how you’d hit the ground running in any job. Here are some examples:

First 30 days – this is when expectations of you are at their lowest; it’s your opportunity to get to know the people, culture, systems and build rapport; find out how the company really works and what’s really expected of you; it’s your time to ask the dumb questions. So think about what you can do to find out as much as you possibly can in the first 30 days.

30-60 days – What observations have you made? What do you need to discover more about? What’s going to be important to your success in the role. You may be expected to give your first impressions and maybe offer some ideas or make some small changes or additions that will benefit the team.

60-90 days – This is often the end of a probation period and the balance shifts from learning to starting to execute in the role. You will have clarified your objectives, you’ll be taking some real responsibility, making real progress. There will be some simple things you’ve managed to suggest or implement to benefit the company. You’ll be embedded in the role. What will you aim to do differently in this third month?

By sitting down with the job description, your research of the role, industry and company, the contact details of anybody that might be able to help and really thinking about what you might achieve in the first 30, 60 and 90 days you go beyond what most candidates consider and, additionally, you generate insightful questions that show an interviewer that you really care about the job.

Whether you’re experienced or not the work you put in to your plan will be reflected in your interview performance; it will demonstrate effort and knowledge and more than anything it will show that you really, really want the job – vital to any hiring manager.

So if you really want it, put in the effort and plan.

Reference: abintegro; askamanager.org

12 Nov 2015
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