Creating a 30-60-90-day plan is a fantastic way to stand out from your competition in a hiring process. I’ve seen it help people with less experience (or zero experience) beat out others with substantial experience. I’ve seen it boost the value of job offers for those who bring it. I’ve even seen it help job seekers get offers for bigger titles and more senior roles than what they actually interviewed for. It really is kind of an interview miracle worker.
However (there’s always a catch, right?)…some job seekers have said to me, “I don’t know what you’re talking about…I took a plan and didn’t get the job.”
"How could I possibly know what to put in a plan this early?"
"Don't I need to save that to wow them in my second interview?"
Here's what I say:
It isn't presumptuous...you need to be competitive and stand out.
You have to do some research--but the result is a better, stronger interview.
You may not make it to the second interview if you don't show your best self in the first one.
Jim's story is a great example of this:
I just wanted you to know that yesterday I had a very competitive interview. I completed my 30-60-90 Day Plan and brought it with me.
I was the only candidate who brought a plan
The company typically asks their final candidates to provide their plan AFTER the interviews, to see how quick they can provide them with this data and to see how well organized they are in their approach.
By bringing my plan to the interview, I was the one who received the offer 24 hours later.
Thanks, this was a game changer!
There is no doubt...you MUST bring a 30 60 90 day plan to your first interview.
Have you heard of 30-60-90 Day Plans? Simply put, this kind of plan is an outline of what action steps you plan to take in the first 3 months of your new job. You research and create it before you go to the interview. During the interview, you talk over your plan with the interviewer / hiring manager.
In this post, I’m going to show you 7 reasons you absolutely need to bring your own 30-60-90-day plan to your very next job interview. In fact, my best advice to you is: never go to another interview without one.
When I first mention these plans to job seekers, I say, “Take a plan to your first interview.” You don’t want to take a chance with getting cut from consideration, so bring you’re ‘A’ game from the beginning. The job seeker typically responds with, “How can I make a plan if I don’t know what the job is or if I haven’t worked at that company?”
The answer is, “You have to do some research.” Look up information about the job and the company. Ask your network for help, too. Then put on your critical thinking cap and imagine yourself doing this job. What will you need to do in order to make sure you’re successful?
Let’s look at why this is so important and then how to make it easier.
Here are 7 reasons why this matters so much, and why a 30-60-90-Day Plan will get you hired:
A 30-60-90-Day Plan is the most important tool or document you can bring to an interview (besides your resume). It gives the potential employer a glimpse into the future by outlining how you will approach the most important tasks and action steps of your first 3 months. It lets the hiring manager or interviewer have a ‘test drive’ of what you’d be like in this new job. As a result, it changes the dynamics and scope of your interview in a big, impressive way. It’s the #1 way to improve your interview so you get the offer. I would personally never interview without one.
However—sometimes, people come to me and say, “I brought a plan, but I didn’t get the job.”
My question for them is, “What does your plan look like?”
You can’t just Google ’30 60 90 day plan’ and expect to find a good plan. Not all plans are created equal. I’ve seen plenty of useless (and even damaging) free plans online—some are too short, some are too long, and some don’t focus on the right actions.
In this article, I’m answering the most common questions I get from job seekers about what your 30-60-90-day plan should look like in order to get you the job offer—and I’ll show you where you can get a template that’s proven to be successful in a huge variety of jobs at all levels (entry-level to C-suite).
So…what does a good 30 60 90 day plan look like? How can you write the best plan?
In one minute, I'll give you 9 strong reasons you must have a 30-60-90-day plan for your job interview. (If you're not getting offers, this is what you're missing.) Watch this video:
Warning: You can't just use any old plan and still expect it to deliver these kinds of benefits.
I've had people come to me and say, "Hey, I took a plan and it didn't work." I ask to see their plan and I almost always find that it's super short (ineffective), too long (all about you--not the employer) or some free download they were told was a good plan (it wasn't).
I've seen a lot of free templates that are totally worthless, and I don't want you to be misled into using them.
Have you been a stay at home mom but you're ready to get back into the workforce? Maybe you took time off to be a caregiver for a loved one in ill health.
If it's been a while since you had a full-time job, you've probably been told to brace for a long job search, reset your expectations, and plan on coming back at a lower level than before. Not only do employers assume you're out of touch with current best practices, they're probably discriminating against you because of your age (according to an AARP survey).
This all sounds awful, but the good news is that this doesn't have to be your story. Need proof? Look at what happened to Dereck:
After taking a 5-year career break to look after my children following the death of my wife, I decided...to resume my career...
After having sooooo many job applications ignored or turned down...I finally got invited for an interview. It went dreadfully even though I could have done the job with my eyes closed.
I studied these with interest and did my preparation. Went to the interview with my question list and 306090 day plan, but some of my experience wasn’t broad enough.
Although I was turned down for the job, the interviewing manager recommended me to his directors stating “this was the best prepared candidate I have ever seen and we would be mad to let him go.”
So I was invited back for another interview for a more senior role that didn’t yet exist, and for which they had no other candidates.
This was a unique challenge – but I still did a 306090 day plan for it (based simply on a one-word hint from the recruiting team), extending it to cover tasks in months 4-6 and beyond
Today I was offered this more senior job, on a good salary, with promise of a review after 6 months to increase that further once the role has been properly scoped. I’m defining my own dream job!
And all because your books taught me to be prepared. Thank you so much for all the great advice.
Without a plan, he was totally qualified for the job--but he didn't get it.
WITH a plan, they were so impressed with him that they invited him back to interview for a HIGHER level position they created just for him. It doesn't get any better than that.
What's so special about a plan?
A 30-60-90-day plan is a written outline of your prioritized tasks and goals for the first 3 months on the job. It dramatically illustrates your value and helps you secure the job offer, no matter how long you've been out of the game.
We recognize that creating a plan is harder than it sounds. There are a lot of parts and pieces to it, and you need to know what's really important. You also need to know how to present it most effectively in the interview. For these reasons, we developed plan templates that make it easy for you to create your own customized plan. We included coaching to help you use it to get the job.
Wherever you are in your career, we have a plan for you:
30-60-90-day plans are fantastic for job interviews—no question. I am a big advocate for using these plans to secure job offers. But I do sometimes have job seekers tell me, “Hey, I brought a plan to my interview but I didn’t get the job.”
My first question is always (of course), “Did you use a Career Confidential plan?” Regardless of their response, I ask to see the plan they brought to the interview.
I’ve noticed a few common factors in plans that don’t do well in the interview, and so I wanted to share some key tips to remember when you are writing your plan.
Starting a new job can be filled with stress--meeting new people, learning new systems, making sure you're doing the things you need to do in order to be successful.
One of the surest remedies for nerves is preparation. The more prepared you are (for anything), the less stressful it will be. This includes starting a new job and interviewing for it in the first place.
A 30 60 90 day plan is simply an outline of actions and goals that you will take in the first 3 months on that job to be successful.
It can help you get a better job than you might have been able to without that extra effort, and it helps your new employer see you as someone special. Not only does this make you more confident and prepared for interviews, it makes you more confident and prepared for your first day on the job.
I received a great email from Kathy as an example of someone who has put this into practice, and I am excited to share it with you:
You need a 'Wow' from the interviewer in your sales job interview, too.
Dan had been in sales 30 years, but was let go. He had been in the job search for about 9 months, and then he came to one of my free training webinars and learned that he should take a 30 60 90 day sales plan to his job interviews.
He'd never thought of bringing a plan to an interview before, but he prepared a plan and got a 'Wow' out of the interviewer--and had an offer within the week.
The plan even gave him more confidence starting his new job.
Pete had a lot of experience and success in his field as a retail store manager. Getting a new job should have been easy—but it wasn’t.
He’d already been to several interviews, so he had his answers down pat. He knew he interviewed well, and he had all that past job success to back him up. He’d get dressed up, drive to find the place, and go in—only to find out that he was competing against 20-30 other people who were just as strong as he was. Not only did he have all that competition, he was a little older, which was working against him. He never got the job.
Maybe you can feel his frustration. Even though companies are hiring, there’s still a lot of competition for the best jobs.
Job search techniques and strategies have changed. Job seekers are more sophisticated about how they prepare for interviews, and they are more mobile than they used to be. Many people are ready to pick up and move for the right position.
Pete knew he had to do something different so that he could get hired, but what? He decided to showcase how he would approach the job by creating a 30-60-90-Day Plan.
Jean was depressed at the thought of applying for jobs and all the hoops job seekers have to jump through these days to get hired. Turns out that with the right training and tools, it was easier than she thought...
I just want to say a massive thank you to you and your team for all your help over the past few months.
Having been in a lucky position to take time off to renovate a couple of properties, I was keen to get back to work, but the thought of applying for jobs made me feel quite depressed. So much to do these days to gain a position.
Signing up with your company is one of the best decisions I have ever made and it has paid off.
I presented a 30-60-90 day plan on a first interview and the interviewers were very impressed. I had covered so much with the plan, actually, that they had to make up another scenario for my second interview.
I am lucky, I love research and with the guidance of your products and wise advice, it has all gone according to plan and I have just been offered the job. It is a company I have always wanted to work for too.
It is unusual for me to so enthused in writing a thank you, but your webinars and the 30-60-90 day plan have made a massive difference in how I approached the company and prepared to interview.
I have recommended you to a couple of friends who are looking to change careers.
We are so happy for Jean and want you to know that with the right tools and training, getting a job you love can be much easier and more fun than you expect.
I want to encourage you to come to one of our webinars. I will show you what to do that will get you a great job very quickly. See what's available this week here: Career Confidential Online Training Classes. They are free.
And, absolutely always create and bring a 30-60-90-Day Plan to your job interviews. It is the best job interview prep you can do and it will give you the best interview you've ever had.
We have plan templates and coaching that will help you write your plan and discuss it in the interview. Check them out:
I received this email from David--he was one of 129 people who applied for a National Sales Manager position. The company narrowed it down to 29 candidates (still a large field), and David said that he was told by a member of the hiring panel that the 30 60 90 Day Plan was a deciding factor in their decision to offer him the job:
I have been interviewing for a National Sales Manager Position ...for the past couple months. When the position opened, 126 individuals applied. These were narrowed down to 29 acceptable applicants. I received a very nice offer early this week surpassing my expectations and I accepted the position.
I have feedback from the interviewing team (12 members) what helped separate me from the rest of the applicants was the 30/60/90 Day Action Plan.
I used your template and my knowledge of the position to develop an impressive 30.60.90 Day Action Plan. A personnel friend a Global Account Manager was part of the interview team and explained in this very competitive position the 30.60.90 Day Action Plan was a deciding factor.
Once again, Thank You
If you want to stand out from the competition in your job interview, there is no better tool than the 30-60-90-Day Plan.
I strongly encourage you to find out more about 30 60 90 Day Plans and start creating your plan for your next interview today.
In job interviews, employers will be very interested to know how you will plan to approach the job if they hire you. The best way to answer that question is with a 30-60-90-Day Plan.
Jeanne was having a lot of trouble landing a job offer (lots of applications, lots of interviews). She knew she needed help to land the job offer, so for her next interview, she got my 30 60 90 Day Sales Plan. See what happened:
Hello Peggy! I just wanted to let you know my results from using your 30 60 90 day sales plan. ...I moved from NJ to AZ [but] I didn't have a job waiting for me here and thought it would be easy to get a job once I got here. Well, turned out to be the exact opposite.
Fast forward almost five months, after countless online applications and interviews that I never heard anything back from, I was contacted by a recruiter on LinkedIn about a job that sounded amazing! My confidence [was] now a bit shaken and deep down I had some insecurities that I was never going to get this job.
I had a phone interview with the recruiter (who works for the employer) and took an online assessment and made it to my first in-person interview with the hiring manager. The interview went great!
As we wrapped up he said we are going to have another interview and I want you to be able to tell me in our next meeting how you plan on tackling this job. I really wanted this job so I started researching online and came across your web site. After watching any video that was available on you and the 30 60 90 day plan, I knew I needed you. Let me also say that since I have been without a job for so long, money was super tight! I knew I couldn't afford not to spend the money on this. I was going to do whatever I had to do to nail this interview.
With the help of your site, I put together my 30 60 90 day sales plan. At my next interview, when the hiring manager asked if I had given any thought as to how I would tackle the job and when I responded with "well yes I have. I have prepared a 90 day plan that I would love to share with you" the look on his face was priceless!! He was not expecting this Peggy!!! I was so prepared for this interview with my written plan and with your guidance on how to present it. The interview went amazing. I was offered the job within 24 hours.
I can't thank you enough. What valuable information you pass along to job seekers. I start my new job on [date removed] and know I have you to thank. I thought you may like to hear my story and how the 30 60 90 day sales plan worked for me.