If you've heard the term but you don't quite know what all the fuss is about, read on and discover this job interview miracle tool.
A 30-60-90-day plan is a written outline of your goals in the first 3 months on the job. It's broken into 3 parts each detailing what you will do in:
the first 30 days (training, getting to know your way around)
the next 30 days (the 60-day part...getting deeper into the details, preparing longer-term goals, etc.)
the next 30 days (the 90-day part...launching off on your own, taking initiative, implementing plans, significantly contributing to the company in your role)
BEFORE your first job interview with a company, you research the job and the company, create one of these plans for the position, and bring it to the interview to discuss with the hiring manager (your potential new boss).
30/60/90-day plans "Wow" hiring managers in a big, big way. Why? Read more...
You can always create a 30-60-90-day plan on your own--and if that's what you want to do, absolutely go for it. It will be worth it. But if you'd like samples, a template, and some serious expert coaching to write and use your plan in the interview, check out our 30-60-90-Day Action Plan. (Or our specialized Sales Plan for sales reps.)
A 30-60-90 day plan for an interview is a strategically written outline for what you will do during your first 3 months on the job. It covers training, getting up to speed, and your goal-setting plans for growth and accomplishment.
Some candidates hesitate to bring one to their interviews because
(1) they worry they'll make a mistake in it that will cost them the job,
(2) they worry that the hiring manager won't want to see it, and
(3) they worry that there won't be an opportunity to present it in the interview (and they can be a lot of work).
In this video, you'll see why 30-60-90-day plans are worth the effort, how candidates compare with and without a plan, and you'll discover exactly what to say in the interview to overcome any of these obstacles.
Do you think the first interview isn't as important as the second one?
Many candidates see the first interview as a get-to-know-you session. They want to find out more about the job to see if they’re truly interested, and they want to test the waters to see if the company is really serious about hiring them. So they don't even consider bringing a 30/60/90-day plan until they get to the second interview--where it "really" counts.
It’s crazy to go to an interview without a 306090 day plan.
Why? Because it takes a lot of effort to make one before they're sure it will be worth it. A 30609 day plan for a job interview is a detailed outline specific to the company that requires a lot of research and effort to do correctly. It sets your goals for the first 90 days on the job, and it covers training, getting up to speed, and your ideas for performing on your own. Since it takes a lot of effort to create a 306090 day plan, many candidates see it as an over-the-top, unnecessary effort that is better left to the more-serious second interview—it’ll be something new to bring that will “wow” them, and it will be easier to create once they know more about what the hiring manager is looking for. Uhh…no.
If you’re serious about your job search, get rid of that kind of thinking right now. In this economy, your competition is pretty stiff for just about any job you’re going for. First interviews are another place companies can weed out candidates to get a manageable number of serious contenders--they use anything from inadequate answers to questionable interview behavior. You want to start the process in as powerful a position as you can.
A 306090 day plan for a job interview will make you a 20%-30% stronger candidate. Because it takes some effort to create a 306090 day plan, it makes a powerful impression on the hiring manager that you’re the go-getter they need on their team. And, discussing the plan results in a deeper, more detailed interview that serves both parties better than a standard interview question-and-answer session.
You probably know how much stronger you could be in the interview with a good 30 60 90 day interview plan...but you might also be stuck on how to find the information you need to create one. Where do you find all the information you need to create a job interview business plan that will knock the socks off any hiring manager?
There are all kinds of online resources for you to tap into: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, corporate websites, and Google. They're all a part of job interview preparation you need anyway, and they can be tremendously helpful for writing your 306090 day plan.
Your network is a great resource. There's got to be somebody who knows someone or something that you need to know.
What if this company's information can't be found? Talk to the hiring manager.
If for some reason there’s a lack of information online (like maybe it’s a smaller company), then that’s definitely a strong reason to do what you can on your plan anyway and bring it into the interview. It's an excellent opportunity to ask the questions that will lead to a greater understanding of what it will take to be successful in that job: "Hey, I wanted to create this plan because I know how important it is to set goals for success--but I couldn't find the information I needed. Can we talk?"
Candidates often think that their 30 60 90 day interview plan has to be perfect before they show it to the hiring manager, and that keeps many of them from creating a plan at all. In fact, all job interview business plans have room for improvement once you talk to the hiring manager in more detail about the job. It’s not unusual at all to make changes to your plan after the interview (for the second interview). If you’re discussing your ideas in the interview in a conversational style, you can learn a lot and make the hiring manager more comfortable with you.
A 306090 day plan is a simple idea with a powerful impact. Basically, it's an outline of what you intend to do in your first 3 months on the job.
But it's also a goal-setting document that shows you understand the job and you know what it takes to be successful at it. It covers everything from your training to your efforts to help grow the business.
It can be overwhelming to create a 90 day plan, since it must be specific to the company to be the most effective--so where do you find the information you need to write a great 306090 day plan?
Even though there are many sources of information you can tap into for your 306090 day plan, like
the corporate website
the very best one by far is LinkedIn.
If I could only choose one, it would be that one. Why LinkedIn?
The groups, the question-and-answer discussions, the company pages, the people pages, and the ability to reach out and contact actual human beings who can help you with what you need to know are all parts of the very valuable LinkedIn whole.
How to use LinkedIn to research
The first step for you is to establish a LinkedIn profile that stands out. Spend some time on it, detailing your experience, crafting a compelling summary, and posting a professional photo. Begin making contacts and connections, and join groups that will be appropriate for your area.
Once you’re accepted into the groups, you can participate in discussions that you can learn from and help you to become known to others in your field (if you make good comments). Here's an interesting post on facilitating LinkedIn discussions. These become fantastic sources of information for your 90 day plan.
When you’re interested in particular companies, you can research company pages that are often more informative than corporate websites and the personal profiles of people who work there or used to work there. What clues can you get from their background?
LinkedIn isn't your only resource, but it's a good one. It has a rich array of opportunities for you and your job search. If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, get a profile today.
Don't have the perfect background or quite enough experience?
You don't stand out as the "wow" candidate?
You get lots of interviews, but no offers?
The easiest and best way to get past those very common obstacles is towrite a 30-60-90-day plan and bring it to your interview--that's the straightforward, honest truth. It works if you're a brand-new graduate and it works if you're a seasoned veteran of your career.
I've used it myself (and got 5 offers the last time I was in the job search) and I've had my candidates use it for years--because it gets them hired.
Once you use one of these plans, you will never go to another interview without one. They're that good.
We have a ton of information about 30-60-90-day plans on this blog you can use to write one, but here are two to start with:
Or, if you want to just cut to the chase and get it done (or even if you just need the confidence of an expert who's got your back), check out our 30-60-90-day plan samples and templates that come with all my tips and tricks for writing and presenting these plans. You will be very comfortable using this tool in an interview. You have two options:
When I coach job seekers, I send every one of them into interviews with a 30-60-90-day plan because it’s the best tool available for helping those candidates stand out from the competition. It’s exponentially more important that management-level candidates come to the interview with a high-level plan for how they’re going to attack the job and the problems that need to be solved.
This goes above and beyond the technical and industry expertise employers rightly expect to see in managers—that’s a given.
What a 30-60-90-day plan does is showcase that experience in a “this is how it will look when I’m on the job” and “this is how I’m going to begin solving your problems and making you money” kind of way.
A well-thought-out plan highlights the “it” factor for employers. It shows them you know your stuff, AND you think strategically and know what it takes to get to a goal.
How you put together your plan will vary by whatever industry or career area you’re in, but all jobs will have a basic structure you’ll follow when you start:
(1) an initial period of learning the specifics of the company—systems, procedures, getting to know your team—that’s the first 30 days;
(2) a secondary period of getting your feet wet—getting more in-depth, evaluating changes you’ll be making; and
(3) a “ready to run” period of implementing changes, initiating action plans, etc.
Customize your plan with the research you do on the company and its position in the industry, since these plans are even more impressive the more you tailor it to the job. Use Google, LinkedIn, and your recruiter to start finding essential information for your plan. You might even consider doing a SWOT analysis to help you.
When you come to your interview with a top-notch resume, a brag book that takes a historical look at what you’ve been able to accomplish in the past, and a strategic action plan for success in the future at this job, you’ll be on your way to a job offer in no time.
You know I’ve preached loud and long about how amazing 30-60-90-day plans are for job interviews, and they seem like a natural for folks in sales, marketing, or similar jobs. But there’s a real hesitation from candidates in technical fields, who don’t think this kind of plan applies to their jobs. But it absolutely does. In fact, a candidate for a technical job can make an even bigger positive impact with a 30-60-90-day plan because it’s so unexpected that it really spotlights what an outstanding candidate you are.
Here’s how it works:
every job has a period where you’re learning the ropes, getting up to speed, and moving out on your own to make significant contributions to the organization. All a 30-60-90-day plan does is elaborate on that, and demonstrate what that will look like with you on the job.
In a technical field, like say, engineering, maybe the first 30 days will focus on your learning the software, systems, and procedures of your new company (probably while you’re working on your first projects!)—along with meeting co-workers, support staff, customers, or suppliers. The next 30 days (the 60-day part) will be streamlining and expanding your efforts, and looking into improving processes. The last 30 days (the 90-day part) might very well be when you begin improving those processes, taking on bigger projects, or going after more work.
So what if you’re in IT? What if you’re a lab tech? What if you’re in risk management or accounting or data management? It all works. They all have steps that must be taken when you begin, and they all have actions that lead to success. If you have been in the field for a while, you know what the job is really like, so you’re ahead of the game. If you’re a newbie, you have to start with researching the job. Everyone has to research the company, because including the details that are specific to that particular company (like the name of the software they use) are the cherry-on-top touches that make it extraordinary.
Put all that research (here are some 30-60-90-day plan research tips) into a plan (it doesn’t have to be perfect) and bring it in to your interview to discuss it with the person who’s likely to be your boss. It will give you a fantastic tool that improves your interview conversation, and it will make a very positive impression. As you talk, take notes to improve it for your next conversation.
Even though candidates might understand how much stronger they can be in the interview with a good 30/60/90-day plan, many of them are blocked when it comes to finding the information they need to create one. But it's entirely possible to find all the information you need to create a plan that will knock the socks off any hiring manager. Where?
There are all kinds of resources online for you to tap into: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, corporate websites, and Google. Your network can come in pretty handy here, too. They're all a part of job interview preparation you need anyway, and they can be tremendously helpful for writing your plan.
If for some reason there’s a lack of information online (like maybe it’s a smaller company) and you can’t, then that’s definitely a strong reason to do what you can and bring it into the interview anyway, since that’s an excellent opportunity to ask the questions that will lead to a greater understanding of what it will take to be successful in that job.
Candidates often think that their 30/60/90-day plan has to be perfect before they show it to the hiring manager, and that keeps many of them from creating a plan at all. In fact, all plans have room for improvement once you talk to the hiring manager in more detail about the job. It’s not unusual at all to make changes to your plan after the interview (for the second interview). If you’re discussing your ideas in the interview in a conversational style, you can learn a lot and make the hiring manager more comfortable with you.
Does this person pose a risk to their own continued employment?
The 30/60/90-day plan addresses all those issues. That’s why finding out this information (or at least bringing a plan to the interview so you can figure out what that information is) is key to standing out from the other candidates and getting the offer.