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?
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:
Meghan worried that creating a plan was too 'over the top.' See what Meghan's interviewer said about her 30-60-90-Day Plan:
I can't say enough about THE 30/60/90 day plan book. I bought it... in preparation for an interview I had coming up for my dream job. I have several years experience under my belt but I am just graduating from college.
I took my time, did my research and came up with a solid 30/60/90 per the book's instructions. I was nervous. I thought I could come across as arrogant or that doing the plan was being over the top. I brought the plan anyway and at the right moment, introduced it.
They were impressed but didn't act WOW'ed so I didn't know how to perceive it.
As I was leaving the interview, I ran into my competition. Someone with many years' more experience than myself and someone I know has had a degree for YEARS....decades, really.
Today, I got a call that they had chosen ME to move forward in the hiring process. What tipped the scales? My enthusiasm, my brag book (also a suggestion from Peggy) and my 30/60/90 showed them I was a forward thinker and the type of person they wanted on their team. During the panel interview, one person even said, "I'm glad you did this. I need someone who will think this way."
Thank you, Peggy. I hadn't gone on an interview for a corporate level job..well, ever. This was dynamite and I know it set me apart from my competition.
Creating a 30-60-90-Day Plan isn't arrogant--it's smart. It's forward-thinking, it's enthusiastic, and it's goal-oriented. It shows a potential employer what kind of person you are and what you are capable of, and it gets you the offer...even over competitors with more experience.
Anyone who's tried to move from a government job to the private sector knows that it can be difficult to escape the "government worker" label. I want to share Missy's story with you (she's a lawyer) to show you how you can bridge that gap and get the job with a 30 60 90 Day Plan:
Dear Peggy, thank you for promoting the 30-60-90 day plan. As a former government agency head, I was really stymied in trying to find job opportunities outside of the government sector as I was labeled a "government worker."
As someone who has never been in the box and has always excelled at creative workarounds in an environment that set me up for failure, I found it discouraging and totally unwarranted.
In any event, I put together a unique 30-60-90 day plan for how to implement a real in-house counsel office within a publicly-traded corporation and bam, I got the interview and the job. The general counsel told me they'd never gotten homework from anyone during an interview, until they met me. Thank you!!!!!
I have been promoting you and your common sense approach to all of my lawyer friends who are looking for new opportunities and there are many of them...many thanks for all of your efforts and dedication.
If you are moving from one work environment to another, one career to another, or are just new to a job, a 30-60-90-Day Plan demonstrates that you have the knowledge and the drive to do the job. It takes away any fears or doubts they may have about hiring you.
*Find out more about 30 60 90 Day Plans, and get started on yours today so you can get that job offer!
You 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 to make you very comfortable using this tool in an interview:
Are you getting interviews but no offers? Watch this video.
In the video, I talk about working with a job seeker (as a career coach) who came to me because he could not make the cut past the first interview, and couldn't get a job offer. This guy was an articulate, educated, talented person--there really should have been no reason why he couldn't get the job. The advice I give him is good for any job--sales, accounting, finance, health care or medical, education, retail, you name it. If you aren't making the cut in your interviews to move forward and get the job offer, you need to watch this video.
Here is your key to getting the job offer every time:
I want to share Dan's story with you for 3 reasons:
1. It shows that even after a layoff, you can step up into senior management (Dan got a Senior Project Manager role)--so if you've been laid off, don't give up hope.
2. It reminds us that when you're in a job search, it's important to stay connected to things that keep you motivated and upbeat.
2. It shows that a 90-day plan can help you overcome a lot of obstacles that might otherwise hold you back--so if you're dealing with a difficult job search for whatever reason, use a 30-60-90-day plan in your interviews. It will do great things for you, like it did for Dan.
I love this note from Tony (in sales) who began his job search doing what a lot of folks do--checking out job boards (such as Monster, SimplyHired, etc.). After months of frustration, he realized it wasn't working and found another approach that ended with him getting a call after only 3 days.
This is definitely a case of "work smarter, not harder," and it's a big, hopeful lesson for you if you are frustrated in your job search. It may very well be that you only need a new approach. See how Tony did it:
A quick note to thank you for the terrific service that your company provides for those people who are actively seeking new employment opportunities.
In my case my job was made redundant back in Dec 20XX and resulted in me spending many months doing the usual job board search and becoming more and more frustrated to the point where I realized that this approach was simply not working for me. Can’t remember how I came across your site but sure glad I did, as once I became a member and worked through the videos and training material I realized how much I still had to learn about how I could be much more effective in my job search!
In my case, I got stuck into increasing my networking hit rate by leveraging Linked In and reaching out to prospective employers and hiring managers across a broad range of industries. I invested around three days of my time contacting around 80 people. In short, after my first Linked In networking campaign I received a call out of the blue from a Software company director and have now landed a very interesting job which I am very much looking forward to and starting next week.
What really blew me away was the look on the faces of the CEO and Sales Manager that hired me at the end of my first round interview especially after I presented my 30/60/90 day plan for success. I knew at that moment that the job was mine and as an added bonus I also knew I was the only one in the running for the role – how good is that! Needless to say that I wish I had come across your site much earlier in my job search.
My summation of my experience with Career Confidential:
Excellent communication, follow up advice and coaching.
Very effective webinars, allowing two way communication.
Highly recommend - It worked for me!!
Please also pass on my thanks to your team.
Tony, thank you for your kind words. (I love getting this kind of feedback!) I am so happy we could help you.
I wanted to share this with you--this job seeker used a 306090 Day Interview Plan and got the sales job on the spot. They didn't even interview the other candidate.
Peggy, these are the kind of emails you love! Just last weekend, I bought your 30-60-90 Day Sales Plan for an upcoming interview this past week. I appreciate your encouragement, assistance, tips and template. The sales position was down to two final candidates. I was the first to interview.
For the interview, I was to make a presentation, present a 90 day sales plan, and have a sales call scripted out. I was pretty set on the presentation and sales script, but I was a little nervous about the 90 Day sales plan. I found your site online, and was convinced it was going to help me.
Well, Peggy, it more than worked! They were so blown away by the interview, the 90 day sales plan and the vision I demonstrated, they made me an offer right there on the spot. They didn't even interview the second finalist.
The CEO said, "This is the exact vision and energy I want for my company."
I don't think I would have made the impression that I did, if it wasn't for your guidance.
Thank you again for our brief, but very effective encounter!
If you want to make an impression like this and get the job in your next sales job interview, get my 30-60-90-Day Sales Plan now.
A 30 60 90 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.
Using a 30-60-90-day plan to show that you’ve done your homework, analyzed the position, and thoughtfully considered how you can best serve this particular company in this particular capacity is very impressive to a hiring manager. This kind of effort is the advantage you need that will set you apart from other candidates and get you hired.
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.
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:
To really shine in the interview, you want to blow the hiring manager away with your focus, energy, initiative and dedication right from the start. The 30/60/90-day plan is the way to do that.
The first 30 days of your plan is usually focused on training–learning the company systems, products, and customers. The next 30 days (the 60-day part) are focused more on getting rolling in your job…less training and more activity. The last 30 days (the 90-day part) are the “getting settled” part, so this section should include things that take more initiative, such as handling projects on your own or going after new business.
Will you pose a risk to my own continued employment?
One of a manager’s most critical tasks is to choose good employees. Their own job success depends on choosing the right people to be on their team. When you create a 30 60 90 day Action Plan, you answer all 4 of those critical questions and take the risk out of hiring you.
The 30 60 90 Day Action Plan is possibly THE most valuable tool for you as a job seeker. I would never, ever go to an interview without it.
A 90 day action plan is key to your success in your new job, but it's vital that you create your 90 day plan template for your new job BEFORE your first interview, or you might not get the job.
First impressions count, so you want to meet your potential new employer with not just your “A” game, but with an “A+++” game. Never treat the first interview as a get-to-know-you session. They will weed you out and move forward with the serious candidate. So don’t wait to “Wow” them. Bringing a 90 day plan for your first interview will make you at least a 20%-30% stronger candidate, and you’ll have a much more successful interview.
Take the information you learn in your first interview, revamp your plan for the second interview, and you’ll knock every other candidate completely out of the running.
Even though you might understand how much stronger you would be in your job interview with a 30/60/90-day plan, you could run into a problem finding the information you need, as well as actually creating a plan. Not to worry...it's entirely possible to find everything you need and create a plan that will knock the socks off any hiring manager.
You just have to know where to look and what to look for in order to make a great 30 60 90 day plan.