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:
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:
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:
Qualified executive Tom had trouble landing the job for 8 months...until he brought a 30-60-90-Day Action Plan to his interview. His new boss thought it was what set Tom apart and helped him beat out two other qualified candidates. Congratulations Tom!
After 8 frustrating months, I just landed a VP level position with a well known company. Being 62 years old made this even more remarkable. My resume was already in the format you suggest, but handing the 30/60/90 day plan to the hiring manager made the difference. There were two other qualified candidates, but my new boss specifically mentioned the action plan as something special. Thanks for your help!
I speak to a lot of people in their 60s who have real trouble getting a job...but with the right approach, you absolutely can get a great job. At any age, how you present yourself to the employer makes all the difference.
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.
Why do employers ask about your greatest weaknesses in job interviews? It isn’t because they’re dying to hear you talk about how obsessed you are with work and having everything be perfect. What they really want is a skills assessment about you, from you.
Some people could argue that you really need to tell them what your weakness is, so that they and you can get a realistic view of whether or not you’re a good fit for the job. After all, it wouldn’t be a good idea to end up in a job that isn’t a good fit, right? Poor choices in jobs have resulted in firings, layoffs, and awkward situations to explain later.
I say something a little different. I say that your job in that interview is to sell yourself for the position. You don’t need them to decide that you aren’t a good fit. You are the one who needs to decide if you’re a good fit or not. You need that freedom of getting that job offer so you can make the decision that’s best for you.
So what does that mean? Does that mean that you are better off denying that you have any weaknesses at all? No. What it means is that just as you do with every other job interview answer, you need to be strategic.
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.
Employers ask you about your weaknesses in job interviews for a lot of reasons…because they want a realistic assessment of you, because they want to compare you to other candidates, or because they want to see how you react to a difficult question.
However, not all of their inquiries about your weaknesses are so obvious. They know that you’ll probably be ready for the big one, and so they have a lot of different ways to get at what they want to know. They can ask about how people criticize you, what you need the most development in, what scares you about this new job (because that could reflect not being ready for it), and more.
It’s important that you be ready to answer these kinds of questions.
Below are 12 different ways interviewers ask you about your weaknesses.
Questions about past salary, salary requirements, or any inquires about compensation or benefits are tough to answer. What you say can have a big influence on the offer you eventually get (or don't get).
Here are 2 common money questions that come up in job interviews. Click on the question to see the answers you need to give.
If you want a smooth and successful salary negotiation, check out my recorded webinar with negotiating guru Jack Chapman: Salary Negotiations Webinar. Anyone can use these tips to secure a better, stronger job offer.
Interview questions about your failures can be some of the most difficult to answer. You need to find a good balance between acknowledging the failure, making sure it isn't one that would reflect poorly on your ability to do the job you're interviewing for, and show that you learned from it so that now you are someone they want to hire.
Below are 5 possible interview questions you could be asked about your failures. Click on the question to see how to strategically and effectively answer it.
If you were fired or laid off in your last position (or in recent years) you will almost certainly be asked about it in the interview. These can be difficult questions that can make even the strongest candidates stumble.
All you need to do is think about these questions ahead of time and prepare good, solid answers to their inevitable questions. Below are # questions you may be asked if you were terminated for whatever reason. Click on the question to go to the answer.
Many job seekers mistakenly think that a 30-60-90-day plan can only help in sales job interviews--but that isn't true. We've seen people in education, healthcare, finance, accounting, administration, operations, engineering, project management, management and executive level roles, and so many more.
Today's success story is from someone who used the 30 60 90 day plan to secure a role in the non-profit world--and who used it in salary negotiations to receive a better offer:
I'm writing to you today to let you know, and to let others who are looking for a great job know, that your 306090 works, and delivers results! I'm so happy to report to you that the document I prepared using the 306090 day template worked fabulously. I used your technique to develop my 306090 for my non-profit world. I'm sure that it was instrumental in the decision my (soon to be new) employer made about hiring me. I'm also sure it helped me in my salary negotiations. Thank you for such a great strategy and product.
If you have interviewed and not gotten the job, it's easy to feel bad about yourself. However, in many cases, the problem isn't you--it's in how you prepare for the interview. Karen failed in 18 different interviews before she began preparing differently. With the right preparation, she did well in her next two interviews and she got the job offer.
I am happy to report that I have landed a job with the State of [name withheld], administrative support in the International Business Division.
Thank you for all of your support, encouragement, and for providing the tools necessary to put into the full-time search effort. I originally found Peggy's videos searching on You Tube. A month or so prior, I had blown a second interview on an inside sales position...the deer in the headlights syndrome for some of my behavioral interview answers. ...depressed about this for weeks, laying around in my PJ's, dazed and in a real funk. I finally got out of the pity party and found your videos, ultimately leading me to sign up for Total Access, which has really made a difference, and so worth the investment.
I feel so much more confidence and felt hope, that there would be light at the end of the tunnel. After almost a year of unemployment, the rejection can wear on you. I had 20 interviews over 11 months, but only felt I did a great job on the last 2 of them, thanks to my study of your materials. Attitude is everything! My resume was okay (it was generating interviews), but I did tweak it with more keywords based on your suggestions.
What really helped, was studying my answers to questions and practice. It's really amazing--you know yourself, but putting it into words when you're nervous and so much is on the line, is really difficult. It was nice to hear you say that I wasn't the only one that was having this difficulty.
Thank you again for all you do and sharing your knowledge. I will spread the word and share my good fortune of discovering you.
If you aren't doing as well as you'd like in your job interviews, I encourage you to do something different: