"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.
What happens if you haven't worked (or interviewed) in 7 years and then when you do get the interview, it doesn't go like you expect? If you're prepared (like Frank), you have confidence and you adjust.
Frank was able to deal with a last-minute change in interviewer (who didn't have questions prepared) and was able to adapt a 30-60-90-day plan to a faster timeline. (Congratulations Frank!)
I [have been] working with a recruiter for a claims adjusting position since late June, 201x. I did this type of work [for 5 years]. Since it as been quite a while [7 years] since I was a claims adjuster, many companies were hesitant on interviewing me, and I was passed up quite often...
I got an interview with a company in my town on July 14, 201x...When I arrived at the interview, I was told that the person who was to interview me was called away, so someone else took their place. The person was not really prepared for the interview, so we just talked about the company, and my experience.
So, I remembered my favorite questions from the "How to Answer Interview Questions" manual, and just incorporated those answers into the conversation (without being asked them). Then, I remembered the 30/60/90 plan, and spoke if offered the job, I would incorporate a 5 day, 10 day, 20 day plan on how to best be successful. (Because for claims adjusting you pretty much are released into an active caseload and expected to dive in). I plan to use the actual 30/60/90 day plan on a future job interview.
Anyways, although the interviewer did not have a set of questions prepared, I was already prepared for the interview, because I had studied your material. Two hours later, I was told that the interviewer liked me and asked if I can commit to a August 15 start date ... First interview in several years, and I got the job! ...I felt very relaxed at the interview because I knew what to say! [😊]
What should your takeaway be from Frank's experience?
Preparation is everything.
You never know what you'll run into in an interview. The more prepared you are and the more you work on building valuable interview skills ahead of time, the better off you'll be no matter what happens.
It's an amazing feeling to walk into an interview feeling confident and ready for anything.
Here are links to the tools that Frank used, so you can have that feeling and that success for yourself:
Each week, we hold special informational webinars for job seekers to teach the best job-seeking skills and tips to anyone who needs them.
We focus a lot on teaching you how to take a new and stronger approach to finding jobs, getting interviews, and getting the offer.
It's so rewarding for me to get the feedback I hear from attendees like this one from Bertrand in Switzerland:
I thank you so much for your very inspiringwebinar about online applications. It was a real eye opener for me, and I considered it an invitation to take back control of my career destiny and outcome.
You have demonstrated … very logically and progressively the steps to follow and the project-like approach [in preparing] for reaching out efficiently to decision-making managers, and how to successfully connect and perform in the interview in an entrepreneurial way in order to be recognized as the candidate, separate from the crowd, to fill this job.
Thank you very much for giving me a new vision on new possibilities and boosting my confidence.
I am thrilled that we could to help Bertrand, and I wish him the best of luck in his new job.
If YOU would like to:
Have a clear, step-by-step plan for getting a great job
Keith had his last permanent job in accounting 9 years ago (at age 56). He was ready to jump back into a full-time job (at age 65).
Think the odds were against him? Of course they were. Age bias does exist, and employment gaps do cause problems.
He expected to have to go through many interviews before he finally landed a position.
With interview coaching, he got a great job offer after 2 interviews with his first company.
Here's what happened:
Just to let you know that I am starting work on Monday in a full-time permanent role after 9 years since my last permanent job at the age of 56.
As you know I had completed my AAT level 4 in November and had been spending most of my [time] since building up my profile and presence on LinkedIn, registering with agencies, etc.
This was my first interview for a permanent job. I then got a second interview for that same job, yesterday and was offered the job today. I got this job via a recruiting agency.
I would like to thank you for the advice/help you gave me in preparing myself for interviews. To me this is quite amazing as I thought I would need lots of interviews before a first job offer was given.
Interview coaching can result in a huge improvement in your performance that gets 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:
If you're in a job search, networking is vitally important to your success--that is something everyone should know.
What you may be missing is this: your network is much larger than you think it is.
Debbie reached out to someone who had come into her office for a temporary visit several years ago--and ended up with a job:
I would like to thank Peggy as I was able to get this job by following her advice and channeling my inner Peggy.
I knew I had to get my resume in front of a hiring manager. I decided to contact someone from a company who had audited a study at my office several years ago.
I sent an email to him asking if he remembered me. He forwarded my resume to two VPs at the company and two days later I was contacted by a company recruiter.
I had two phone interviews within about a week and a job offer two days later. I never had a face to face interview.
I don’t know if I would have thought to contact this acquaintance had it not been for Peggy’s coaching calls. The referral by an internal employee carried a lot of weight in my hire. Thank you for providing your service and great information.
The question for you is: Who have you forgotten about? Who can you contact?
Your network isn't simply the people you've worked with before--they are others within your company, outside of your company, social acquaintances, and so much more.
I had to show you this...Ken was having a typical interview for a VP of Strategic Accounts position until he asked the interviewer, 'Can I show you something I put together to give me a game plan for this position?'
You may have done a lot of work to get the job offer, but should you take it? Maybe...maybe not.
I think you should try to get as many offers as you can, because that gives you options and leverage. Also, sometimes you'll get a job offer for a higher-level job than the one you interviewed for (this has happened when job seekers bring a 30-60-90-day plan).
However, not every job offer is one you should take. Turning down a job offer can be a difficult thing to do, because you may have a fear of uncertainty about when you'll get another offer--but making the wrong choice can be disastrous.
In honor of Veterans Day, I wanted to share this story with you. Many people from the military have trouble transitioning to civilian jobs simply because they don't present or market themselves to private sector employers as well as they need to. In other words, they have the skill sets but they don't effectively communicate them and how they translate.
Michael used a 30-60-90-day plan as a tool to show in the interview how he would tackle the job (in addition to other job search strategies)--and as he said, the result was 'truly magnificent':
When you're in the job search trenches, it can be difficult to look up to see what others are doing that works. Take a look at this letter from Scott where he outlines what steps he took to get the job as a new graduate--at the company he liked, at a higher salary than he was first offered.
Scott's story involved networking, interview prep, follow up after the interview, and even a little salary negotiation. It's a great story with some excellent tips for you.
Rebecca had been laid off from her job and came to Career Confidential for help. What she learned boosted her confidence (not just in her job search, but in her career life) and got her a better job than what she had before:
I wanted to say thank you for the help you have provided me. I must say that the one thing I learned from you is never give up, have confidence and always be selling. It had even helped me in my day to day work. It is well worth the price of subscription to your service.
I have successfully secured a position in a company of my dreams, now after six months on the job, I had a pay increase of 15%, now putting me back to the same level I was earning before the last layoff. I am at a better job, with great bosses and good work life balance. Thank you.
If you're in a rough spot with a layoff or tough job search, don't give up. All you need are the right job search skills and confidence in yourself. We have tons of resources to help you, too--with confidence, skills, and getting the job you want.
I love receiving emails like this one from Rebecca (Congratulations Rebecca!). Please let me know about your successes in your job search, too. Comment here or email me at Peggy@CareerConfidential.com.
We just received this email from Jane. I wanted to share it with you because it goes to show that the most talented and qualified of us can have a lot of trouble landing a new job simply because of how we present ourselves to employers.
Jane had been downsized, was living in an unfamiliar city and 63 years old. She made it to final interviews 6 times and lost every one, which killed her confidence--until she got our 30-60-90-Day Plan and landed a job within 2 weeks:
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.
This actually happens a lot--I recommend to a job seeker that he or she take some action, and they balk, because it's maybe a little different than what they're used to, or more aggressive than what they're comfortable with.
Garrett was paying consultants who were giving him conflicting advice, and still not getting a job (for 7 months). He came to one of my free online workshops and thought my advice was 'nuts.' Then he decided what he had been doing for months wasn't working, so it was time to take a chance with me.