Being interview ready means more than showing up with your resume with a nice suit on. In today’s job market, being ready is all about showing the hiring manager how prepared you are for their role, and how easily you will be able to step into the open position.
In other words: you need to be bold enough to act like you already have the job… to land the job.
And to do that, you need a plan. Specifically, a plan that will outline how you will make an impact over the next thirty, sixty and ninety days. Here’s how to build your 30-60-90 Day Plan…
1. Gather All Relevant Information
Having a plan ready to go means you must start preparing information and materials early in the process. The job description is a great place to start, and will include the most relevant and pertinent skills required for your new role. Also, be sure to use online resources including LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Google, to find out about any other company-specific information or goals that would be useful in gathering the skills necessary to perform the job well within that company’s culture.
2. Place Key Skill Sets Into Specific Categories
Now that you’ve narrowed down the relevant skills for the position, put yourself in a position to speak to each in a conversational manner. The best way to do that: narrow down all skills into no more than three major categories.
For instance, if there are several mentions in the job description related to communication, “Communication” then becomes one of the three categories for you to assign different touch points. Keep whittling down the list until you have three categories, which might include technical skills, soft skills and professional skills directly related to the existing culture at that organization.
3. Ask the Right Question
When appropriate, most likely when you’re speaking to the hiring manager for the first time, perhaps during the phone screen interview, ask: “What are the critical issues for this position to tackle in order to be successful?”
It’s that easy – their answer will provide you with the hot button topics that you will need to address in your 30-60-90 Day Plan. Be sure to pay attention to any suggestions they include along with mention of things that were tried in the past, perhaps by your predecessor.
4. Build Your 3-Page Plan
Now that you know exactly what is expected of the person who will be offered this position, begin to create your personal 30-60-90 Day Plan. One word of caution as you do: making too many assumptions in your plan can be perceived as crossing the line – and can potentially offend your audience.
Instead, your plan should be focused on the three critical categories you’ve created with suggestions of how you are going to tackle each. You aren’t yet knowledgeable enough about the new position or company to say exactly how you will get things done, so instead keep things at a strategic level. How will you excel at delivering what the employer is looking for? How will you solve the problem they are trying to solve?
For most job seekers, keep your plan to three slides: one for 30 days, one for 60 days and one for 90 days. For each slide, be sure to consistently address the relevant categories. Add some key milestones, where appropriate.
Be sure to include major items discovered during the gathering stage, such as “Building Relationships with Key Stakeholders” and “Team Building”. Imagine yourself on the job the first day and think, “What would I tackle first? Who would I want to reach out to first for direction?” The answers to these questions must be reflected in your slides.
When done with all three slides: ask yourself: If I was in the hiring manager’s shoes, would this help me make a decision about who to hire? Does this help solve my problem?
Having a stellar plan during the interview process is a bold statement – one that most recruiters will be unable to ignore. It’s a confident move, and one that takes far more work than most candidates are willing to do. Which means you are the candidate that will get noticed. Put in the work; the effort will pay off in spades.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Chameleon Resumes!
Lisa Rangel is founder and managing director of Chameleon Resumes, a Forbes Top 100 Career Website, has helped hundreds of people land the exact job they wanted – even when they weren’t sure they would get an interview. Lisa is a 7-time certified resume writer and job search consultant, a former recruiter and one of the few executive resume writers performing resume and job search-related contract work for LinkedIn. She has been featured on Forbes.com, LinkedIn, Investors Business Daily, and so many more publications. Follow Lisa on Twitter.