Help Them Say Yes: Provide a 90-Day Plan
By Barry Zweibel|
It's one thing to be able to answer interview questions well. It's something else entirely to be able to get an offer. One way to 'sweeten the pot' is by offering something that most applicants do not -- a written summary of the steps you'd take during the first ninety days of employment. In doing so, you show that you're:
Focus on the Foci
While creating a 90-Day Plan may seem onerous, it doesn't have to be. It doesn't even have to provide a calendar of events. All it needs to do is provide some additional insights into how you'd approach the job if it was yours. Think of it as providing a few missing pieces to the puzzle they're trying to solve about which applicant would be best-suited for the position.
The key is to focus their attention on your understanding of -- and ability to address -- four major aspects of the work at hand: problems, processes, projects, and people.
Remember, you don't have to completely address each of these foci to maximize the impact of your 90-Day Plan. You just need show that you (a) understand the issues involved, and (b) have a plan for working them. Let's take a closer look at doing exactly that:
Based on the specifics of the particular opportunity you're pursuing, you might prefer to address a different combination of foci and approaches. If that's the case, then good for you! The more situationally-specific you can make your Plan, the more relevant and better-received it will be. So feel free to use this format as is, tweak it, or completely rework it, based on what makes most sense to you.
Begin with the End in Mind
Are you still thinking that this is waaaay too much work -- especially for an employer that hasn't even hired you yet?! It doesn't have to be. In fact, just spending 30-60 minutes per focus point might be all you need to create a fact-based, hit-the-ground-running, summary document. And, if you "begin with the end in mind", as Stephen Covey suggests in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the task will be far less burdensome because you'll probably start asking far more focused questions during the interview process than you might have otherwise considered.
By the way, take note if you really don't want to develop a 90-Day Plan as it might indicate that the job isn't one you'd really like to have. Better to realize that before you accept the offer, yes?!
But assuming you follow-through, a 90-Day Plan gives a prospective employer deep insight into who you are and how you work. And, by providing it voluntarily, you create a far more compelling justification for hiring YOU, rather than someone else who merely answered the questions they were asked.
All things being equal, who would you hire?
© 2006, The Ladders
Barry Zweibel, MBA | Master Certified Coach, is president of LeadershipTraction. He can be reached at 847-291-9735, info@LeadershipTraction.com, or www.leadershiptraction.com.