All interviewers want a realistic mental picture of how you will perform in the role you’re interviewing for. They want to know how you think, how you behave, how you prioritize and plan, and how you will approach the tasks and problems of this job. Related: How To Answer 5 Tricky Job Interview Questions When you’re asked, ‘How will you approach this job?’ it’s important that you don’t get bogged down in details (because there will be a lot of them) and show your strategic, critical thinking abilities. The best way to do that is to start by saying something like: “First, I would need to get to know all the systems and moving parts and pieces necessary in order to be successful in this job. Then I would want to make sure I have my end goals defined so I could work backwards from there to lay out everything I would need.” Then you say, “I’ve already done a lot of thinking on this and came up with a working action plan of what I would do in the first three months. Can I get your input on that to make sure I’m on the right track?” What you’ve come up with is, of course, a 30-60-90-day plan. A 30-60-90-Day Plan is a written outline of what tasks and action steps you expect to take in the first three months on the job, broken down into monthly sections. Typically, the first month covers getting up to speed on company-specific policies, software, support systems, training, and so on. The second month would be the time to list how you would get feedback, reach out to more people, or any other thing that would help you get up to speed for the last month, which would be what steps you would plan to take to be a fully-functioning, contributing, achieving member of the team. This kind of plan works for every job because every job has tasks or actions that must happen in order for the person to be considered ‘successful’ in that role. A plan simply lists those out in an organized fashion, with a timeline for completion. Not only does a plan like this help you answer the question of how you would approach the job in a clear, logical, goal-oriented way, it demonstrates all those ‘soft skills’ so important to employers but so difficult to show: drive, energy, commitment, enthusiasm, critical thinking, and much more. The research and thought you put into creating your plan also makes the rest of your interview answers smarter and more effective, too. Using your plan, you can walk them through your thought process of how you would approach the job. In the process, ask questions, and get their extremely valuable input. The discussion is practically guaranteed to be a stronger, more effective conversation than any standard question-and-answer session. Not only will they see you stand out from your competition, they will be able to visualize you in the job and see you as a fantastic choice. I urge you to find out more about creating and using 30-60-90-day plans and then get a plan for your next interview.
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