In today’s highly competitive job market, you need to face the fact that you must sell yourself-like it or not. Unless you’ve had experience selling, you won’t like it. People who’ve never sold for a living seldom do.
However, you’ll be pleased to know that you don’t have to equate selling with begging when you prepare for interviews by using a 30/60/90 day plan which I’ll describe in a moment.
Why selling is important at interviews
Your job-search-especially the interviewing piece – is a selling process and always has been. You are a product that needs to be marketed and sold to a hiring manager. What are you selling? It’s your skills, abilities, and knowhow. Who are you selling to? Hiring managers and HR reps who are your customers. They’re looking for someone like you to perform the tasks required for the job you’re being interviewed for.
But in this highly competitive job market interviews are at a premium. That’s why you need to stand out from the pack of competitors for the job you’re after. Like sheep, applicants for the same job all look alike. Their backgrounds and experiences will be similar. So will their resumes. And they’ll give similar answers to interview questions.
Understandably, there’s more need than ever to sell yourself as the leading candidate in order to stand out from the rest of the sheep.
The best way to sell yourself at interviews
Position yourself in the mind of the hiring manager as her best bet to fill the slot. The positioning is done with a 30/60/90 day plan- a brief description of what you plan to accomplish during the first three months on the job.
You start by outlining your strategy for the first, second, and third months of your employ on the new job. Your plan will include timetables for accomplishing each monthly task.
A successful 30/60/90 day plan has several elements. Start with the definition of objectives you believe will fill a company’s needs. Next, describe how you’ll do it by providing a set of tasks to be completed by a certain dates. Then ask your listeners questions about what you’ve just presented. Questions should be asked during your presentation and especially afterwards.
Examples of questions you can ask –
“is this the kind of thing you’re looking for?”
“Do you think my suggestion for item X can help you?”
How to present your 30/60/90 day plan
During an interview, bring up the fact you’ve put together a plan for success for the position. You need to do the show-and-tell in person by walking interviewers through the plan you’ve prepared. It’s not a leave-behind.
When to present your 30/6090/day plan
You do it twice. First, during the final stages of an interview situation. And again at the start of your new job to show your goals for the first thirty days, for the next month, and the month following. This is the first step to getting your next promotion.
Your 30/60/90 day plan will get you offers at interviews
Your interview becomes different from everyone else’s. Because you’re putting your head together with management to discuss solutions, you’ve set yourself apart from other candidates. You’ll stand out because presenting 30/60/90 day plans is something your competitors are not doing. But you are. And you’re demonstrating to prospective employers that you know to strategize in order to help solve a company’s problems. Who wouldn’t want to hire an enterprising candidate like you?
I introduced this piece by saying you need to sell yourself-like it or not. You will like it more because in the process of presenting a 30/60/90 day plan, you’re not coming across as a pushy salesperson. On the contrary, you’ll never feel you’re walking into an interviewer’s office with hat in hand begging for something. You’re showing a prospective employer how you would handle the job if it were offered.
Presenting a 30/60/90 day plan, gives your prospective employer a preview of coming attractions-a show-and-tell about how well you’d do the job.