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A management level job interview is intensely competitive. These are desirable spots and there are fewer of them. The secret to landing the management job you want is to bring a 30-60-90-day plan, or a business plan, to your first interview.

A 30-60-90-Day Plan is the best tool available for helping you stand out from the competition, especially at the management level.

When I coach job seekers, I advise every one of them to go to the interview with a 30-60-90-day plan because they’re much better able to show how they’re going to attack the job and the problems that need to be solved.

Not only does a plan highlight your technical and industry expertise, it paves the way for you to communicate your strategic thinking, critical decision-making skills, goal-setting, and more.

It gives them sort of a test drive in a “this is how it will look when I’m on the job” and “this is how I’m going to begin solving your problems and making you money” kind of way.

A well-thought-out plan highlights the “it” factor for employers. It shows them you know your stuff, AND you think strategically and know what it takes to get to a goal.

management-level job interviewHow you put together your plan will vary by whatever industry or career area you’re in, but all jobs will have a basic structure or timeline when you start:

(1) an initial period of learning the specifics of the company—systems, procedures, getting to know your team—that’s the first 30 days;

(2) a secondary period of getting your feet wet—getting more in-depth, evaluating issues or programs, planning changes; and

(3) a “ready to run” period of implementing your changes, initiating new projects, attracting more customers, improving efficiency, etc.

Typically, these periods are divided into monthly sections – hence the 30-60-90-day plan sections. Some companies may want you to get moving faster than that, and it’s easy to adjust your plan. Some companies want to see a longer time frame–so you can make your plan a 6-month plan or even a 1-year plan, depending on what’s needed.

No matter what, it’s critical to customize your plan to that company with research on the company and its position in the industry, since these plans are even more impressive when they’re specifically tailored to the job. Use Google, LinkedIn, your network, and your recruiter to start finding essential information for your plan. You might even consider doing a SWOT analysis to help you.

When you create your plan, this is what you bring to the interview:

As a bonus–with your plan and your discussions about it, you will have a blueprint for success from Day One in this new role. Everyone will be on the same page.

Learn more about creating a plan on your own here.

Get a step ahead and save time by getting a Manager’s 30-60-90-day template and coaching.