Even if it is not required, doing so will demonstrate to the hiring authority a candidate’s serious intentions towards the particular position they are interviewing for.
A well thought out plan will include a preliminary preparation plan in addition to a concise and detailed business plan that includes both tactical and strategic initiatives.
We cannot emphasize how important it is to lay out a detailed and well thought out plan. An investment of maybe 3-4 hours will be more than worth the time and effort when the job offer is extended. Don’t be overwhelmed – one to three pages of concise bullet points are enough to present in this preliminary plan.
Why Create a Plan?
- Creating a plan is a demonstration of your focused, strategic attitude, and it shows that you are someone who will go above and beyond to get the job done. Most other candidates won't have done this plan (if they even know about it) because it takes some effort to do it before you even know if you've got the job. It's a tangible demonstration of your energy and enthusiasm for THIS job.
- It is a clear example of the time and care you will take in future work products.
- It helps you to have a targeted interview, focused not just on what you've done before, but on what you can offer for this job, at this company. And it allows you to have a conversation between professionals, rather than a ping-pong style Q&A session.
- It helps the hiring manager "see" you in the job, because the whole plan is focused on what you will do in it for the first 90 days, and that's what you'll be talking about.
Understanding why the company is seeking to fill a need with this position is critical: preliminary preparation includes initial company research and is more strategic than tactical. If the company is publicly traded, one would want to obtain the annual reports that are available for investors and potential investors and study them. Understand competitors, products, company culture –and most important, how you will make an immediate impact in your new role, must be considered.
The first 30 days should not only include a thorough understanding of the internal workings of the company, but also include a plan to introduce oneself to all resource contacts as required by the role.
You will need to define that you will familiarize yourself with internal systems relevant to the role whether they be customer relationship management systems (CRM), reading and understanding company policy and procedure, attending training programs, mastering product knowledge, etc.
The next thirty days includes more practical application of knowledge, less training, and more interaction and contribution. Tactical initiatives must address and support the reason for the Hiring. Strategic plans may include studying additional material or systems, meeting with the internal teams, meeting with manager to discuss progress to-date, and joining industry specific professional groups.
The tactical part of the plan should contain development and implementation of a specific "game plan" which includes setting higher goals for six months and one year, developing target lists of goals based on needs analysis, and creating and implementing a measurable results plan. Strategic initiatives would include attending professional networking events, meeting with team members to assess progress of current projects, new initiatives, etc.
Everything in the plan must be tailored to the role, the expectations of your direct supervisor and the company, and measurements of success as outlined by the company in the initial interview.