What would you do first at this job?

When they ask you this question in the job interview, they want to get a picture of how you would be in the role. How you answer tells them about your personality and your work style. Do you attack it from day one? Do you take it all in and analyze it first?

If it were me, I would answer it like this: “The first thing I would do is get to know all the systems and parts and pieces I need to know in order to be successful at the job. I would want to define what my end goal was and then work backwards from there and make sure that I know everything I need to be successful at this.”

And then I would introduce my 30/60/90-day plan: “I’m glad you asked that, because I have been doing a lot of thinking about this question and I came up with a working list of what I would do in the first 3 months. Can I get your input on that to see if I’m on the right track?”

A 30/60/90-day plan is a written outline for what you will do in your first 3 months on the job. It covers any training you need, learning about the company, getting up to speed, and launching off on your own great things. It’s very impressive to hiring managers because it shows your knowledge of the job, your drive, energy, and initiative, and your commitment to success.

Using your plan, you walk them though your thought process and you have your discussion about your first 90 days on the job. You talk, you ask questions, they clarify, and you become cemented in their minds as a fantastic candidate. This discussion is guaranteed to be a more in-depth, better conversation about you in that role than any standard list of job interview questions and answers will allow you to have.

(Even if you chicken out and don’t bring your actual plan into the interview, you still should do the interview prep work of creating a plan, so that you have something solid to say in answer to this question. They’re that good for preparing you and transforming you into the most knowledgeable candidate.)

Just walk them through what you think would make you successful on the job, and ask questions as you go that confirm it and keep you on the right track.

Author's Bio: 

This article is part of the How To Answer Interview Questions Series from Career Coach Peggy McKee of Career Confidential .

Find this article along with 100 more tough but typical job interview questions and answers here => What would you do first at this job?