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How To Answer “Describe Your First 30 Days In The Role”

By Amy @BubbleJobs

There’s no denying that job interviews are a pretty scary process. Even if you’re super-confident and you’ve memorised your CV and the company inside out, just one unexpected question can be enough to knock you off-guard and leave you fumbling around for an answer – so it’s important to walk into the interview room as prepared as you possibly can be.

On this blog, we’ve already a lot of the common job interview questions before such as “Have you applied for any other jobs?”, “What are you biggest strengths?” and “What sets you apart from other candidates?” – so today I’d thought I’d tackle one of the more obscure ones – “Describe your first 30 days in the role”.

Now, with this question, the interviewer is obviously looking to see how much you’ve thought about the role and how you’d make it your own. They’re also looking to see how ambitious you are and how well you’d fit in with the company – so it’s important to be prepared.

Now, although the right answer will obviously depend on the role and your experience, there are a few generic points you can follow when trying to prepare an answer for this question.

Be Realistic:

With this answer, you obviously want to show that you’re ambitious and have loads to bring to the role – but you need to remember to be realistic. OK, so you might believe you can get the company to number one on Google for the phrase “running trainers” – but, unless they’re already there, you’re probably not going to get them there in just 30 days.

Remember that this answer could come back to haunt you should you get the job – so you need to ensure you don’t promise the world if there’s just no way that you can deliver it.

Don’t Run Before You Can Walk:

Following on from the last answer, it’s important to ensure you don’t aim too high – because again, it could come back to haunt you, especially if you’re not qualified.

For example, if you’re being interviewed for a junior digital marketing role, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be involved in creating strategies for major international clients – so suggesting that you’re going to come up with a killer strategy for one of their key clients in your first 30 days probably isn’t the way to go. Remember; no one expects you to walk into a role and be amazing at everything straight away – so you need to bear this in mind when preparing your answer.

Remember That You Still Have Things To Learn:

No matter how experienced you are, when you start a new job, whether it’s programmes, work methodologies or best practices, there are always new things to learn – so, again, this is something you need to remember.

When you’re preparing your answer, it’s always a good idea to mention that in your first 30 days you’re going to get to know the team, become familiar with the company’s brand and get to grips with the company’s best practices. This shows that you want to work hard to fit in and it suggests you’re keen to work for them over a long period of time.

Remember Who You’re Talking To:

As we’ve mentioned before, when answering job interview questions, it’s important to remember who you’re talking to at all times to avoid talking yourself out of the job.

OK, so you might be keen to completely revamp the company’s eCommerce site and you might have spotted 10 things that you could fix straight away, but it’s probably not a good idea to say you’re going to “make the eCommerce site 100 times better” if you’re being interviewed by the company’s very own eCommerce Manager (and they’re going to be your new boss!). Instead you could say you’re keen to “work with the eCommerce team to identify and investigate a few potential areas for improvement”.

Make A Long-Term Target List & Scale It Down:

If you’re having a bit of trouble picturing your first 30 days in the role, it can be a good idea to think about what you want to achieve from the role overall or in the first six to 12 months and then try and scale it back to the first 30 days.

For example, your aim might be to create a brand new customer-focused community section of the site which can help improve customer service and overall sales – but it’s going to be pretty hard to build it and get the interaction up to a decent level in just 30 days. Instead, think about what could realistically be achieved in that time – for example in this case it might be holding some brainstorming meetings with the development team or finding the best platform on which to host the community.

 

So there you go; some thoughts on how you can begin to tackle this tricky job interview question. Think I’ve missed anything off or have anything to add? Leave a comment below.

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