Become a Consultant

Imagine walking into an interview and teaching your future manager things he did not know or realize about his own company. At the end of the interview, he thanks YOU for helping him.

A well thought out Action Plan is the most powerful thing a candidate can bring to a job interview.

Preparation

  1. Before the interview, spend at least three hours (more, if you’re unfamiliar with the industry and company) researching the website, history, competitors, current projects, social media, products and press releases.
  2. Identify areas of weakness within the company and brainstorm solutions.
    1. What is a competitor doing that they are not?
    2. Is there an expertise you have that can be applied to a specific task (name it, don’t just say, “I can do some web design”. Tell them exactly what you plan to do with those skills)
    3. Do you have any ideas for the future of the company? A new marketing campaign. A change of direction. Reform a process.
  3. Write everything down.
  4. Sleep on it.
  5. Narrow the list down to the most convincing top 5 (or more, if you’re really keen).
  6. Type out your action plan with the 5 points. Do not write your whole thought process down, just a one-liner that describes each point.

The Interview

  1. Bring two copies of your Action Plan with you.
  2. When the interviewer asks you, “What makes you different?” or “Do you have any questions for me?”, give him a copy of the Action Plan
  3. Proceed to explain how you spent X amount of time researching and developing these ideas. Say something like, “These ideas are a little rough, perhaps even incorrect or misinformed, but it was the best I could do given the time frame”. Be humble.
  4. For each point, explain in detail what you intend to do if you were hired.
  5. If the interviewer is taking notes, you’ve caught his/her attention.

If It Fails

  1. Email the interviewer the list of the remaining useable ideas that you did not present during the interview.

What Makes It Killer

The existence of an Action Plan proves you have initiative, creativity and diligence. When you present the Action Plan, you are showing confidence, the ability to lead and confront authority in a respectful manner. Even if none of the ideas you presented are useable, you have proven all of these points.

If you managed to make an Action Plan that is convincing, then you will demonstrate a deep understanding of the industry and company. Further, you will have proven your expertise in the field.

If you made a half decent Action Plan in a few hours, imagine what you’d be able to accomplish in a year.

Even if you don’t get hired, sending the remaining ideas to the interviewer and thanking them for their time is the best way to keep your name on the shortlist for a future opportunity.