What Can We Expect From You in the First 60 days?

Explain how you will be productive during the first months on the job. Coyright Buero Monaco/ Taxi / Getty Images

In order to figure out how you will approach a new job, an interviewer might ask you a question like, "What can we expect from you in the first 60 days on the job?" 

How to Answer Interview Questions About What You Plan to Accomplish

This is a tough question, as there are many ways to go about answering it. Most employers will look for employees who will be as self-sufficient as possible during their training period, and who will strive to make significant contributions early on.

 

Best Answers

You should indicate that you'll take an assertive approach to learning your role without burdening your supervisor, and point out that you'll make it a priority to be productive within your first few days on the job.

For example, you might say something like:

"I will reach out to all the colleagues in my department and intersecting departments to learn as much as possible about the roles that various individuals play within the operation.  I will devour all the information which you have referenced on policies and procedures for the unit.  During the evening, I'll continue reading everything I can find about the company and industry to get an accurate fix on the state of the firm within the marketplace.  Our professional association offers some online tutorials on advanced Excel macros so I will work on those during my off hours."

Emphasize Your Ability to Learn Quickly

This type of question also provides an opening for you to affirm your ability to learn quickly and add value in key areas of the work early on in your tenure.

Based on the job description, along with anything your interviewer has said about the position's main responsibilities, make a case for how your skill set will equip you to learn those key duties quickly. 

For example, you might say "You have emphasized the importance of writing compelling press releases and based on my experience in the governor's office, I think that I will be able to jump in and take on that responsibility very early on." 

You can also assert that you'll take direction from your supervisor and focus your energies on mastering the core elements of your work during the first several weeks so you can add value as soon as possible.

Discuss Goals and Organization

In addition, employers tend to favor goal-oriented and well organized employees. Therefore, you should share some insight about your process for taking on a challenge, like learning a new role.  You might reference your preference for setting daily and weekly learning goals. 

For example, could you say something like "I am a list person so I prefer to write down objectives for learning to stay on track. For example, you have emphasized how important the online purchasing system to this job, so I would include the goal of mastering that system during the first two weeks at the top of my list."

Also keep in mind that frequent interruptions by new staff can be frustrating for managers. You could add that you will compile a list of questions that couldn't be answered through printed resources as you go through your daily routine. Then, mention that you would address these questions to your supervisor or her designee at established times to protect your boss from untimely interruptions.

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