What Employers Are Looking For
Employers ask the question for several reasons. First, interviewers want assertive employees and like to hire candidates who show eager attitudes toward work during the interview. Employers may also use the question to determine how much a candidate knows about the job. Fitting in right away proves important in many jobs, and employers may use the question to determine how well candidates may adjust to new roles.
How to Answer
Going into the interview, make sure to possess a serviceable understanding of the role in order to know how to succeed during the first month. Keeping the duties of the role in mind, express determination to quickly learn company processes and guidelines and fully develop skills. Also, mention plans to get to know coworkers and how to function effectively as part of the team. After expressing a plan to become accustomed to the job, show desire to provide a meaningful contribution to the company. Pick an area of the job in which you hope to make an important impact and describe plans for meeting specific goals. Keep the goals relevant to the job and use the answer as an opportunity to highlight personal and professional strengths.
Things to Avoid
Avoid trying to reinvent the company. Expressing ideas to make major changes to the work environment might signify an overstepping of boundaries. Keep things simple. Do not worry about knowing all the ins and outs of the job. Employers understand interviewees do not hold intimate knowledge of companies before starting work. Avoid long, drawn-out answers covering various aspects of the job, as well. Though the position may demand the learning of numerous new processes or the making of various contributions, keep the answer brief and easy to follow. Speak broadly about plans for the first 30 days on the job, or talk in detail about a specific, personal expectation.
Perhaps the desired position entails retail sales work. An appropriate response might sound like: “In my first few weeks, I plan to establish solid working relationships with my teammates and get up to speed on sales techniques and store polices. By the beginning of the fourth week, I hope to exceed my projected sales goals each consecutive shift.”