7 Strategies to Ace Your Trial Period and Land Your Dream Job

Congrats on getting a trial at your dream company!  That’s awesome but also a bit nerve-wracking, right?  You want to impress them and get a permanent offer, but you are unclear about differentiating yourself from other candidates.  

You’ve always been intelligent and capable, breezing through school and your first job.  You keep up with the latest trends and clearly envision your career goals.  But now that you are a graduate, you want a real job that pays well and fulfills your dreams, and this is your chance.  The problem is you have 90 days to show your boss that you are the best candidate for the position.  But you’re not the only one who wants it.  How can you stand out from the crowd? 

You’ll be relieved to know there are steps you can take related to what research shows is the number two characteristic of career success: conscientiousness.

Leverage a conscientious mindset for success

Conscientiousness, essentially synonymous with diligence and integrity, encompasses various facets such as dependability and orderliness.  In fact, research shows that conscientiousness, when factored alongside IQ, can account for approximately 36% of an individual’s eventual job performance in a moderately complex role!  So, what are some practical ways that being conscientious can help you impress a manager, especially during a probationary period or temp-to-perm?

Demonstrating conscientiousness to your new boss involves consistently exhibiting reliability, organization, thoroughness, and dedication.  Here are some specific ways to showcase this vital trait:

Step One:  Show up early, leave late.  This is a tough one today as the definition of timeliness has become a social and cultural topic.  You should know, however, that visibility is your friend.  Astute managers notice who is timely for an interview, early into the office on their first trial day, and those who rush out the door the second the clock hits five.  You can be sure the clock watcher won’t be selected when it is time to hire! 

Additionally, valuable conversations often happen around a manager’s door at the end of the day.  From strategy checks to project updates, being an end-of-day conversationalist will ensure that you are top of mind when your boss decides to hire.

 Step Two:  Meet or exceed your deadlines.  Delivering quality work early or on time demonstrates reliability and dedication.  However, master time, don’t make time your master.   For example, if you have exerted significant effort on a task but believe that additional time could enhance a project’s quality, thoughtfully communicate your reasons to your supervisor.  Propose a revised timeline.  Your initiative and commitment to delivering only high-quality outputs are sure to impress!

Step Three:  On the subject of quality, double-check your work.  Spelling and grammatical errors seem to be the norm today.  And though you might not think anyone cares, remember your goal is to stand out.  Therefore, before sending any work or reports, take the time to review and proofread thoroughly.  Use AI or Word’s Review editor, but do avoid errors and ensure that your work meets the required standards of quality and accuracy.

Step Four:  Communicate Effectively.  Keep your boss informed about the progress of your work, any potential challenges you encounter, and how you plan to address them.  Never bring up a problem without some solutions at hand!  Clear and proactive communication shows that you are conscientious about keeping stakeholders informed.

Step Five:  Take Initiative.  Look for opportunities to go above and beyond your assigned duties.  Volunteer for additional responsibilities or suggest improvements to processes or workflows that could benefit the team or organization.

Step Six: Be Organized!   Messy desk, messy mindset!  Keep your workspace neat and use systems to manage tasks and prioritize responsibilities effectively.  Orderliness demonstrates attention to detail and your ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently.

Step Seven:  Keep a Cheerful Outlook.  A positive mindset is a powerful asset.  Approaching your work with enthusiasm, optimism, and a positive attitude is contagious and even motivating to those around you.  A can-do attitude and a willingness to tackle challenges head-on reflect your conscientious commitment to contributing positively to the team and organization.

Welcome aboard!

As a conscientious employee, you have the skills and qualities every employer seeks in a potential hire.  You are dependable, organized, thorough, and dedicated to your work and team.  You always deliver high-quality results, communicate effectively, and show initiative and positivity in every situation.  You are not just a performer but a leader who inspires others to achieve excellence and make a difference in the organization.  Demonstrating conscientiousness in your interactions and work habits proves that you are the best candidate for the job and the ideal fit for the company culture.

If you are looking for a new job, you don’t have to go it alone.  Partnership Employment can assist you in finding the best employers in your area in various industries and roles.  We’ll find the right fit for your abilities and act as a resource throughout your employee trial period.  You can explore temp-to-perm and direct hire positions through Partnership Employment, which can lead to permanent offers, so contact us today!


Schmidt, F. L., & Hunter, J. E. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findingsPsychological Bulletin, 124(2), 262–274