Updated June 20, 2023
Introduction to Briefcase Technique
The briefcase technique is a job interview strategy that involves bringing a physical or digital “briefcase” filled with examples of your work, ideas, and solutions to the job interview. The approach aims to showcase your skills, expertise, and value to the employer by revealing how you can solve their problems and add value to their organization.
Clearing an interview is easy if you can go into the mind of the recruiter and can program their mind accordingly. No, you wouldn’t do it with tricks only, but also with your level of honesty and knowledge of the job position you have applied for. Yes, here we introduce you to a magnificent technique that will blow your mind. It’s called the Briefcase Technique, propounded by entrepreneur and one of the great career experts Ramit Sethi.
To master this briefcase technique, you need to understand the foundations and why it works. In this article, we will first brief you about the briefcase technique, then discuss how it works; next, we will articulate why. And lastly, we will depict where this briefcase technique works.
What is Briefcase Technique Interview?
An interview is a discussion, not a battle. During this discussion, both parties negotiate to see if they are a good fit for each other. If yes, they go ahead and work together. If not, they both look for other opportunities. So, first of all, always think you are the stronger party in the deal. Even if the employer is a giant company, don’t treat yourself as among insignificant individuals; trust your abilities and skills.
The briefcase technique is only for you if you trust your capacity. In the briefcase technique, you need to pull out a document from your briefcase showing your employer how they can improve one or more things about the company.
Remember, the employer will not always take your interview; recruiters will do who are the faces of the company. So you need to know when to present your document. If you show it to the recruiters, they may need help understanding the value. But suppose you are sitting with the employers who run the business. In that case, they will appreciate the value of the document and give you more preference over other candidates having equal skills.
How Does the Technique Work?
First of all, there are a few things you need to consider before applying this technique.
Just wait to write anything in the proposal. The proposal should be relevant and emphasize the company’s problems (primarily) rather than what the company has already solved. Please find out the company’s pressure points and try concentrating on them. To do that, you need to do your preparation. The briefcase technique will only work once you complete your job interview preparation. It would help if you showcased to the employer that as they are interested in working with you, you are equally excited to be able to work with them.
To crack the interview, you must prepare separately for the briefcase technique. You will need more than knowing about the company to seal the deal. It would help if you did more.
Open the company’s virtual world and do a SWOT and PESTEL analysis. Do both studies by using statistics. You need to know what employer you will face in the interview. They may have a more logical mind or creative bent of thinking. Or else maybe both! Your job would be to ensure that you appeal to both parts of the brain with your analyses.
Once done with the analyses, it is time for you to give some suggestions based on the calculations. Your document would only be meaningful with it. Add your suggestions for the pressing problems the company has been facing. Also, add some strategies you would use to solve the issue. Be specific. Write down in the document how you will solve the problems. You should pose your solutions like this – if one works, you will keep the others in store; if one doesn’t, you will implement the other strategies within one month. If you write this in your document, it will blow the employer’s mind.
Next, consider ‘when’ you are presenting the document. If you give the paper initially, your briefcase technique will fail. Why would someone want to know something about the record until the discussion is relevant? So please wait until the recruiter or the employer asks why I should hire you. How can you add value to our business or similar questions? And then, you can pull out that document and show how you can help the company grow and which strategies will work. One word of caution – don’t go into why the previous process implemented by the employers didn’t work or that sort of stuff. This bent in the road may become costly for you.
While pulling out the document, you must also ensure that you provide it to the right person. Otherwise, it would not work as effectively as it should. If you are sitting in front of the recruiters, they may need help understanding the value of your document.
Now you may wonder why this briefcase technique works. But before, you must know what briefcase technique is relevant to the business. Via the briefcase technique, you want to influence the employer or the recruiter to offer you a more significant package than the average offerings. The people who will not use this technique won’t know how much they are leaving on the table. Use this briefcase technique in your following interview and see how it works.
Another important thing about the briefcase technique is that it forces you to become selective about the companies you will give interviews with. You can’t go to any company and sit for an interview. To be able to get more compensation, check the turnover and average pay package in the company. Check the stats before going for an interview and before using the briefcase technique during the interview. If a company’s turnover is US $100,000, it can’t pay you US $50,000 per annum as pay.
Why Does the Briefcase Technique Work?
The briefcase technique works because it emphasizes employers’ dire need to find the right candidate for the job.
Employers have decided to hire a person or two for two reasons. The first reason is that employers must be more relaxed about doing the work themselves. The second reason may be that they want someone who specializes in solving a typical problem that the existing people in the company cannot. In that situation, imagine you present a document that directly speaks to the problem the employers are facing.
You are analyzing what the employers have been struggling with for quite some time. Wouldn’t they feel happier that when they are feeling bogged down with how to solve the company’s problem, someone sitting on the other side has already documented it and its solution on paper? Moreover, they are busy and like to tweak things instead of creating something from scratch.
Whenever you present the document using the briefcase technique, you leave the employers the opportunity to tweak the copy you have created from scratch. That saves time, and they feel that with little work, they can go somewhere, at least a place better than they are currently in. That instantly helps you win the interview. You immediately prove to the employers and the recruiters that you are the right bet, irrespective of how many qualifications other candidates show on paper.
The last but not least reason the briefcase technique works is that by using this technique, you are giving direction to the interview, not the recruiters and the employers! Before you presented the document, they were dictating the discussion. After using the briefcase technique, you will snatch the deal in your direction.
Everything they ask for will depend on the document you have already presented. And after being convinced about your skills in solving the company’s problems when they will talk about salary, you can negotiate. Don’t act dumb here. Have some documents and industry reports ready for the average salary given to the people holding similar positions in the industry.
Pull out some reports from Salary.com, Glassdoor.com, and PayScale.com and show them the salary you should get and what the employers offer. It will prove that you have prepared and are a serious candidate before the interview. And then you will be able to snatch a great deal from them. This technique is by thousands of people already, and they have successfully got higher pay-package and better deals, according to the proponent of this technique, Ramit Sethi.
In Which Situations Does the Briefcase Technique Work?
You may wonder if that briefcase technique only works in the case of freelancing. But that’s not true at all. The briefcase technique works in every industry subject to your knowledge about the whole thing. It will work if you work on it.
Sit with your boss and present him with the document of how you can solve the problems the company has been facing for a long time. No matter what industry you want to give an interview for, you can use this technique and can ensure that you get a good hike on whatever you are currently receiving. That means the briefcase technique doesn’t only work in case of job interviews and freelancing; it also works if one day you want to increase your pay package.
A word of caution here – you need to think that your move should not make your boss insecure if he is not the employer. He will never allow you to work on your recommendations and forget about an increased pay package if he feels insecure. In “48 Laws of Power”, Robert Greene discussed a relevant law in this scenario – “Never outshine the master.” It would help if you remembered it before using the briefcase technique in case of promotion and while dealing with your boss about increasing your compensation.
Use this briefcase technique in business deals where things are not in your favor. Prepare beforehand and arrange the statistics properly in a document to showcase that you have done your homework. Nobody can put you on hold as the other party is more eloquent in speaking things out.
The briefcase technique is not so popular because the first thing needs to be in order. The interviewees still feel a lack of importance when sitting with the interviewer. They think the company and its decisions are more important than they think about themselves. This idea about you has to change. To implement this briefcase technique, you must believe equally in any interview or negotiation. First, empower yourself, and then assign your ability to get compensated. If you trust yourself enough and know that no matter what happens, you will make it to the top of your professional career, no one can stop you.
We hope that this EDUCBA information on “Briefcase Technique” was beneficial to you. You can view EDUCBA’s recommended articles for more information.