You’ll Have Them Eating Out of Your Hand!

Chipmunk eating out of my hand

Yes, that is a chipmunk and yes, she’s eating peanuts out of my hand. As is almost always the case, though, our relationship did not start that way. It took time to build trust.

At the Barrett Group, we have spent more than 30 years helping hundreds of executives each year to clarify their career objectives. We then help them discover the job of their dreams through our unique, five-stage career management system.

Today I would like to focus on the fourth step in that process, what we call the Preparation Step. At this point, clients are clear on their career search objectives. They have gone through the Clarity Program© (Step 1). Our clients are perfectly “packaged” due to Personal Branding (Step 2). And they have entered into discussion with hiring managers via Market Access (Step 3).

Now we help them prepare for those all-important interviews and then the offer negotiations that will eventually ensue.

Please forgive the initial hyperbole. It is unlikely that a hiring manager will really eat peanuts out of your hand. But in three specific ways, the metaphor is still perfectly apt.

First, our clients are more likely to succeed in interviews because they understand the purpose of the exercise. So very often executives come to us saying, “I know how to interview and sell myself. I just need to get in front of decision makers.”

Well, guess what? In spite of their track records and experience, those executives often fail at this critical juncture. Why is that? Because they in fact do not understand the purpose of the interview and therefore miss the mark.

How can that be, you ask? Simple. The purpose of the interview is not to talk about yourself and your experience at all—though that’s what most people do in an interview. The purpose of the interview is to really understand the needs of the hiring company, manager, and business unit that seeks to do the hiring. What do they really want or need? Only when you deeply understand this are you highly likely to succeed in an interview.

How can you gain this deeper understanding?

Second, our clients are usually the best prepared candidates, because we know what they need. For example, you will need to prepare yourself through research, skills development, role play, and practice. Specific clients may need more specific support.

Our research team (part of the six-member team that supports every client’s career change program) will assist you in laying out the key challenges facing the company, often the particular business unit, the specific history of the hiring executive, and other helpful background information.

Your Career Consultant will help you to perfect your listening skills and practice sincere but open-ended answers that lead to further questions as opposed to flatfooted statements that close doors. We have amassed enormous experience in this area, helping thousands of executives succeed over three decades. Our candidates will often have role-played the interview in advance multiple times with their client teams so that they are relaxed, have sincere, authentic answers for the most likely questions, and in all ways can demonstrate that they are the best candidate for the opportunity.

Third, when the offer arrives, many candidates accept it without question, leaving tens of thousands of dollars potentially on the table. But not our clients. We have collected, invented, and refined more than 100 compensation elements that we can introduce in the offer negotiation at the right time and in the right way to add significantly to the initial offer whether through direct salary, bonus, benefits, equity, or other means.

Here’s what one recent client had to say about this specific aspect of our service:

Diane’s consultant had proved her value to Diane during the decision-making process, and she proved herself again during the negotiations process, a necessary step to making her decision a reality. “I probably would not have negotiated the salary and everything else I ended up with, you know, the perks that came with it, the terms of the contract and all those other things. I can’t thank The Barrett Group enough.” [Diane, SVP Operations, 2020 – Read More]

So, you can try taking treats along to your next interview and settle for peanuts, or you can hire the professional career management firm chosen as one of the top executive recruiters in the USA by Forbes magazine (with the unique benefit that we actually work for you, the candidate—not the employer).

Give us a call and let’s build trust with those hiring managers together. We make it our job to help you find yours (and together, we may just have them eating out of your hand).

Peter Irish
The Barrett Group

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