How to approach new people and feel comfortable

One reason job-hunting is so stressful is that it requires speaking with new people. Having a purposeful, but pleasant, conversation with a hiring manager, recruiter or HR person is tricky, especially given the added tension of asking — sometimes begging — for a job. Add to that the discomfort many of us feel asking others for help. 

So imagine if your job was to constantly approach strangers, get them to talk about themselves and let you take a photograph. That’s exactly what is required of Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind the best-selling book, “Humans of New York.” Stanton also posts photos of the New Yorkers he runs into every day on his Facebook page.

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4 thoughts on “How to approach new people and feel comfortable

  1. whoah this weblog is great i really like reading your articles.
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  2. This is really good advice.

    I would go one step further and suggest to job seekers that they practice their ‘pick up, social event,’ and dating skills.

    Projecting confidence and opening lines of communication are great, transferable skills. Also is the ‘hand mirror’ technique of asking people to talk about themselves (open ended questions-not just yes or no ones).

    (This is a great technique for first dates, btw.ask open ended questions, make them laugh, let the woman talk all night-and not quiz/checklist you for prince charming keyword algorithms!)

    Even in the workplace, people LOVE to talk about themselves, so ask that manager why she/he chose to work there, what his major challenges are, what she/ he likes best about her/his job.

    The rigidity of the job search process is really stultifying. My best professional relationships are with technical people in my sector. (This is reinforced by commonalities and social interaction). Honestly, it’s the fact that hiring managers have abdicated reponsibility for cultivating potential new employees. HR processes are just too ineffective and inefficient, and get in the way.

    Maybe it’s because HR is not human anymore. They just don’t communicate with potential job seekers. Their pet robots (ATSs), algorithms, and pseudoscience are all we deal with.

  3. I think everything said was actually very reasonable.
    However, what about this? what if you were to create a
    killer headline? I mean, I don’t want to tell you how to run your blog, but what if you added
    something to possibly get a person’s attention? I mean How to approach new people and feel comfortable — Evil HR Lady is a little vanilla.
    You should peek at Yahoo’s home page and see how they write
    news titles to get people to open the links.
    You might add a video or a related picture or two to grab readers interested about what you’ve got to say.
    In my opinion, it could bring your posts a little bit more interesting.

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