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Daily Job Search Advice from the CEO of Preferred Resumes

Be Interested in Others
By Harrison Barnes  

A few weeks ago, I purchased a new camera on Amazon. Since large cameras have been coming down in price for some time, I was able to buy a camera that had formerly been around $2,500 for $600 or so. It is a great camera and takes very nice pictures. I have been having a good time with it lately. This is a large photographer sort of camera, and I have really enjoyed walking around with this camera and taking pictures of things–parking meters, leaves, store signs, and so forth. I have no skills as a photographer but I am trying! I take the camera out to dinner with me and all around with me when I go out and have found this is something that attracts a lot of attention in Los Angeles.

A couple of days after I purchased this camera, I walked into an electronics store in Santa Monica, called Circuit City, with my wife. The store was going out of business and they had discounted a giant lens for the same camera down from $800 to $200, so I bought that as well. I attached this to the camera, and now I walk around with this giant lens on the camera. It looks like I’m ready to start photographing a professional sports event.

“Kick ass dude!” a guy said to me as I was walking out of the electronics store. He gave me a thumbs up.

The camera with the new lens on it is now the size of my arm and probably weighs over 5 pounds. When I’m walking around with this thing, I look like a professional photographer, or at least the camera does. Personally, I have no idea how to operate this thing at all except on automatic mode.

After picking up my giant zoom lens in Santa Monica, my wife, daughter, and I got back in my pickup truck and drove to Beverly Hills to have lunch at Barney Greengrass. This restaurant is at the top of the Barneys store there. I was carrying my camera with me, of course. When we got off the elevator I realized that right in front of me was Tori Spelling, an actress, sitting there with her husband and baby enjoying lunch. She was literally three feet right in front of me sitting there munching her brunch with her family. She took one look at my camera and smiled and got ready for a shot. I was a little embarrassed and stood there for several seconds not sure what I was supposed to do. She had wiped off her mouth and was ready for me to start snapping photos of her and her family. Unfortunately, I was just there to have breakfast. We stood there in a standoff for a few seconds each looking into one another’s eyes. Her eyes seemed to be saying to me, “Take a picture! I’m here!” She is an attractive woman and seems like a nice person.

A few seconds later, a large maitre d’ came up to me. “Put away the camera!” he barked. He thought I was there to take pictures of Tori Spelling and her family. Unfortunately, the camera was so large I couldn’t put it away. Come to think of it, this thing wouldn’t even fit in a suitcase.

“I can’t put it away,” I told him. “It’s too large. In any event, I am only here to eat!”

My daughter was busy squirming in my wife’s arms and the maitre d’ figured out that I was probably not there to take any pictures. I was seated directly in Tori Spelling’s line of sight, and the entire brunch I almost felt sorry for her and bad that I hadn’t taken a bunch of pictures. No one seemed all that interested in her having lunch and, despite the fact she was sitting there right out in the open, her entire meal wasn’t punctuated by any paparazzi.

A few days later, on a Tuesday night, my father-in-law had a birthday dinner at a steak restaurant in Beverly Hills. During the past few days, I’d managed to shoot some great shots. I took pictures everywhere I went–the grocery store, driving down the street, you name it. I loved taking pictures, and I must confess I’m not a good photographer. Nevertheless, I was excited about making my mark yet again at my father-in-law’s birthday.

I was standing there when, all of a sudden, I noticed a few girls standing there staring at me and looking as if they were primping for the camera. Immediately I recognized that one of them was another movie star. She was smiling at me and started playing with her hair. My wife bent over and whispered her name in my ear. I stood there again not knowing if I should take a picture or not. The movie star was smiling at me and looked really excited for me to start snapping pictures of her. Unfortunately, once again, I was not there to take celebrity shots.

What I realized with my two celebrity sightings was people want us to be interested in them. Movie stars even crave attention. What does any of this mean to your job search? It means an incredible amount, and the lesson here is one of the most important lessons you will ever learn about how to get a job. People want you to be interested in them, and this is one of the most important possible things you can do. Regardless of the person, they want you to be interested in them.

I spent a lot of time at conferences, and every time I go to a conference with someone who’s done some important work that has made a difference to me, I go up to them and tell them this fact. While celebrities, best-selling authors, and others may seem above the average person, the fact is they love attention. They love to feel significant and they love attention and people being interested in them as well. When you tell them you’ve used their ideas, been influenced by them and so forth, they love it. They remember you and feel indebted to you. Everyone wants to feel significant, and the best way to do this is to be interested in others.

Employers love to hire people who are interested in them. When you show an employer you’re interested in them and have been following them in the market that’s one thing. When you show the employer you like their culture, people, and feel you would fit in there due to the uniqueness of the employer, this makes a huge difference. You need to show a major interest in others and this is crucial. The more you’re interested in others the more they are going to want to help you. You need to show interest in others, and this is crucial. Employers love it when others are interested in them and individual employees love this as well.

When you go into interviews, a great strategy is to show a lot of interest in the person you’re speaking with–genuine interest and not simply feigned interest.  I’ve learned everyone is incredibly interesting if you ask enough questions. Everyone has a different view of the world and thinks about people, work, and so forth differently. When you show interest in people, they are likely to be incredibly grateful for this. You need to be interested in others, and everyone wants to feel interesting. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t appreciate it when we’re interested in them–even movie stars. Everyone loves it when we’re interested in them.

If a job is important to you, and getting a job is important to you, you need to be incredibly interested in both the employer and the people you are interviewing with. Ask questions that empower the people you’re speaking with and the employer. Your objective is to make the employer feel good and sound good. The skill is to ask questions that make the employer feel empowered and as if they are a really, really good place to work. Ask the people you’re speaking with questions that make them feel good about themselves. Show interest in the good things. You want to be seen in a positive and not negative light. You want good feelings associated with you. The more interest you show, the more likely you are to get the job.

Being interested in your employer and the people you’re speaking with is incredibly important. People want to hire and be around people who are interested in them. The more you’re interested in other people the more likely they are to be interested in you. People love to speak about themselves. It’s basic human psychology. The more interested you are in others and your employer, the more likely you are to be hired. You need to get yourself interested in your employer and the people you’re speaking with.


People naturally want others to be interested in them, and offering this interest is one of the most beneficial things you can do. The more you display interest in others, the more they will in turn display interest in you and want to help you. When in interviews, build rapport with your potential employer by demonstrating a genuine interest in the person and his or her organization. Everyone loves to have other people interested in them, and like to hire such people.

Click here to read more of such interesting articles from our CEO Harrison Barnes.

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