Dr. Tom E. Jones urges behavioral interview practice to demonstrate creativity and innovation
More than 10 years ago Dr. Tom E Jones said he was given the dubious title of Guru of Dysfunction in an article by a San Francisco newspaper. That’s because he has worked with several large corporations as a trainer, consultant and turnaround specialist, helping them address dysfunctional areas and improve productivity.
When Jones spoke during the first Profile Forum Wednesday night, he dispelled a number of job-related myths that the audience of approximately 80 job seekers had accepted as part of the process. By ignoring these myths, and learning more about organizational dysfunction, job candidates will be better prepared to navigate through the hiring process.
One of the most prominent myths is that companies always hire the most qualified candidates for every position, Jones said. After helping several companies conduct executive searches, the candidate with the highest ranking among key evaluation criteria was not selected for the position. In fact, many involved in the hiring decision often chose a less qualified candidate who was perceived to be the most likable and the decisions were usually based on personality traits and appearance and who can convey what they will bring to the company for it’s success.
In an anecdote-filled workshop on “Why Job Hunters Suffer and What to Do About It” Jones, a Carmel-based author and lecturer, urged audience members to “Be Likeable” in interviews with potential employers. While your resume speaks to your qualifications, most companies want to hire people who fit into their existing corporate culture.
Many company’s now employ behavioral questions in the interview process to see if a candidate can communicate well and fit in with their team, Jones said. Job seekers should focus on how to answer a list of behavioral questions such as “What are some of your most meaningful accomplishments?” and “What did you enjoy least about your last position?” Jones urged the audience to practice behavioral interviewing skills because employers want people to think creatively and innovate naturally.
“You should have the acronym ‘WAIT’ tattooed onto the back of your eyelids,” Jones said. It stands for "Why Am I Talking," because oftentimes job candidates blather continuously about their experience and qualifications during interviews. To improve your chances of getting a job offer, the interviewee should ask the interviewer more about the company’s goals for the position. “Be interested, not interesting,” he said.
The Forum, held in Capitola City Council Chambers, was the first time that Profile of Santa Cruz had to utilize facilities outside of the Capitola Career Center to host its popular guest speaker series, according to Rosalie Castello Flores, the organizations Associate Director. It was also the first time that non-Profile members from the community were invited to participate.