The BTOS Interviewing System

The premise behind the BTOS is utilizing behavioral interviewing and Looklisology (see previous blog posting on Looklisology) and Probing questioning to combine and form a unique, highly flexible, and successful interviewing system. To start let's look at the definitions of each of the main parts of BTOS

Business Behavioral Interviewing(BBI)- Business Behavioral interviewing has a specific style and approach. This approach relies on the use of open-ended questions versus closed questions that require a simple yes or no answer. Business Behavioral Questions provide interviewers with a pattern of behavior, business/soft skills (negotiating skills, problem solving, communication etc..), evidence to judge a candidate’s ability to perform within the companies culture and general business style and approach. Most of these fall under general skills that most all employees should have, regardless of job function. You can also use this type of interviewing question to assess fit within a group or organization.

Targeted Behavioral Interviewing(TBI)- Targeted Behavioral Interviewing style questions that are geared toward technical/specific job/function skill areas, "Tell me about a time you had design a website?", of course out of this you will move into Open Door and Sequential interviewing. Remember the whole BTOS system is connected. One thing will always lead to another.

Open Door Interviewing- this is where you utilization of your Lookliology skills, pay off the most, in noticing parts of an answer to a question that should be probed further ask a question about an uncomfortable situation, and you notice when giving a part of the answer the person seems to get uncomfortable, this opens the door for you to probe further all the while doing so utilizing a BBI or TBI or Probing style.

Sequential Interviewing- this is simply when you take the next logical step in questioning anyone. Example if you ask them to tell you a time when they had to build a website, one of the next questions to ask in the sequence might be, what tools, languages etc.. did you use. These sequential questions do not have to be TBI or BBI type questions but more of the Probing style.

Probing style interview questions- These style of questions are much more direct and not behaviorally based at all. These questions are used primarily in Open Door or Sequential interviewing. These question are designed to get specific information from a person ie.."What tools did you use in designing the website". This style can be used on technical skills, general business skills and at any time were you need a specific non behaviorally based answer. More just facts.


Targeted Behavioral interviewing(job specific or technical) -"Tell me about a time you had to design a website?"

Which leads to

Sequential interviewing - "What tools did you use?" (using Probing question)-" or "Tell me about the tools you used, and how you used them? "Tell me what others on the project did etc.." (TBI or BBI)

Which leads to

Open Door interviewing-were you notice the candidate got visible uncomfortable talking about what other may have done on the project. This leads back to TBI, BBI or Probing Interviewing and "tell me how the project team worked and got along?" (TBI or BBI) "Where there any team members difficult to deal with?" (Probing)

See the whole method is connected and works together to provide a complete interviewing system. In fact some of the questions you ask may cross boundaries as to what type they are. They could be a combination of TBI, BBI, and Probing. You can almost only have one or two questions ready and because of the methods described here you will end up with many more that will give you a clear picture of this candidate and what they can do. Weather you start with BBI or TBI, you will at some point hear an open door or see a sequence of questions that must be asked, and at some point require a clear cut factual answer to a required probing question.

Sometimes utilizing just one way of doing things or system does not work. You need to utilize more than one. When that is the case remember BTOS is such a rich system that you can utilize any one part of it and with a simple modification create a system that works just for you. For example you can use less TBI and BBI and more probing questioning, or only BBI or only TBI. This is a mix and match system. But as I said in the end the system will help ensure you are making the right hiring choices.

In the next 2 blogs I will go into how to actually conduct an interview and how to write feedback on the interview.

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