First time poster, long time lurker... (okay, not really - its just that I post so infrequently that I can probably get away with such a killer opening more than once :-)
I'm using the MT Interview tool to guide my interviews and I preface these with a short series of questions to warm up the candidate and test their preparation. Questions include:
1) Tell me about yourself.
2) Tell me what you know about our company.
3) What are your expectations for this position?
4) Tell me what you know about our industry.
5) Give me your thoughts on the pro's and con's associated with using Net Promoter as a KPI (Net Promoter experience is listed as required experience in the job posting they responded to)
6) What's the coolest thing you've seen on the Internet lately and why? (we're an Internet company, so I want to know how deeply seated their passion for the Internet is)
7) Tell me about your mentors. Who are they? How and why do they inspire you?
8) Tell me about your commitment to management and the steps you've taken to develop your craft (again, the original job posting clearly indicates that I'm looking for someone who is committed to management craft and development)
9) What are your views on accountability? (and again, this question is telegraphed in the job posting).
From these, I then go into the behavioral questions and we generally finish up after about 75-90 minutes.
Quite a few candidates stumble on the setup questions I listed above. They make it quite clear that they haven't done their background research or don't have the requisite experience to meet my expectations. If they can't tell me anything about the basic structure of our industry or present a reasoned opinion on Net Promoter, there isn't a chance that I'll hire them.
Which brings me to the question I'd love to get some feedback on. What do I do at this point? Should I trudge through the rest of the interview knowing that there's no chance that the candidate will make the shortlist? Should I cut it short and use the remaining time to get caught up on email? It happened to me this afternoon, and I found myself begrudgingly going through the motions for 75 minutes knowing full well what the outcome would be. Thinking about the interview on my way home, I realized that if one of my directs came to a meeting equally unprepared that I'd ask them to reconvene at some other time when they were more prepared. So if I'm not willing to make the investment (i.e. waste time) with a direct who has the job, do I really owe a complete stranger a pro forma interview out of some misguided sense of politeness?
By the way, I'm Canadian, we're big on politeness - so there is some cultural merit to going through the motions so as to not offend a complete stranger :-)
Thanks in advance for your input. I'm really looking forward to hearing some opinions on this one.