It goes without saying that the purpose of the hiring interview is to find out if your applicant is the right person for your company and for the position you need filled.
Your standard interview is going to take place in the office and you’ll learn all kinds of things about your applicant in that setting. But let’s go a step further and take the interview out of the office and see what else we can find out.
Take the applicant for a walk around your business. Introduce her to some of your staff and ask her some of your interview questions along the way. See how she interacts with your staff. You might even ask a couple of your staff ahead of time to use this brief intro to “challenge” the applicant. Here are a couple of examples:
One of your staff could say, “you’re not seriously considering working here?!” The applicant will likely take that in jest but observing their reaction could be interesting. Or an employee could speak directly to you (the person taking the applicant for the walk-around), “you know, we’re fully staffed in this area. We really do not need any excess personnel.” Again, observing how your applicant reacts to this could be interesting.
You could also take your applicant out to a nearby restaurant and conduct the interview there. Something as small as how the applicant treats the waitress could be revealing.
How your applicant interacts with others outside of the routine interview environment could give you some insights you might not otherwise obtain. Try it out a few times and see how it works for you.