Why we go to lunch as a part of the interview process.
We Need to Eat
We're going to need to take time during the day to eat. Why not eat with someone else? Keith Ferrazzi wrote a great book, enticing us to never eat alone.
When you're at lunch, eat. Use good manners, but eat like you always would. It's a lunch.
We Can Relax
Lunch should be the least stressful part of the interview regimen. It is a time that you want to draw out the real you and the real them. Break down facades. Help your candidate know that they can be themselves -- that's who you're trying to discover, after all.
Don't use formal interview language. Don't run through your top-10 questionnairre. Put the person at ease in your posture. Involve everyone in the conversation, just like a good dinner party. Don't make the candidate feel like the dining lighting is in fact a single light bulb dangling above his head in a dim room while interrogators sit about him.
The relaxation found during lunch will setup for a more open and accurate remainder of the interview schedule.
We Discover Life Outside Tech
At lunch, do you chat with your friends about their recent applicable job experience? Possibly, I suppose. Maybe not.
Find out what your candidate is like as a person -- in and out of work. Is this person interesting, uplifting, a good influence? Do you magnify the knowledge and passions of one another?
We Connect Over Food
There are special connections that are easily made over food. When you share this basic need with another person, there seem to be quick, human ties that are made. We get the food we need together. We share it freely. We express gratitude. These are basic necessities in this relationship that you want to grow.
What other reasons do you go to lunch for during an interview?