Following on from my previous post on hiring I received some feedback mainly around socialising with the candidate. This feedback led me to consider further the "socialisation" and "fit" aspects of interviewing.
Socialising with a candidate is not meant to make them feel uncomfortable
I generally bring candidates for a coffee at the start of our on-site interview. The objective of this is to ensure that the person operates at their best. Too many interview processes are intimidating and one dimensional. The closer the interview process can model the real day to day experience, the better it will inform the decision for both parties. That said, I would never expect people to come for coffee with me every day, so after considering the feedback I received, this is now an optional part of the process.
Not everyone needs to be your friend
Assuming that everyone in the office will be friends will likely lead to disappointment. Everyone is different, they like different things and have different aspirations. You cannot expect everyone to be your friend, but you should expect to have a good working relationship with the people you hire.
Extensive interviewing usually doesn't give beneficial insights into a candidates character
I have heard a lot of people justify extensive interviews as a way of "knowing" the candidate before they join the company. The reality is that you will never really have an understanding of who somebody is before you work with them for an extended period. You need to be comfortable with this ambiguity. No risk, no reward.
The fallacy of cultural fit
When thinking about "cultural fit" you need to remember that every single person who joins your company changes the culture. Sometimes it's noticeable, sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's positive, and sometimes it's not. Company culture is something that continually evolves along with your emerging values and is never set in stone.
Interviewing is not a perfect science and what I have found has worked for me may or may not work for you. Adapt your process in a way that makes sense for you but get comfortable with ambiguity as it is something that, I feel, cannot be avoided.