Surface interviewing means you don’t fully dive in with questioning this individual. You meet your candidate; they seem nice, and you never get around to fully understanding what makes them tick, their career goals, background, and accomplishments.
As recruiters, we see this all the time when managers are not properly trained, or they don’t prepare for interviews ahead of time. The first interview allows you to establish a bond with a potential employee early, like discussing your favorite sports team or industry friends, but after that initial interview, you will need to dive in.
An excerpt from HIRE with FIRE: The Relationship-Driven Interview and Hiring Method written by Denise and Randy Wilkerson