In the next couple of months, I am planning to have to conduct several interviews with candidates for full-time and intern/co-op positions. I work at a very large company that is well known in the industry.
The problem is that sometimes we don't have enough conference rooms in the facility, so we wind up conducting interviews in "hangout" rooms around the campus. These rooms don't necessarily have desks in them, and generally feature lounge chairs or couches. While this is fine for coworkers who know each other or when the door to the room is open, this often feels like a hotel room interview I had years ago when the door is closed and relative strangers are interacting (see the AEA and AHA ending hotel room interviews for context).
As a mid-20s white male, I think I would be absolutely fine sitting in a lounge chair or sofa while being interviewed, but I could very easily see how others would be far less comfortable (I work in "industry" so most management are men as well, this could be very weird where two or three men 25-50 are interviewing a single college-age person, gender identity/assigned sex regardless).
I could see keeping the door to these rooms open being a possible mitigating factor, but I don't think that goes far enough, and interviews are generally preferred to be private. Additionally there are relatively few women or non-cis-presenting or identifying males that can be present for these interviews.I have thought of asking people who may not have any direct contact with a potential hire to be in the room, but this takes away from work that could be done otherwise, and would require a justification to management.
I have thought of bringing these interview practices up to management as potential reasons that our recruitment rate is so low, but my sense is that our facilities staff is stretched too thin as it is, and I don't know that my observations would be acted on.
TL;DR: how can I make potential new hires feel more comfortable during interviews in an extremely relaxed/comfort-oriented and potentially private environment?