If a company hires us for a social engineering engagement, typically they want us to get in and get to their back-up tapes, or into the data in their document room.
Let's say I am posing as a fire inspector. The first thing I will have besides my badge and uniform is a walkie-talkie, like all firemen. Outside, we'll have our car guy. The guy that sits in the car, and basically his job in the beginning is to send chatter through to our walkie-talkies. We will have a recording of all that chatter you'll hear on walkie-talkies. He sits in the car and plays it and sends it through to our walkie-talkies.
[Jim Stickley explains his social engineering methods in Social engineering: My career as a professional bank robber
While I'm talking with the person who has been assigned to us, my partner knows his job is to immediately wander away from us. So, my partner will immediately walk off. In most cases our escort will say "Can you come back here? I need to keep you guys together." We say "Sure, sorry." But really that means nothing to us. All it means is that we keep doing it until she gives up. My partner will wander off two or three times more times and get warned until she finally stops and gives up. She just thinks he's a fireman and thinks "Let's just let him do what he needs to do."
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At that point, my partner's job is to start stealing everything he can steal and start putting it in his bag. And he also has to get under the desks of any employee he can find and start installing these little keyboard loggers. I stay with the person who is escorting me and my whole job now is keeping them entertained. I keep walking around rooms, giving them advice on keeping their facility fire safe, even though I really have no idea what I'm talking about. I make stuff up and probably give the worst advice ever. I'll pull out cords and say "This looks a little bit dangerous." I'll comment on space heaters. I'm completely winging it.
A few years ago I got a device at Home Depot. It's like a measuring tape, but not a regular measuring tape. It has a laser pointer and makes a clicking noise. This device is like the Tricorder on Star Trek for me. I can do any magical thing with it as far as Im concerned. I'll put it up to a socket and say "This looks like it has too much current running through it." And they just believe it. It's amazing the stupid things I can do. It's the bells and whistles that count and people want to see that you have products.