Interviewing Skills for Investigations

 In Interviews

Interviewing Skills Course for Investigations

This course is designed to provide continuing education for private investigators. This course covers topics such as interviewing techniques, interview types, interviewee types, interviewee traits, cognitive interviewing communication, and traits of successful interviewers.

Establishing a rapport with the interviewee is an important part of investigative interviewing. A rapport creates trust and an unbiased search for truth, which can lead to better answers. Interviewers should establish a rapport and ask open-ended questions that lead to more details. Instead of leading interviews, ask questions that allow the subject to expand on their perspective. These types of questions require knowledge about question structure and sequencing.

Your job as an investigator is to not make assumptions. You must gather and evaluate all facts, no matter how complicated or serious the issue. You will be missing important details if you begin your investigation thinking you know everything. You will be able to conduct deeper interviews and get more honest answers if you remain open-minded until the end of your investigation.

Interviewing Skills for Investigations

Preliminary Research

Learn about the persons interests and hobbies before you go into the interview. This will enable you to engage on topics that are shared. This builds rapport. This brings us to the second important skill that a good interviewer must have.

Building rapport

This is the ability to establish rapport with someone, to make them feel at ease, and to make them feel comfortable speaking to investigators. The interviewer must be able change the way they approach the person, their personality and the environment in which they live.

Establishing a rapport with the interviewee is an important part of investigative interviewing. A rapport creates trust and an unbiased search for truth, which can lead to better answers. Interviewers should establish a rapport and ask open-ended questions that lead to more details. Instead of leading interviews, ask questions that allow the subject to expand on their perspective. These types of questions require knowledge about question structure and sequencing.

Training and practice

People are more productive when they have a process or a system that they can follow. It is highly recommended to practice interview techniques. It may be recommended that you practice your communication skills and use a recording device to keep the subject from becoming uncomfortable.

Investigators can benefit from training in note-taking techniques to be better able to capture what is being spoken.

Cognitive Interview Techniques

The Cognitive Interview method shifts the responsibility for the interview to the respondent. They can’t be passive participants in their own recall. The Cognitive Interview is about allowing the individual to tell their story, without interruptions. With promising results, a truthful person can tell their story without interruption if they are given memory recall prompts. Untruthful people will make up much to support their lies or deceit. Truthful people will tell a story that has a beginning, middle and end. Untruthful people will tell a story to support their lies, while glossing over details. Untruthful people cannot rely on investigators’ questions or make the right decisions by letting them lead the interview. This does not reveal any compromising information, but forces the subject to fully illustrate their information.

Systematic Steps and Checklists

You can create checklists and guides to help you conduct an exhaustive investigation. This will ensure that you don’t forget any important details. Make sure you don’t lose sight of the facts and where you want the interview to end. You can get the answers that you want by following a preplanned, systematic process.

Why Are Investigative Skills Important?

Interviews are the most common tool used by investigators to discover what happened. Investigators must rely on the statements of witnesses and main players, even if they contradict one another. You will need to determine who is lying if the main players flatly deny the claims of each other.

Investigators who don’t believe there could be serious misconduct or harassment in their company may choose to ignore it and make light of any wrongdoing. Some investigators jump to the contrary conclusion, believing that employees would not complain if there is good cause. Learning how to accurately evaluate the situation based on evidence will ultimately help you understand and document the behaviour or situation.

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