In this week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, Wayne Hoover, CFI discusses the way that you should dress for your interview with a dishonest associate. The way that the interviewer dresses definitely matters. Every research interview conducted by Wicklander-Zulawski has the suspects mentioning the clothing of the interviewer. One suspect mentioned in the video remembers that, after he stole from his company, he in was in an interview where three interviewers showed up in suits while he was in a t-shirt and jeans. The outcome in the suspect’s mind was, “they don’t care about me. Why should I help them get rid of me?”
If you think of interviewing a bank president, he’s going to be wearing a suit. If you were in a sportcoat, you’d be underdressed. It would make sense to put a suit on.
If you are talking to a stock employee in the back room, you may want to wear Dockers with a dress shirt. Some offices keep extra sets of clothes so that when someone shows up to the interview, the front office associates will inform the interviewers how the person is dressed. Then the interviewer should change to be dressed “one level above” the interviewee’s choice of clothing.
There are numerous examples of suspects commenting on interviewers’ manner of dress. Another suspect from another incident commented, “It felt very casual. The interviewers were sitting around in blue jeans and nice shirts, and it felt like two buddies having a conversation. I didn’t realize the trouble I was getting in by talking to them.”
Make sure when conducting an interview to consider what you are wearing as the interviewer. Don’t overlook the little things. Dress appropriately, take the time to prepare and don’t overlook the little things.
Every loss prevention investigator should continuously strive to enhance their investigative interviewing skills as part of an ongoing commitment to best-in-class interviewing performance. This includes holding ourselves to an elite standard of interview and interrogation training that is ethical, moral and legal while demanding excellence in the pursuit of the truth. The International Association of Interviewers (IAI) and Wicklander-Zulawski (WZ) provide interview and interrogation training programs and additional guidance to investigators when dealing with dishonest employees, employee theft, sexual harassment, policy violations, building rapport, pre-employment interviewing, lying, denials and obtaining a statement.
By focusing on the latest information and research from experts in the field as well as academia, legal and psychological resources, these video tips provide interview and interrogation training techniques that can enhance the skill sets of professionals with backgrounds in law enforcement, loss prevention, security, asset protection, human resources, auditors, or anyone looking to obtain the truth.
This post was originally published in 2015 and was updated May 8, 2017.