Interview and Interrogation Training: Assumptive Questions, Part I

WZ / IAI Interviewing Tip of the Week

This week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip, provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Wayne Hoover, CFI, looking at the soft accusation assumptive question during an interview.

“What was the most amount of…” is the structure of this interviewing question. When you ask a suspect this question, you can expect three different responses. They could deny, they could admit, or they could hesitate. After one of these three responses, the interviewer needs to have their three transitional statements ready to react to their response.

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If a denial is coming, the interviewer is prepared to stop the denial from occurring. Should they admit the interviewer is ready with a transition to development using “Great, I am glad you are trying to be honest with me.” Should they hesitate, the interviewer is prepared to transition to a follow-up question that is actually an exaggeration, such as “It wasn’t a whole day’s receipts, was it?”

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.

To learn more about interview and interrogation training, visit or

This post was originally published in 2016 and was updated January 22, 2018.


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