Interview and Interrogation Training: Use of Props

WZ / IAI Interviewing and Interrogation Training Tip of the Week

This week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Dave Thompson, CFI, discussing the use of props—or any other kind of evidence—during an interview or interrogation.

The only thing you should go into your interview or interrogation with is your case file. Now, within that file, you might have examples of evidence, whether that’s pictures, documents, or any other kind of email or report you might need to use or refer to.

But you don’t need to use props or evidence as a means of intimidation, and you definitely don’t need to walk into an interview or interrogation with the intent to intimidate by means of deception.

What does that mean? That means walking into an interview or interrogation with a stack of videos, a stack of CDs, to give the impression that we have more evidence than we actually have. That’s not the best way to come across as far as credibility is concerned. It also might lead to some challenges during the interview.

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If a subject sees a stack of CDs or flash drives, that might cause them to ask you, “Hey, what’s on those? Can I see those?” We prefer to not release evidence to the subject in an effort to help substantiate a confession and make sure the admission can be preserved.

The best way to do it—morally, ethically, and for your strategy—is to discuss the means of an investigation. Talk about the types of evidence that you could gather, rather than having to show someone that evidence during the conversation. This might prevent challenges and denials, and, ultimately, help you substantiate your confession. Make sure you’re well-prepared when you walk in that room so you don’t have to leave to verify anything.

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 and how you can further develop your professional skill sets, please visit or for additional information.

This post was originally published in 2017 and was updated May 8, 2018. 

  • Tim Ruggiero

    Going into an interview or staging your interview room with props means you are unconfident in your interviewing skills or unprepared to do the interview. It can also be a sign of a sloppy/lazy investigator who doesn’t really care about obtaining a proper admission, just getting one period.


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