Interview and Interrogation Training: Preparation for Development of the Admission

WZ / IAI Interviewing Tip of the Week

In this week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, Dave Thompson, CFI, vice president of operations for WZ, talks about the importance of developing an admission into a confession—or, more specifically, the strategy and preparation that goes into good development.

Sometimes when we conduct an investigation, we’re so focused on the specific incident or type of crime that was committed that we forget to think outside the box about what else that person could have done.

If our investigation deals with someone who stole money out of the register, that does not mean that’s the only way they stole money.

It doesn’t mean that’s the only thing they did steal.

It also doesn’t mean that they’re only involved in theft.

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Could they have been conducting some type of time fraud? Are they involved in any harassment or workplace violence incidents? Are they contributing to low morale at the company?

Even if we lead an investigation in the public sector, and we have to investigate someone who has been breaking into vehicles, we have to ask: what else could they be doing? Could they be involved in drugs? Are they involved in stealing, skimming, or selling credit cards? What about organized retail crime?

We need to think about the different types of crimes or acts that somebody could be involved in. Using the nonconfrontational method, we don’t have to accuse them of anything we’re not sure about—and we’re definitely not going to personalize those crimes—but we talk in a more general format. We talk in a more general context using the tools and resources in Step 5 of the WZ method, which allows the interviewer to have a greater scope in the investigation.

Most importantly, when we get to the development of the confession, it should remind us about other questions we need to ask or other areas we need to explore—beyond those incidents we knew about when we walked into that room.

Rarely are we going to be lucky enough to catch somebody the first time they did something wrong. We can’t forget to ask the right questions, and most importantly, be prepared to know which questions to ask.

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 www.w-z.com or www.certifiedinterviewer.com for additional information.

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