Interview and Interrogation Training: Acting Like You Know

This week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Wayne Hoover, CFI discussing developing the admission and acting like you know.

Some major components of interviewing deal with substantiation, but also finding out what you don’t know and substantiating that information as well. So how do we accomplish this? How do we accomplish acting like we know?

What happens in numerous interviews that we’ve witnessed and critiqued are individuals that still have opportunities of developing the admission of other things involved by acting like they know, and they don’t do it…They forget about the steps that brought them to the first admission. They stop properly designing their questions and paying attention to the construction of those questions.

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For example, they may ask to get the first admission, “What’s the most amount of money you’ve taken in any single day?” which is a strong, proper accusation as part of an assumptive question. But after the first admission, they don’t change those other questions and say things like “So, did you take cash out of the register?” What happened to your assumptive questions? You have to make sure that you design your questions properly to help give the impression that you already know.

Another thing that you want to look at is using educated guesses. For example, if you know someone took fishing poles, you can likely assume that they took reels. So as you’re going through your mind about how to ask the question—properly constructed—you’re going to say, “How many reels did you take with those poles? How many lures did you take?” There’s an educated guess element involved in acting like you know.

And then there’s high shrink items if you’re working in loss prevention. You know what your high shrink items are—ask assumptively, “So how many pairs of jeans did you take? How many perfume bottles have you taken?” You’re assuming certain things as you go through your high shrink items, and you should already know that list.

Another assumption you want to make is leveling up. For example, if an individual has touched someone inappropriately, which is pretty bold, they likely said some inappropriate things leading up to that, which would lead to an assumptive question regarding that. If someone has taken cash, leveling up might involve taking merchandise…

So with the proper construction of questions, educated guesses, leveling up and looking at what information that you have in regards to your environment, this should help to develop, substantiate, and act like you know.

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.

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