Interview and Interrogation Training: Diffusing an Angry Subject

In this week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, Wayne Hoover, CFI discusses how to diffuse an angry subject during an interview. What do you do when an individual comes into your office to be interviewed and they are angry, upset or just plain mad?

The first step in the interview is to not argue with them, they may have a legitimate concern, too many interviewers make statements like “that is not my concern” or “not my job area”. This may have a problem in escalating the anger during the interview rather than dealing with their issue. Instead, consider listening to their concerns in the interview room. This technique will actual build rapport with the subject. Another option is to turn your chair to a 90 degree angle from the subject and let them vent while letting them know you will let the proper people know about their concerns. After you have let them vent, move the chair back and start interview with the actual topic that you have brought them in to have with them.

Ultimately the point is, be a good listener during the interview and do not try to drive through a brick wall of anger, thus helping the person realize you hear their concerns, which others may have ignored.

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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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