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Interview and Interrogation Training: Explanatory Denials

In this week’s WZ / IAI interview and interrogation training tip from the archives, Dave Thompson, CFI, discusses explanatory denials, a form of a denial where the subject provides an excuse or a reason for why they wouldn’t have, or couldn’t have committed whatever wrongdoing they are suspected of being involved with.

In this type of denial, the subject may provide an explanation regarding why they wouldn’t have been involved in the act. The subject may state something like, “I wouldn’t have taken that money because I love my job.”

These types of denials should be handled by identifying the fear of the subject and sidestepping to a different rationalization while allowing the subject to still save face in the confession.

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Agreeing with the comments and building on the rationalization through comments like “That’s why this seems so out of character” is one way to approach this type of denial.

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, visit or

This post was originally published in 2016 and was updated July 23, 2018. 

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