Interview and Interrogation Training: Fact-Finding Interviews

This week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Dave Thompson, CFI, introducing fact-finding interviews.

A fact-finding interview, one in which we try to gather information, is extremely important in a thorough investigation. But fact-finding interviews need to be strategically planned. The investigator should do a thorough investigation–before that interview takes place–to try to identify what pieces of information that they need to fill in. Investigators should also try to determine: Are there any loopholes, exceptions, or explanations? Are there any gaps in the investigation that need to be filled?

We want to make sure those gaps are filled with relevant, reliable, and truthful information. So even during a fact-finding interview, when we get additional information from the subject, it’s important that we further investigate and substantiate that admission afterward.

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It’s also important that we do not have tunnel vision during a fact-finding interview. These interviews are intended to get as much information as possible. The more information an investigator has, the easier it should be to close a successful resolution on the case. Fact-finding interviews should include open-ended questions. Allow the subject to tell their version of the story. Listen for different words and qualifiers used by the subject so you can further probe those areas of investigation. Fact-finding interviews are more about the subject’s perception of what happened and should never be about the investigator’s tunnel vision.

Fact-finding interviews are a very important part of a thorough investigation. Next time you’re in the middle of an investigation and you don’t have a ton of information or physical evidence, consider how important and how helpful it could be to talk to other employees, witnesses, and other potential victims to get more information to help solve the case.

Never shortcut an investigation if your goal is to get the truth.

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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