Interview and Interrogation Training: The Five Types of Lies

When trying to obtain the truth from a dishonest employee, a suspect involved in another type of criminal investigation, or even a member of your family, we typically see five types of lies. These lies include:

  • Lies of Denial. This type of lie will involve an untruthful person (or a truthful person) simply saying that they were not involved.
  • Lies of Omission. A lie of omission is often referred to as the “lie of choice,” as the person using this method can blame the interviewer for not asking the right question.
  • Lies of Fabrication. Fabrication is typically the most difficult type of lie for an individual to tell; the dishonest person needs to make up their “facts” as they are telling them, which of course makes it harder to remember later.
  • Lies of Minimization. Minimization involves attempts to distort the truth by making statements like “It was an accident” or “It was already damaged, though” in an attempt to minimize what they’ve done.
  • Lies of Exaggeration. This type of lie is similar to the lie of minimization in that there is a distortion of the truth; however, the subject will overstate what happened. For example, they might say something like, “Yeah, I am responsible for all the losses here.”

It’s always important to be aware of all five types of lies when interviewing a dishonest associate, another type of criminal—and yes, even someone in your family.

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.

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By focusing on the latest information and research from experts in the field as well as academic, 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.

This article was originally published in 2015 and was updated September 3, 2018.

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