Interview and Interrogation Training: Identifying the Appropriate Rationalization

interview and interrogation training

This week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Dave Thompson, CFI discussing identifying the appropriate rationalization during the interview.

When we rationalize with a subject, what we do is allow the subject to save face. We show understanding by realizing that sometimes good people make bad decisions because of outside pressures.

But there’s a lot of different pressures that people can have in their life. It could be a financial pressure. It could be peer pressure. It could be that they made an impulsive decision when the opportunity was placed in front of them. Or maybe it’s because they’re a disgruntled employee.

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When we allow the subject to transfer guilt to one of these areas, it’s important we do our research to make sure that we’re using the right rationalization. For example, if we continue to talk about a financial rationalization with a subject who has plenty of money and no financial needs, that subject is going to realize that we didn’t do a thorough investigation. That rationalization won’t work, and in turn, it’s going to encourage denials from the subject.

So it’s important to make sure that not only we research the subject, but also the facts of the case to try to figure out what rationalization works best and is tailored to our subject.

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 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 post was originally published in 2017 and was updated April 26, 2018.

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