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Interview and Interrogation Training: Obtaining a Written Statement Part 3

In part 3 of a 3 part series, this week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Dave Zulawski, CFI, Shane Sturman, CFI, and Wayne Hoover, CFI discussing the process of obtaining a written statement during the interview process.

In this conversation we’re going to discuss the five “Don’ts” of obtaining the written statement.

  1. Don’t leave the room until you have the statement completed. A lot of interviewers will leave the room to allow the subject to write the statement on their own. This can cause things to come to a halt, and you typically don’t get what’s necessary in the statement.
  2. Don’t assume that the subject will know how to write a statement. We have to teach them, making sure that we have the who, what, when, where, why, and how. We need to make sure that they discuss each of these points while guiding them through the process.
  3. Don’t over-state the admission. Substantiation is a critical aspect of the written statement, and it’s possible to get an exaggerated admission from a person which can taint the entire statement. Sometimes it’s better to look at the more conservative admission that is more likely to be substantiated.
  4. Don’t dictate the statement. It’s better to simply ask questions and allow the person to use their answers to fill in the blanks when completing the statement.
  5. Don’t underestimate the importance of the witness. Witnessing of the statement is critically important. It may even be valuable to bring someone in following the statement that can re-hear all of the facts of the statement to validate and clarify the information, in the process becoming another party that can testify should it become necessary. 

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.

- Digital Partner -

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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