Interview and Interrogation Training: Rationalize the Motive, Not the Act

In this week’s WZ / IAI interview and interrogation training tip—one of the most popular in the archives—Dave Thompson, CFI, details discussing rationalization with the subjects, and the content of such rationalization.

Often, interviewers will use a rationalization story that mimics the crime or act that the subject has been involved in. However, using a rationalization that imitates the same crime as the subject can be risky, as it may unjustly provide hope for the subject, as well as give the appearance that the specific crime or act is justified or allowed.

A rationalization should be based off the motive of the subject, rather than the act itself. These stories should be relative to the subjects’ state of mind and focused on topics such as peer pressure, impulse or financial issues.

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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 for additional information.

This post was originally published in 2015 and was updated June 25, 2018. 

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