Interview and Interrogation Training: Uninterrupted Narrative

interview and interrogation training

In this week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, Dave Thompson, CFI discusses the importance of listening to a suspect when he or she is giving a narrative of some type of incident or event in which they may have been involved.

If you’re conducting a fact-gathering interview—maybe the participatory approach or other, enhanced kind of interview—you’re trying to understand what happened during an event or an incident. It’s important to allow the subject of your interview to give you an untainted, uninterrupted version of their story.

Often, as investigators, we hear certain words (qualifiers) and we see different behaviors, and these things tell us we want to interrupt. We want to ask clarifying questions to figure out what they really meant. A better way to conduct these interviews is to allow the subject to complete their story.

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By interrupting a subject, we unintentionally change the rest of their story. We may have caused them to lose the memory of what they were talking about. We may have indicated that we plan to ask certain questions about certain topics, which could lead them to leave out that information from the rest of their story. Of course you want to clarify this information, but it’s in your best interest to allow the subject to finish their story first. Then you can go back and ask secondary and third questions to make sure we can clarify anything they said that may have been misinterpreted or seemed concerning. This way, you don’t impact the version of their original story, and it allows you to get a better, more clear idea of the full truth of what happened.

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, visit or

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