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Interview and Interrogation Training: What Is the WZ Method?

This week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Chris Norris, CFI, director of WZ Europe and international training, diving into detail about the WZ method.

The Wicklander-Zulawski (WZ) method is a non-confrontational interview that allows the interviewer to build credibility through a brief introductory statement—and then show understanding through rationalizing.

The benefit of this approach is that it’s both emotional and rational in its appeal to the subject.

First, by building credibility with that introductory statement, we tell the subject three things: 1) a little about who we are and what we do; 2) the things we look into; and 3) the tools we use to look into these issues.

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That brief monologue at the early stage of your interview builds enough credibility to plant the seed with the subject that you’re good at what you do, you know what’s happening, and—more importantly—you can prove that information as being valid.

The second part of the WZ method is where we show understanding by rationalizing with our subject. What’s important to understand about the rationalization process is that we don’t rationalize the act—it’s never okay to steal—but we rationalize the motive behind the act.

This non-confrontational approach allows us to build credibility early, show understanding, and ease someone through the moments of fight-or-flight before we ever ask a question or start to get information from someone. It allows us to encourage honesty from our subject by mitigating and eliminating resistance before we ask those difficult questions.

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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.

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