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Interview and Interrogation Training: Best Timing for the Interview

This week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip from the archives, provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Chris Norris, CFI, director of WZ Europe and International Training, looking at the best timing for an employee interview.

There are many things we need to consider when we need to conduct an employee interview. One of those things to consider is: at what time should we conduct the interview?

One rule that I (and the investigators who have worked for me) have followed is a very simple one: make an effort to start the interview at a) the beginning of an employee’s shift; b) when they have just returned from a break; or c) when they have just returned from lunch.

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Why would we consider these the best times? It’s all about helping to mitigate the risk of that employee making requests such as restroom use, a drink of water, making a phone call, needing a cigarette, or saying, “Oh, my shift’s about to end.” If we were able to bring people in at the beginning of their shift or when they’ve just returned from a break, lunch, etc., there certainly is no expectation of that individual needing to step away from the workplace at that time to make personal phone calls, step out and have a cigarette, and so on. By grabbing them at that moment, bringing them back to the office, and conducting the interview at the beginning of a shift, it helps smooth the conversation and helps mitigate those sorts of risks and requests. The conversation then could go much better.


Every loss prevention investigator should 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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