Interview and Interrogation Training: Don’t Take It Personally

Tammy Clark

This week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Tammy Clark, CFI, CFE, manager of online and simulated training for WZ, talking about our overall feelings regarding investigative interviews.

Sometimes, we as investigators can take these investigations personally. Regardless of what our role is, whether it’s audit, compliance, internal investigations, loss prevention, or human resources, this is not an uncommon feeling.

Sometimes, when allegations surface, we think, “How can they?” “I can’t believe this person did this.” We are sometimes inclined to take things personally.

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What we have to remember is that it isn’t personal. It’s not about us. It’s not personal to anyone except the individual who was involved in the incident.

When we sit down and actually have that conversation with them, we have to remember that we can’t be focused on the person. We have to focus on the issue that needs to be resolved.

Don’t blame the person. Be open to considering what could have led them down this path. When you use the WZ method, the focus should be the why. Why did this occur? Just because someone is sitting across from us in the interview room does not mean they’re a bad person. They’ve simply been in a position where they made a bad choice.

If we focus the conversation on the why, and we take a step back from the desire to make an assessment about the person themselves, and definitely remember that the situation isn’t personal, then we can be of a more clear and unbiased mind. We can then have a much more beneficial conversation.


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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