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Interview and Interrogation Training: Investigative Prep Anticipating Denials (Part 1 of 4)

In this week’s Wicklander-Zulawski / International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip, Brett Ward, CFI, divisional vice president for client relations and business development for WZ, kicks off a four-part series on the investigatory interview process.

Over the next few weeks, Ward will take you through a series of tips in regards to the investigatory interview process.

Today’s video is about denials.

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It’s amazing how witty we are when it’s twenty seconds too late. But when we’re in that room and people are uncomfortable, we need to anticipate both emphatic and explanatory denials, handle them properly, and return to rationalization—as WZ teaches in its workshops.

One of the easier ones to anticipate is the objection, the explanatory denial. If we can think ahead to the type of investigation and the person that we’re talking to, we can anticipate some of these. For example, in sexual harassment cases, if I’m speaking with someone who is married, it’s almost guaranteed that I will get, “You know what, Brett, I wouldn’t do something like that because I’m a married man [or woman].”

We need to be able to handle that one swiftly by agreeing with the explanation but countering the denial. “You know what, I’m glad to hear you say that. That helps me understand this a little bit better. The fact that you’re married, or that you’re thinking about your marriage right now, screams that in no way was this premeditated. It had to have been something where we wish we could turn the clock back.”

Then transition back into a rationalization.

Let’s think ahead so we can be witty during the investigatory interview.

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Thanks for tuning into the series. Look forward to part two next week.


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.

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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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