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Interview and Interrogation Training: Investigative Prep Selective Interview (Part 3 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, continues a four-part series on the investigative prep process.

Check out Part 1 on anticipating denials. and Part 2 on rationalizations.

The selective interview is one of the two interviewing techniques taught by WZ (along with the cognitive interview). It’s certainly the shorter of the two techniques and useful when it comes to time constraints, but it’s one of the more challenging techniques when it comes to scoring.

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The first thing to consider is the selection of questions. If you’re working a multi-party investigation, I would highly recommend that you use the same pool of questions for each person. You do not want multiple people to be separated during an investigation and find out that different questions were used. So use the same ones, but select some that you know will help you when it comes to developing rationalizations.

For example, think about the “happen” questions: “What do you think should happen in these circumstances? Can you think of any circumstances or scenarios where what happened would be considered normal?”

You could also consider the “hurdle” questions. “Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that you were involved in this incident [or have knowledge of this incident]. What would you be worried about?”

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The “motive” question is another one. “Why do you think we would have people undertaking this type of behavior, knowing full well what the repercussion could be?”

Answers to those questions could help you develop your rationalizations—and also decipher what type of denials you may receive during the process.


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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.

To learn more about interview and interrogation training and how you can further develop your professional skill sets, visit or

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