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Interview and Interrogation Training: Investigative Prep Series Introduction

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.

In this introductory video, Ward asks: “What does a professional investigator think about before boarding a plane to fly out to conduct an investigation?”

We know as consultants that investigations with even a shred of evidence are few and far between. So we know an interview is going to be up front.

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How much time do we have in which to have the conversation? If it’s less time, we’ll probably go with the selective interview. If we have a little more time, we might go with a cognitive interview.

Is this the type of investigation where the subject might say, “Yes, I did it, but I didn’t know it was wrong”? If so, maybe we include participatory interview techniques in order to walk them into telling us they had the intent to commit the act.

Or, maybe we just go directly into the WZ method.

We anticipate denials. What type of objections or explanatory denials are we going to get based on the investigation and the person we’re talking to? What rationalizations are we going to have to use to overcome their fears and hurdles?

What about proper question development? Enticement questions, assumptive questions, choice questions? What about making sure that we have enough of these questions in the right order—and making sure that we have a backup plan in case we need to back out?

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These are the types of things we’ll discuss over the next four-part series. Look forward to seeing you 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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