W-Z Video: When to Use a Telephone Interview

There are a lot of different things to take into consideration when you are considering using a phone or video interview versus face to face. Here are some things to consider.

The first one that I want to cover though quickly is sometimes you really don’t have an option. If you’re not physically in the store, and something happens, and the situation needs to be addressed right then and there, you need to have that confidence and that experience and training to leverage being able to do that in a remote nature.

So a very easy example is maybe there’s an employee that had a bag check conducted, and leadership found merchandise in that individual’s possession that they didn’t pay for. That’s something that if you are not in the store, in most cases, you’re going to want to address that immediately in the moment. So being able to call you as an operations partner and say, hey listen, this is what we found. And you being able to effectively get a resolution to that, that situation, is very important.

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So what to consider as the actual interview, a lot of people get nervous about the idea of doing a phone interview when somebody’s caught red handed because they’re thinking as the interviewer, well geez, they’re going to know this is all that I know. So this just comes down to making sure that you are going through the WZ process the same way that you would really as a face to face. Leveraging that introductory statement and making sure that you’re peaking that person’s curiosity of, okay, they did catch me in the moment, but how long have they been watching? And going through effectively that introductory statement when you’re explaining how you conduct your investigations, that’s something that you can easily touch on and peak that person’s fear of detection during that stage. So that’s a really, really helpful resource to leverage that phone interview if you’re not able to physically get there onsite, and you need a resolution in the moment immediately.

Other things to consider, maybe the tenure and the position of the employee. If the person has worked there for an extended period of time, the likelihood of them being involved in more incidents or acts of causing loss to the company is higher. So that’s just something you want to take into consideration because the development phase, if it’s extensive, it may warrant a face to face conversation. That may be in your best interest. Versus over the phone where you could go through something, maybe if it’s a short term employee, the odds of them being involved in a significant amount of loss are much less. So just something to weigh and consider as an option when making this decision.

Other things to consider are the level of evidence, or really the type of evidence, that you have. If I have a significant amount of direct evidence, so I have video evidence in a very simple example, very solid video evidence that this individual was involved in whatever the act of wrongdoing is, my confidence and comfort level of leveraging and relying on that evidence is going to be much higher, which would lend itself to an easier phone conversation versus if it’s a high level of circumstantial evidence. That may be something where me, as the interviewer, I may actually be more comfortable vetting out that conversation in a face to face environment.

Last thing I want you to consider is the type of case. If you have something that’s very sensitive in nature, the odds are maybe it actually could be in your benefit that that person would feel more comfortable talking to you and making these admissions and to being truthful about what’s been going on if they don’t have to be looking at you and staring at you while they’re having this conversation. So doing these types of conversations, whether it’s an HR conversation, or if it’s a sensitive loss prevention, asset protection, whatever it may be, conversation, that could be beneficial for you to conduct over the phone versus making that uncomfortable environment of the face to face engagement.

So a lot of different variables to consider. The biggest takeaway is have this skillset in your tool belt. Make sure that it’s something you can leverage if you need to and if it’s in your best interest in the moment. So that’s this week’s IAI video tip. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

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