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interviews

Strategizing the interview

Preparation for any interview is essential.  Whether you are interviewing a complainant, a victim, a witness or a suspect there are a number of items that you should prepare for the interview process.  One of those items that can easily be overlooked is not just taking time to prepare the process, but to fully understand which approach is the best for the specific interview you will be conducting.

Often investigators will approach an interview thinking, “let’s go talk to him” without any real plan or strategy in mind.  If you take the time to sit down and evaluate items such as: At what stage in the investigation am I at? What role does this individual play in the investigation? What information am I seeking? What information would be relevant?, you can then determine which investigative interview approach might be best. 

Sometimes a simple fact-gathering interview will suffice.  Other times a more strategic approach like the Participatory Method will address your needs.  Then there are moments when Cognitive Interview will help produce the actionable information necessary in the investigation.  And finally there are times in the investigation process that the WZ Method is the ideal approach to encourage honesty and gain reliable information from your subject.

Prepare, prepare, prepare.  But not just your questioning approach, but which approach should be used to gain accurate and actionable information. 

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