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Interviewing and Interrogation | The Power of the word “Because” | Tip # 24 of 101 Tips

Interviewing and Interrogation
The Dialogue of Persuasion and the word “Because”

Interviewing and InterrogationEffective interviewing and interrogation is far more than just rattling off questions and hoping to get information.  Too often investigators make the assumption that they must “power” the subject through interviewing and interrogation and that their subject will eventually surrender under the mere weight of suspicion, the fact that they are being interviewed about their involvement in a critical event and that to resist the investigator and his or her conclusions is futile. More often than not, these are the very same tactics you will find in cases of contaminated victim, witness and suspect statements.  These tactics in combination with other factors have also been noted to be present during interviewing and interrogations that have resulted in false confessions.

A professional investigator doesn’t have to use manipulation when interviewing their subjects.  They will persuade to subject to draw the conclusion that it is in their best interest to do so.  One small part of effective persuasion is the use of a the very powerful word “because.”  It is “a request plus a reason.”

Learn more in Tip # 24 of 101 Tips for Interviewing and interrogation.

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Interviewing and Interrogation: Will Crushing Analysis Paralysis Ruin Your Interviews? | Tip # 23 of 101 Tips

Interviewing and Interrogation
Don’t Let Crushing Analysis Paralysis
Ruin Your Interviews and Interrogations

All too frequently, investigators become trapped during interviewing and interrogation focusing predominantly on finding where their subjects may in fact be deceptive.  Certainly that is important to know as their case progresses. The problem however is that with such a narrow focus, the interviewer can miss all the other valuable information the subject may generate during interviewing and interrogation and the interviewer may in fact be sacrificing another important element.  The being creating some degree of compliance and cooperation with their subject along with lasting and meaningful rapport.

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In order to advance any interviewing and interrogation event, the interviewer must look beyond just the analysis of their subject’s behavior.  They must look for topics or issues that generate significant reactions from their subject.  These “topics” will then become the focus of conversation later as the interviewer moves toward the cross-examination phase of interview.

Watch Tip # 23 and learn more about “Analysis Paralysis” and the detrimental effect it can have on your interviewing and interrogation.

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Interviewing and Interrogation: Should You “Stage” Your Interview Room? | Tip # 22 of 101 Tips

Interviewing and Interrogation

Is “Staging” Your Interview or Interrogation Room an Effective Tactic?

Great interviewers should not have to manipulate their subjects during interviewing and interrogation to get cooperation or information. They use effective and ethical persuasion tactics. So what role or value if any does “staging” evidence in the interview room have during professional interviewing and interrogation.

Maps, charts, sketches, DVDs or CDs with the subject’s name written on the label, file folders full of papers, crime scene photos and more. I’ve heard many of these ideas as being great tactics to convince your subject that the evidence is overwhelming and that it is in their best interest to confess. It’s as if the interviewer should even not to conduct any interviewing or interrogation of the subject?

I’ve got three problems with this tactic –

  1. If you ARE displaying this type evidence in front of your subject during interviewing and interrogation sessions, then you are contaminating your subject’s knowledge base. What you will wind up getting from them is nothing more than an “echo effect” and first hand knowledge. One of the three reasons interviewing and interrogation sessions fail is the contamination of your subject. To review, watch video Interviewing and Interrogation Tip # 17 “Do You Employ S.U.E.?
  2. If you are using made up or “faked evidence” then you are lying to you subject. You are “manipulating” your subject and not persuading them. You also run the risk at getting caught at lying to your subject and thereby losing all credibility as the interviewer. Watch video Interviewing and Interrogation Tip # 39 Lying to Your Subject.
  3. Such attempts at manipulation of the subject or lying to them during interviewing and interrogation dramatically increases the risk of false and coerced confessions. Watch video Interviewing and Interrogation Tip # 36 5 Keys to False Confessions.

If you are doing your job as a professional interviewer and interrogator and are using ethical persuasion tactics, you don’t need to “stage” your interview room.

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Interviewing and Interrogation: The Trap of Too Many Choices | Tip # 21 of 101 Tips

Interviewing and Interrogation

The “trap” of giving too many choices.

Without a doubt, there is no such thing as a perfect interviewing and interrogation session. Smart interviewers however, will learn from their mistakes and should be doing extensive reading and research to human behaviors, reaction and response behaviors and most importantly how to use ethical and effective persuasion tactics. One pitfall that can be avoided is overwhelming a subject with too many choices to make during any interviewing and interrogation event.

Okay, I’ll admit that one of my favorite desserts is cheesecake.  I love cheesecake! Unfortunately, my problem is I’ve probably never met a cheesecake recipe that I didn’t like.  Therein lies the problem!  As you can imagine, a trip to the “Cheesecake Factory” can be a nightmare for me.  So many choices, so little time, and the futility of guarding my waistline. The problem (albeit a good one!) is that the Cheese Cake Factory has so many good cheese cake variations and I can’t decide.  Eventually when I do decide, there is always that nagging question in my mind “Wonder if that “other one” was really good?”

The same problem exists during an interviewing and interrogation session.  As the interviewer, there is often the urge to “overwhelm” the subject with every piece of evidence and information we have at our disposal.  The end goal being that the subject will feel it is futile to even resist saying “No” to our overtures for cooperation or an admission or even confession.  The is invariably true during “guilt assumptive” or “accusatory” styles of interviewing and interrogation.  The end result is often non-productive.

When a subject is overloaded during interviewing and interrogation, three things will happen:

  1. Your subject will be frustrated because they are being face with too many choices at one time.
  2. Because the subject is faced with too many choices, the decision making time frame is exponentially extended.  This often triggers the interviewer to push that much harder.
  3. When a person overwhelmed with choices and feels they are being pushed to a decision their first instinctive reaction is to survive and reject all the choices.

During any interviewing and interrogation scenario, only offer your subject one issue at a time to consider.  Resolve the issue and only put it aside if absolutely necessary before you bring up a new issue.  Your overall results will be faster and more positive.

Watch Tip # 21 of 101 Tips for Interviewers and Interrogators and learn more!

interviewing and interrogation video tips

Interviewing and Interrogation: Is Body Language The Answer? | Tip # 20 of 101 Tips

Interviewing and Interrogation

Is Body Language the Answer to Spotting All Deception?

For nearly six decades of interviewing and interrogation training and application, the hypothesis has been that body language would be the best why to spot if a subject was being truthful or deceptive.  The concept has reached almost mythical status.  Those investigators who would be the best, would be those who could spot a large catalog of deception behaviors that a subject could possibly generate during interviewing and interrogation.  In reality the results of spotting deception via body language has fallen well below expectation.

The greatest majority of the body language cues that have been and are still being touted in numerous interviewing and interrogation training courses as being almost infallible despite overwhelming empirical evidence that proves otherwise.  In the meantime, innocent people are being wrongly accused and the cues of those subjects who are actually deceptive are going unnoticed.

The truth about deception cues that may be exhibited during interviewing and interrogation are in fact quite rare and their signals very faint.  Observation studies of interrogators who claim to be very good at spotting body language deception cues actually perform very poorly.  In fact, those interrogators who use body language cues as a tool to spot deception during interviewing and interrogation have been found to have strong “lie bias” are more likely to diagnose genuinely truthful statements as being deceptive.


It’s about time interviewers and interrogators acknowledge the overwhelming scientific evidence and pay more attention to verbal cues as a far more productive method of spotting deception during interviewing and interrogation.

Watch Tip # 20 of 101 Tips for Interviewers and Interrogators and learn more!

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