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Interviewing and Interrogation: Bizarre Training Course

Interviewing Tips | Interviewing Victims and Witnesses | Tip # 27

Interviewing tipsInterviewing Tips

Interviewing Victims and Witnesses

Interviewing tips taught to many investigators during their initial training is unfortunately severely lacking. Interviewing victims and witnesses is THE most important thing you will ever do as an investigator.  In a prominent study conducted by the Rand Corporation many years ago provided an important interviewing tip.  The interviews of  victims and witnesses is one of the most important steps to clearing any case.  That is however if you are using an effective interviewing style. Now, nearly 3 decades later our training academies may still be short changing our investigators by not giving attention to this critical skill.

The vast majority of interviewing tips offered in interviewing and interrogation training courses focus heavily on the element of spotting deception in the victim or witness’s behavior.  They do not focus on getting information and how to avoid contaminating statements. To complicate the situation even further, most interviewing and interrogation training courses offering interviewing tips of spotting deception.  The problem is that the great majority of verbal and nonverbal cues identified as deception in these interviewing and interrogation courses have been proven wrong.

Check out our “Mastering Narrative-Based Interviewing” course.

Unfortunately, during interviewing and interrogation training,  little emphasis is on interviewing tips and techniques that have been proven to be effective. Many victim and witness interviews uncover little of the information victims and witnesses possess.   Most tactics taught and used are even counter-productive. The result is often statements that have been contaminated by the interviewer’s efforts. Those same tactics also do little gain cooperation and compliance from victims and witnesses nor take into account the strong emotional and cognitive reactions they may be experiencing.

Watch Interviewing Tip # 27 | Interviewing Victims and Witnesses of 101 Tips for Interviewing and Interrogation to Learn More.

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Tips for Recording Interviews

Tips for Recording Interviews

What’s Holding You Back From Recording Your Interviews?

tips for recording interviewsAre you recording your interviews? If not maybe you should be!  The trend for recording interviews is growing on a national level.  There is even some changes on the horizon for some federal agencies to start recording interviews.  At last count 22 states are requiring some type of recording of police interviews and interrogations.  More than 3000 agencies are reportedly also doing some recording. So what is it that is holding you or your agency back?

 

When asked about their experiences with recording interviews, the results were quite surprising!  Almost every single agency said they would never give up the practice.  Despite all the misgivings and concerns about law suits, exposed techniques, or even compromising the “tactics” being used in the interview room, the results have been remarkable.  So maybe what is holding you or your agency back are some concerns about methods, procedures, recording devices and more.

Take a look at Tip # 26 of 101 Tips for Interviewing and Interrogation.  This episode contains some tips for recording interviews.  Many of these tips for recording interviews has come from agencies already using the process and have adjusted their methods, procedures and polices.

Be sure to subscribe to Stan’s YouTube Channel: 101 Tips for Interviewing and Interrogation.
Get ahead of the game with some valuable interviewing tips for every interviewer and interrogator.

Meanwhile, get the Interviewers Playbook and get a head start on all your interviews!

 

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: To Record or Not Record… Tip # 19 of 101 Tips

Interviewing and Interrogation

To Record or Not Record … Why Would You Not?

Since 1984 and the passage of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (P.A.C.E.) Great Britain’s law enforcement agencies have been recording their interviewing and interrogation sessions.  There were multiple reasons behind the move to record.  To assure that the rights of subject’s were being properly protected and more importantly, the biggest motivating factor was to more quickly identify and reduce the occurrence of false confessions.  

Since that time numerous local agencies in the US have decided on an  individual basis to record their interviewing and interrogation sessions.   There are now 20+ states that by statute recording some form of recording of at least specific major felony cases to all felony cases and many misdemeanor cases.

Initially there was resistance to the idea of recording those sessions by some law enforcement personnel and prosecutors.  Those agencies and states that have started the recording interviewing and interrogation of subjects have now overwhelming embraced the process and are giving rave reviews.  Earlier this year there has been news that more and more federal agencies may be following suit.

Listen in to Tip # 19 of 101 Tips for Interviewers and Interrogators and learn more about the process of interviewing and interrogation recording.

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