The best techniques are still the old "tried and true" techniques to get the most out of investigative interviews.
1. Establish Rapport - spend a few minutes just chatting with the interviewee. Developing a good rapport builds trust, relaxes the individual, which encourages them to speak more freely.
2. Record when possible - when you can, record your interviews. Review the recordings to hear anything you may have missed during the interview. Recording also allows you to focus on observing the individual you are interviewing.
3. Prepare in advance - take a few minutes to understand how the individual is related to your investigation. Jot down some key questions you want to ask.
4. Be an active listener - focus your attention on the individual. Paraphrase what they say to make sure you heard them accurately. Be patient when they are "telling their story" listening for key elements you want to address in further detail.
5. Annotate your interview notes - as soon as the interview is concluded, jot down some additional notes to make sure you will clearly understand them later.
6. Always ask if there is anything you may have missed - At the conclusion of your interview, ask the individual if there is anything else they may have recalled that would be important to your investigation.
7. "Leave the door open" - Conclude your interview with an invitation for them to call you if they remember an important detail later. Share your contact information when appropriate.
These seven, simple techniques will improve your interview skills.
Pro PI staff
Experienced professionals and trainers.