An investigative interview is one carried out by a manager in response to an allegation of serious misconduct such as: being negligent and thus causing a serious works accident; defrauding the company; theft of company property; bullying; sexual harassment; etc.
However, the course goes further than just a discussion on how to identify somebody who may be at fault. It’s really a general introduction to investigation techniques and thus looks at a wide range of investigative topics including: the psychology of questioning; the reliability (or not) of eyewitnesses; the psychology of the investigator; and techniques for analysing the evidence you’ve gathered.
Where did it come from?
As the course discusses, investigative interviewing at the beginning of the 20th century was generally a fairly simplistic affair based on the “3rd degree”, an approach in which the suspect was threatened (and sometimes beaten) until he gave an acceptable answer. Techniques improved during World War II, and from the 1950’s onwards a range of more psychological – and successful – methods were developed, such as conversation management and kinesics (body language), leading to UK police forces adopting the current PEACE interview model in the early 1990’s.
Why do you need it?
In an investigative interview the stakes for the accused/ potential offender are abnormally high. They are not facing just disciplinary censure but far more drastic penalties such as loss of job; loss of professional status and career; and, in some cases, the possibility of court proceedings. With stakes so high the interviewing manager can find themselves in the abnormal position of being scrutinised during the interview by the subject as they try to discover just how much the manager actually knows or suspects. Unless the manager is aware of this potential reversal of rôles, and takes steps to control it (as discussed in the book/ course) then he is at risk of being personally manipulated in order to derail the enquiry.
The book/ course also acts as a guide on the basics of how to conduct an investigation – from interview to final report – and thus is a valuable asset for managers who have limited experience in this specialised field.
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Interview versus Interrogation
Part 3: Interview Methods
Part 4: Reading Body Language
Part 5: Witnesses are only human
Part 6: PEACE Interview Technique
Part 7: Asking Questions
Part 8: Responding to answers
Part 9: Taking Statements
Part 10: Analysing the evidence
Part 11: Writing the final report