An interview is a structured question-and-answer session designed for a purpose – to elicit information. Before beginning an interview, review appropriate files to understand all the information that is available about the subject, which will help in formulating a strategy and refining the line of questioning. Consider what type of information each potential witness can supply to the investigation. This preparation stage helps to maximize the effectiveness and the efficiency of you as an interviewer. This article focuses on interviews used to gather information. Questioning techniques will be discussed in upcoming articles.
When initially contacting a potential witness by telephone, state your name and the reason you would like to meet with the witness while disclosing few details about the purpose of the interview. Avoid alarming comments such as “I am investigating a matter,” or “I am a security manager.” Instead say something like, “I would like to meet with you at a convenient time and place.”