Managing conversations can be challenging for many investigators, regardless of experience. Conducting interviews with investigation subjects can be particularly difficult, with evidence, information, and intelligence all needing to be strategically managed to increase the chances of a productive interview. For the interviewer, this can lead to stress and anxiety which can impact your practical interviewing performance.
At IMS, before every online or face to face PEACE model training course we deliver, we will always ask our students to take part in an anonymous ‘1-question survey’ prior to commencing training. The question is, ‘what is the one key area of your interviewing performance you wish to improve on?’ The responses are always remarkably consistent. Generally, 75% of students will refer to one of two key areas – both relating to the interviewing of investigation subjects or ‘respondents’ as they are also known.
Those two key areas will refer simply to either ‘confidence‘ (students want to increase their confidence levels when interviewing subjects), or ‘structure‘ (students want a simple and consistent structure or ‘framework’ to work within during an interview). The interesting thing about these two areas is that they are related. If you have a structure for the interview, the chances are you are likely to interview with an increased level of confidence.
At IMS we’ve long understood that an interview plan isn’t necessarily going to give your interview structure. Traditional interview plans are very linear. They are paper-based and will often comprise lists of questions that can quickly become redundant and offer no real strategic or tactical value. When are you going to introduce your evidence? How are you going to introduce it? How do you plan strategically to increase the chances of securing accurate and reliable responses from your interviewee throughout the interview? How can you increase the chances of exposing deception during an interview?
The following video (running time: 8 minutes) is a short excerpt from the IMS online Professional Investigators Investigative Interviewing Course and provides an insight into the simplicity of conversation management and the IMS ‘reverse-engineering’ methodology that can be used for planning and conducting investigative interviews with uncooperative interviewees, particularly investigation subjects. There is plenty of underlying theory that sits behind the ‘reverse-engineering’ planning methodology, but for the purposes of this blog post, it’s hoped the presentation offers you some value.
The scenario? Well, it’s a double home invasion/burglary scenario in which a suspect has broken into two residential addresses and stolen property, including a bicycle that was dumped close-by. You don’t need to know too much more about the scenario – just take note of the planning methodology which will be demonstrated.
The IMS ‘reverse-engineering’ methodology featuring the use of our TILES System® software offers investigators a unique clarity of understanding of how investigative interviews can be planned and is now being adopted by law enforcement agencies in various countries around the world. Check out the presentation. We hope that it adds value to your current investigative interviewing planning methodologies.
For details on the IMS online Professional Investigators Investigative Interviewing Course and our post-training online assessment services, please check out our Investigative Interviewing Training page for more information.