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Lecture Outline Chapter 13 – Interviewing Witnesses Interviewing Witnesses – the process of asking questions of individuals who might have information to resolve allegations of wrongdoing. A. Introductory Questions 1. Provide the introduction a. avoid using titles b. create a comfortable atmosphere 2. Establish rapport – e.g. engage in small talk to break the ice 3. Establish the interview theme – the goal is to motivate the subject to assist in the interview 4. Observe reactions a. establish a baseline by first posing nonsensitive questions b. attempt to determine the cause of any changes in reactions when sensitive questions are asked 5. General rules for the introductory phase of the interview a. Don’t interview more than one person (at the same time) b. Privacy – conduct the interview out of the sight and sound of others c. Ask nonsensitive questions d. Get a commitment for assistance e. Make a transitional statement – to describe the purpose of the interview f. Seek continuous agreement g. Do not promise confidentiality h. Negotiations – listen to what the subject may want, but don't negotiate i. Discussing the source of allegations – do not discuss any allegations or where the information originated B. Informational Questions – to gather unbiased factual information; these questions should be non-confrontational and non-threatening 1. Open questions – calls for a monologue response 2. Closed questions – require a "yes" or "no" answer 3. Leading questions – asks the subject to confirm what is already known 4. Question sequences – proceed from the general to the specific 5. Informational question techniques TEACHING TIP "Informational Question Techniques" on page 347 provides a listing of suggested techniques to improve the interview process. 6. Methodology
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