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Interview Methodology. Loyola University of Maryland Graduate Accounting Certificate Program GB767 Professional Communications. Introduction. Interviewing witnesses is an important part of the successful resolution of fraud allegations. Five types of questions 1. Introductory

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interview methodology

Interview Methodology

Loyola University of Maryland

Graduate Accounting Certificate Program

GB767 Professional Communications

  • Interviewing witnesses is an important part of the successful resolution of fraud allegations.
  • Five types of questions

1. Introductory

2. Informational

3. Closing

4. Assessment

5. Admission-Seeking

introductory questions
Introductory Questions

Primary Purposes

General Rules

Don’t interview more than one person

Provide privacy

Ask Nonsensitive Questions

Get a Commitment for Assistance

Make a Transitional Statement

Seek Continuous Agreement

Do Not Promise Confidentiality

Avoid Negotiations

Avoid discussing the Source of Allegations

  • Provide the Introduction
    • Indicate name and company and avoid using titles
    • Opportunity to set a comfortable interview atmosphere
  • Establish Rapport
    • Establish some common ground (break the ice)
  • Establish Interview Theme
    • Explain the purpose
  • Observe Reactions
    • Pose nonsensitive questions and establish a baseline for interviewee’s verbal and nonverbal behavior
informational questions
Informational Questions

Purpose: Gathering facts

Three Types of Questions:

  • Open – calls for a monologue response and does not restrict the subject’s response
  • Closed – limit the possible responses by requiring a precise answer and is more suitable for closing phase
  • Leading – directs the subject to answer in particular way and is used to confirm facts that are already known

Question Sequence: Questioning should proceed from general to specific—gather general information before seeking details

difficult interviews
Difficult Interviews

Dealing with Difficult People

  • Do not react by striking back, giving in, nor terminating the interview
  • Disarm the person by listening, acknowledging, and agreeing wherever you can
  • Change Tactics by directing what the subject says back to the problem and to the interest of both sides

Volatile Interviews

  • Bring a second interviewer for psychological strength and to have a witness in the event that the subject later makes allegations of improper conduct
closing an interview
Closing an Interview
  • Reconfirm facts by going over key facts for assurance that they have been understood
  • Gather additional facts by allowing the subject opportunity to provide any relevant information that has been overlooked
  • Conclude the interview by obtaining feedback regarding the interview, receiving permission for further contacts, and exchanging contact information
assessment questions
Assessment Questions
  • Factors Affecting Behavior:
    • Physical Environment
    • Intelligence
    • Bias
    • Mental Stability
    • Age
    • Culture
      • Ethnicity
      • Economic Status
  • Purpose: establishing credibility of interviewee
  • Used when previous responses seem inconsistent; possibility of deception
  • Ask the subject to agree with matters that go against the principles of most honest people
  • Observe/analyze verbal and nonverbal clues
  • Help interviewer decide whether to pose admission-seeking questions
verbal clues to deception
Verbal Clues to Deception
  • Overuse of Respect
  • Increasingly Weaker Denials
  • Failure to Deny
  • Avoidance of Emotive Words
  • Refusal to Implicate Other Suspects
  • Tolerant Attitudes
  • Reluctance to Terminate Interview
  • Feigned Unconcern
  • Changes in Speech Patterns
  • Repetition of the Question
  • Comments Regarding the Interview
  • Selective Memory
  • Making Excuses
  • Oaths
  • Character Testimony
  • Answering with a Question
nonverbal clues to deception
Nonverbal Clues to Deception
  • Full-Body Motions
  • Anatomical Physical Responses
  • Illustrators
  • Hands Over the Mouth
  • Manipulators
  • Fleeing Positions
  • Crossing the Arms
  • Reaction to Evidence
  • Fake Smiles
admission seeking questions
Admission-Seeking Questions
  • Three Purposes
    • Distinguish the innocent from the culpable
    • Obtain a valid confession
    • Obtain a written statement acknowledging the facts
  • Steps

1. Direct Accusation

2. Observe Reaction

3. Report Accusation

4. Interrupt Denials

5. Establish Rationalization

6. Diffuse Alibis

7. Benchmark Admission

8. Verbal Confession

9. Taking a Signed Statement