The Art of the Investigative Interview: Techniques and Tales from the Field

    When it comes to conducting an investigative interview, there are certain techniques that can make all the difference in gathering important information and uncovering the truth. Whether you are a journalist, a detective, or an HR professional, mastering the art of the investigative interview is essential for success in your field.

    Techniques for a Successful Investigative Interview

    One of the most important techniques in conducting an investigative interview is building rapport with the interviewee. Making the interviewee feel comfortable and at ease can help to establish trust and encourage them to open up and share important information.

    Active listening is another crucial technique for a successful interview. Paying close attention to the interviewee’s responses and asking clarifying questions can help to uncover inconsistencies or gaps in their story. It is also important to remain neutral and nonjudgmental during the interview in order to avoid influencing the interviewee’s responses.

    Asking open-ended questions can help to elicit detailed and informative responses from the interviewee. These types of questions encourage the interviewee to provide more than just a simple yes or no answer, allowing you to gather more in-depth insights and information.

    Tales from the Field

    One example of the power of the investigative interview is the case of a journalist who was able to uncover a major corruption scandal by interviewing a whistleblower. The journalist’s careful preparation, empathetic approach, and strategic questioning led to the whistleblower revealing crucial information that ultimately brought the scandal to light.

    In another example, a detective was able to solve a cold case by conducting a series of interviews with witnesses and suspects. By carefully analyzing the interviews and identifying inconsistencies in the interviewees’ stories, the detective was able to piece together the truth behind the crime and bring the perpetrator to justice.


    The art of the investigative interview is a skill that can be honed through practice, experience, and a willingness to continually learn and improve. By employing techniques such as building rapport, active listening, and asking open-ended questions, you can conduct more successful interviews and uncover important information that can make a significant impact in your field.

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