Investigative Interviewing: Psychology, Method and Practice, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Investigative Interviewing

Psychology, Method and Practice, 1st Edition

By Eugene F. Ferraro (CPP, SPHR)

CRC Press

389 pages | 33 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2014-07-14
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There are few skills more important to the modern fact finder than the ability to obtain information through effective interviewing. While most interviewing books are intended for law enforcement, they often present harsh and accusatory techniques that can be counterproductive in private sector investigations.

Investigative Interviewing: Psychology, Method and Practice covers modern techniques for private sector investigative interviews. It outlines a highly structured and process-driven technique that takes a non-accusatory approach, uses no intimidation or coercion, and has been proven to achieve admission rates above 90 percent. This time-tested methodology is easy to learn and replicate and will help you to significantly diminish the likelihood of false confessions.

  • Illustrates the process of investigation
  • Identifies the differences between the public and private sectors
  • Reviews the fundamentals of interviewing
  • Covers the investigative interview method
  • Explains how to overcome objections
  • Considers legal challenges and litigation avoidance

Sharing insights garnered over the author’s 30 years of experience in investigations and interviewing, the book includes case studies based on actual investigations that illustrate industry best practices. Although the text focuses on private sector investigations, the methods presented are also applicable in law enforcement settings.

This book presents the tools and methods required to produce investigative results that are legal and admissible in court. It will help you develop the skills to ensure ethical interviewing practice while investigating a range of situations and protecting against those who intend to cause the organization harm.

Table of Contents

The Process of Investigation

The Genesis of Process

Process of Investigation

Investigation Terminology


The Subject

Interview versus Interrogation

The Suspected Wrongdoer

Fact Finders versus Investigators

Decision Maker versus Prosecutor

Misconduct and Malfeasance

Elements of a Successful Investigation

Management Commitment

Meaningful Objectives

Well-Conceived Strategy

Properly Pooled Resources

Lawful Execution

The Eight Methods of Investigation

Physical Surveillance

Electronic Surveillance

Research and Internal Audit

Forensic Analysis



The Seven Phases of Investigation


Preparation and Planning

Information Gathering and Fact Finding

Verification and Analysis

Decision Making

Disbursement of Disciplinary and/or Corrective Action

Prevention and Education


Frequently Asked Questions


The Differences between the Public and Private Sector

An Historical Perspective


Advantages of the Public Sector

Powers of Arrest

Search and Seizure

Grand Jury and Special Inquiries

Prosecution and Punishment


Advantages of the Private Sector

Due Process


Establish That the Misconduct Was Preexistent

Establish the Motive of the Offender

A Lower Burden of Proof

Significant Trends in the Private Sector

More Sophisticated Crimes and Perpetrators

Greater Use of Technology

More Litigious Workforce

Expanded Rights and Protections of Employees


Frequently Asked Questions


The Fundamentals of Interviewing

The Role of the Investigative Interviewer

Qualities of a Professional Investigative Interviewer







Evidence Collection and Management


Organizing Oneself and Materials

Using Technology

Evidence Collection and Preservation

Definition of Evidence

Hearsay Evidence

Admissibility and Materiality

Spoliation of Evidence

Evidence Retention

Chain of Custody

Reporting and Communicating Results


Frequently Asked Questions


The Investigative Interview Method

Differentiating Interviews from Interrogation

Eight Phases of the Investigative Interview

Phase I: Preparation

Determining Who Should Be Interviewed

Location for the Interview

Interviewer Selection and Preparation

Case File Preparation

Theme and Question Development

Request for Representation

Selection and Use of Witnesses


Phase II: Introduction

Phase III: Presentation

Phase IV: Admission

Phase V: Discussion

Phase VI: Written

Phase VII: Oral

Phase VIII: Conclusion


Frequently Asked Questions


Administrative Interviews and Communicating Our Results


Purpose of Administrative Interviews

Administrative Interview Process

Determining Who Should Be Interviewed

Selecting the Interviewer

Location of the Interview

The Introduction

The Presentation

The Discussion



Communicating Our Results

Bulletized Summary Reports

Findings of Fact

Executive Summaries

Electronic Communications

Testifying and the Preparation for Testimony

Lay Witnesses

Expert Witnesses

The Hearsay Rule

Presenting the Evidence


Dempsey’s Ten Commandments of Courtroom Testimony


Frequently Asked Questions


Deception Detection and the Process of Overcoming Objections and Denials


Why Most People Tell the Truth

Why Good People Sometimes Do Bad Things

Guiltlessness and the Enemy within

The Ability to Rationalize

Motive and the Consciencelessness of Greed

The Greedy

The Needy

The Stupid and Foolish

Importance and Influence of Opportunity

But for Bad Decisions and Mistakes

Prevention and the Path to Better Guardrails

Why Some People Lie

Confront Objections and Overcome Denials

Indications of Deception

Lack of Self-Reference

Verb Tense

Answering Questions with a Question




Lack of Narrative Balance

Deception Detection Technology

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act

Voice Stress Analyzer


Types of Lies

Body Language of the Guilty

Body Language of the Interviewer

Statement Analysis

Final Thoughts

Providing the Interviewee a Reason to be Truthful

Failure to Assign Guilt

Frequently Asked Questions


Legal Challenges and Litigation Avoidance


Jurisdiction over Workplace Investigations

Origin and History of Law


Evidentiary Burdens and Standards

Multiple Agency and Court Review

Preparatory Legal Considerations

The Legal Duty to Investigate

Investigator Selection

Liability for Employee Fact Finder/Interviewer Misconduct

Liability for Contract Fact Finder/Interviewer Misconduct

Contractual Shifting of Liability Risk

Investigative Objectives

Identifying Standards of Proof

Documentation Control


Information Gathering and Fact-Finding Considerations

Constitutional Considerations


Search and Seizure

Joint Action and Public Function Exceptions

State Constitutional Issues

Federal Law and Employee Rights

Unfair Labor Practices

Union Representation

Investigations into Protected Concerted Activities

Federal Preemption and State Tort Actions

Union Contract Restrictions


Civil Rights Law

Duty to Investigate

Discriminatory Practices

Select Federal Statutes

Employee Polygraph Protection Act

Fair Credit Reporting Act

Federal Sentencing Guidelines

State Tort Law Issues

Assault and Battery

False Imprisonment and False Arrest


Invasion of Privacy

State Statutes

Common Law Right of Privacy

Emotional Distress or Outrage

Negligent Investigation

A New Tort Action

Implicit and Explicit Duties to Investigate

Claims Arising from Employee Interviews

Constitutional Warnings

Assault and Battery

Sympathetic Touching

False Imprisonment

Economic and Moral Compulsion

Precautionary Protocols


Precautionary Protocols

Escorting of Employees

Duty to Investigate an Alibi

Allegations of Discrimination

Admissible Admissions

Claims Arising from Employee Disciplinary Actions


Self-Published Defamation

Wrongful Discharge

Union and Personal Employment Contracts

Implied Contract of Employment

Whistleblower and Similar Statutes

Public Policy

Discriminatory Discharges

Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealings

Additional Cases to Consider

Malicious Prosecution

Emotional Distress or Outrage

Unemployment Claims

Off-Duty Misconduct

Workers’ Compensation

Prevention and Education

Defamation and False Light Invasion of Privacy

Emotional Distress

Litigation Avoidance and Employee Dignity

Awareness and Liability Avoidance

Employee Dignity and Liability Avoidance


The Future of Investigative Interviewing




Protecting the Rights of Others


Higher Standards and More Proof



Improving Results

Investment and Cost Management

Establish Milestones and a Budget

Importance of Measuring Results

First Collect Information

Analyze the Data

Put the Information to Use




Annotated Bibliography

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4

Appendix 5

Appendix 6

Appendix 7

Appendix 8

Appendix 9

Appendix 10


About the Author

Eugene F. Ferraro, CPP, CFE, PCI, SPHR, is currently the chief ethics officer of Convercent, Inc., Denver, Colorado. He has been involved in the study of organizational culture, workplace misconduct, and compliance for over 32 years. He is a prolific author and frequently speaks and trains on the topics of complex corporate investigations, culture management, and unethical behavior in the workplace. He is board certified in both Security Management and Human Resources Management (CPP and SPHR designations, respectively). He has been a member of ASIS (American Society for Information Science) International since 1987 and a commissioner on the ASIS Standards and Guidelines Commission. He is also a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and is a certified fraud examiner (CFE designation) as well as a professional certified investigator (PCI designation).

Mr. Ferraro is a former military pilot, intelligence officer, and a graduate of the Naval Justice School. He is a frequent book critic for Security Management magazine and is the author of Investigations in the Workplace, 2nd ed. (Taylor & Francis Group, 2012), which is a textbook used by universities and other institutions of higher learning in the United States and abroad.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Forensic Science
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology