The manner with which a private investigator collects evidence and testimony is critical to the success of his job during an investigation. Having excellent interviewing skills is so important to the private investigator that it is one of the top skills he is taught and trained to have. If working as a private eye is your preferred career, here are some tips for honing your interviewing skills and becoming a sharper, better private investigator:
Learn to ask the right questions
Not every person reacts to a specific question in a similar manner. A simple question such as, ‘What did you see?’ could elicit different types of responses, with different degrees of truths and half-truths. It is the job of a private investigator to phrase the right question that will lead him to obtain information that will help him resolve the case.
Learn to listen
A lot of people have the wrong impression regarding interviews. In an ideal private investigation interview, it is the person you are interviewing that should do most of the talking and not you.
Use the right body language
When honing your interviewing skills, learn the correct body language to use. Folded arms and scrunched eyebrows, for example, express disagreement and are considered negative gestures. If you scowl, you could intimidate or displease the person you’re interviewing and discourage them from offering more information.
Learn which gestures and facial expressions are best to use for which persons during an interview. A serious, businesslike approach might work for one person while a light, friendly approach might be best for another.
Pay attention to what is not being said
When honing your interview skills as a private investigator, it’s important that you also try to read and interpret what is being said between the lines. Take note of how the person talks – his voice inflections, intonations, the words he uses, his facial expressions, gestures, etc. If you learn how to interpret people’s actions, you will be able to ask the right questions and obtain the information you need.
New private investigators usually work with more senior PIs as part of their training. Use this time to observe and learn as much as you can about how to talk to people. Simply by observing how your senior PI converses with other people will help hone your interview skills.
No private investigator gets their interviewing skills right the first time. Even the best had to go through hours and hours of practice and real-life interviewing before they could perfect their technique. Be patient but take each opportunity you find at work and during training as a means to improve yourself.
image credits to sxc.hu