Evaluate and challenge your evidence
When the time comes to discuss some wrongdoing based off evidence, it’s your duty to ensure you have conducted a thorough investigation before the interview.
Consider this - challenging the evidence means that you should not take for granted that even when presented with some type of data, such as an email, or video provided by an analyst that there’s not an alternative explanation as to why the information exists.
For example, if you’re given a printed email containing harassing or inappropriate language from one coworker to the other, it’s possible that email was actually fabricated. Maybe somebody created it and just printed it and gave it to you. Maybe it was never sent. Before you conduct that interview, you should corroborate with your IT department and see if you can validate that this email was actually sent in the way that it is displayed.
Maybe you utilise exception reporting software, and you have data that shows a certain employee did some type of exception that clearly warrants a conversation. When you conduct the investigation, use all the tools available to you to determine what was fraudulent, if anything. Was there intent for wrongdoing, or is it a training issue? Even video surveillance footage can be misleading.
Your job as an investigator is to look for the truth and get all the relevant information to help resolve the case. Next time you’re about to step into an interview, especially if you’re going to accuse somebody of doing something wrong, make sure you’ve done a thorough investigation first. Then make sure you continue that investigation after the interview takes place to verify all information gathered during the interview process.
by Chris Norris, CFI