Preparing for an investigative interview is essential to a positive outcome and your ability to achieve cooperation and obtain the truth from your subject. There are many things you may prepare for, but how much consideration do you give, specifically in regard to the environment and room setup?
Many interviewers will invest a majority of their preparation time in strategizing the conversation, but often forget the importance of setting the room up correctly. Ideally you want to arrange the room in a way that creates privacy, both physically and psychologically, and eliminate distractions. Distractions such as posters on the wall, evidence, reminders of punishment or even something as benign as family pictures in an office could be an obstacle in the interviewer’s path to obtaining the truth.
It is important to remove these distractions, or at a minimum, set up the room in a way that minimises the subject’s view of these items. It is also vitally important, in a non-custodial interview, that the subject is free to leave at any time. This simple task is achieved by placing your subject closest to the door, with nothing blocking their ability to leave the interview room.