Lay the groundwork
Many of you are working from home, following Government recommendations and social distancing guidelines. If you need to conduct an interview over the phone, one thing that you should do when you initiate the call is remind your subject of those practices and the fact that you would prefer to be sitting face-to-face to get to know them and have a more personal connection. But in these times, it’s best to handle certain things over the phone.
When you do this, open up the call by reminding them why you’re conducting the interview by phone and talk about the witness in the room. And if you’re conducting the interview where you have a witness in another room or even another remote location by linking them in to the call, you should always introduce the fact that there is a witness and a third party on the line, even though they’re not participating in the call. Be respectful and acknowledge that there’s not just you on the call, but someone else. Inform your subject of the role of the witness and that they are listening for their interest.
Conducting investigative interviews over the phone can be quite easy. With the difficult times we’re working in right now, there are certain considerations you might add into your standard protocol of having that phone interview.
by Chris Norris, CFI