Leaving your subject alone prior to the interview?
There are many seasoned investigators who prefer to leave their subject sitting alone in the interview room prior to the interview. This practice is done to get the subject to think about what they have done, contemplate the consequences or even wonder who the interviewer is speaking with and what decisions are being made outside of the room.
Like anything, this may be a successful tactic in some scenarios. However, it is not something that we would typically recommend. Remember how mad you were at your doctor the last time you waited 45 minutes for him in the examination room? Why would you want to make your subject mad at you before you even start your interview? Anytime the subject is left alone they have the opportunity to plan for the ensuing conversation. This plan may include the need to create a false alibi or simply strengthen their resolve to deny their actions, making the interview process more difficult.
A much better choice is to call your subject into the room when you are ready to start the interview and to remain with the subject until the interview is completed. This tactic allows you to build rapport and evaluate your subject’s behaviour during the early stages of the interview process.
For more information about the WZ method of non-confrontational interview techniques, or for dates of upcoming WZ courses, visit www.wz-europe.com