Investigative Interview Skills Training Course

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The course content was interesting and very broad content. We covered a lot of subject matter during the course. The trainer's presentation was excellent, very clear and concise. Interesting and charismatic.

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Global Investigative Interview Skills Training Training

Investigative Interview Skills Training

In-House Course Available

This course is available as an in house group training course in the UK and worldwide. We can tailor the content to fit your specific needs.
Group training costs from £1,850 +VAT per day for up to 20 delegates (international training price varies).
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In-house training proposal
Real training   Real people   Real life
  • Hold an investigative interview that gets to the truth
  • Distinguish facts from opinions
  • Distinguish “answers to questions”, from “responses to questions”
  • Distinguish between “admissible” and “inadmissible” statements
  • Ask the right questions in the right way
  • Handle the evasive and difficult person
  • Take accurate written notes, as you go
Learn practical tools that you can use in real-life situations.

Investigative Interview Skills Training - 1 day course

Course Pricing and Availability

This course is available as an in house group training course in the UK and worldwide. We can tailor the content to fit your specific needs.
Group training costs from £1,850 +VAT per day for up to 20 delegates (international training price varies).

Please view our other popular open courses at venues in: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Heathrow, Central London, Bristol, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Leeds, Nottingham and Dubai, UAE.

Please note all our training courses include three months additional FREE telephone coaching.

Course Timings: Start 09:00 - Finish 16:30. Lunch at 13:00, Tea Breaks at 11:00 and 15:00, giving you an opportunity to check emails and make calls.
6 trainer-led hours, additional 2-3 via post-course portal independent learning

About the Course

There are occasions when managers have to investigate allegations of bad-practice. These allegations may represent a breach of the law, or it may be a breach of company policy. Either way, the manager has to interview the “witnesses” and they have to interview “the accused”.

This places the manager in a difficult position because the manager has neither experience nor knowledge of exactly how to conduct an investigative interview where the person being interviewed may be evasive, angry, lying, or the victim of an injustice.

This course is intended to help.

Your training aims are:
To develop the leader-managers’ ability to investigate possible instances of:

  1. Misconduct
  2. Disciplinary issues
  3. Grievance issues
  4. Poor performance issues

Investigation Skills Overview

This popular course will help you to correctly manage your time in the real-world.

You will learn how to handle the people and situations that waste your time.

Day One - Morning

  • Normal interview vs. investigative interview
  • Answers v responses
  • Lying is risky
  • Evasion is more common
  • Factual language
  • Hearsay evidence
  • Best evidence rule
  • General v specific statements
  • Factual language v opinionated
  • 6 steps for gathering information

Day One - Afternoon

  • Sentence analysis
  • Asking the right questions
  • Investigation 2: Suspected person interview
  • Body language
  • Incongruent communications
  • Taking good written notes
  • Investigation interview 2 Suspected person
  • Notes and final action plans

Why the course is needed

You want to give some practical training to members of staff who need to investigate possible instances of poor performance or poor conduct.

In situations where your investigation needs to get at the truth, you want a level of consistency so that all your managers are operating according to proper principles.

You want the training so your people can work to a definite standard; as opposed to everyone doing their “own thing”.

In addition, some of your managers have never had any formal training in the art of asking probing questions, so you need something that will help them in their role as an investigator.

Course content was comprehensive, interactive, stimulating with individual and group learning. The trainer’s presentation was clear, well organised, well communicated, instructive, relevant and useful.

Customer Reviews

Investigation Skills Training Course Content

Investigative Interview Training AM

Investigation techniques are important skills for investigations officers.

  1. Formal complaints
  2. Possible bullying
  3. Harassment
  4. Disciplinary issues
  5. Grievance issues
  6. Misconduct

Investigative questioning is a specialised form of communication

Investigative questioning is a form of conversation that does not follow the normal social conventions, but must still be done with a high degree of professionalism and respect whilst being effective as a tool to get to the truth.

To conduct a professional, respectful and effective interview, this Investigation skills training is designed to help your people make the switch in conversational technique.

“The switch” includes learning how to:

  1. Get to the truth of the matter
  2. Uncover any outright lies - by identifying contradictions and errors in the others account
  3. Uncover evasion. Evasion is the art of NOT telling the whole truth, (i.e. missing important bits out); in order to distort the truth without actually lying
  4. Distinguish error from malice or laziness
  5. Take proper “contemporaneous written notes” so that you can use the information gleaned during the interview

The differences between normal conversation and an investigation interview.

Investigation interview is a special context that requires that you make a conscious shift in your normal conversational method.

Distinguish between answers and responses to your questions

  1. Some people RESPOND to questions but don't answer them
  2. The questioner must notice when his-her question has not been answered

Distinguish between

  1. First hand evidence- admissible
  2. Second hand evidence- hearsay evidence - non admissible

Investigative Interview Training PM

Best Evidence Rule

The best evidence rule is a legal principle that holds an original document is superior evidence than any copy. The rule specifies that a copy cannot be used if the original exists.

The implication is to: Keep all your original documents and evidence safe.

Major Communication Skill 1: Facts v Opinions

You need to distinguish between two kinds of statement:
Objective facts and Subjective opinions:

  • Objective facts - the evidence provided by the five senses
  • Subjective opinions - personal interpretation of facts

Major Communication Skill 2: Specific and Vague

You need to distinguish between two kinds of statement:
Specific and vague.

  • Specific statements denote only one possible interpretation
  • Vague statements denote multiple possible interpretations

Your skill as an investigator is to take their vague statements and by questioning, reduce it down to a specific statement

Identifying four types of response to a question:

  1. Truth – the statement corresponds to the facts and is self-consistent
  2. Error – The statement is NOT TRUE but is believed to be true by the speaker. The speaker is in error
  3. Lie – The statement is NOT TRUE and the speaker knows that it is not true. It is a lie
  4. Evasion – The statement does not answer the original question. The speaker is not actually lying but is evading the truth by not giving full answers. He -she keeps “ducking the question”

Warning: Evasions are more common than lies. Because lies contradict reality, they are more dangerous to the speaker. If a person has done something wrong, he-she will be more likely to EVADE the question rather than LIE, because NOT answering a question is safer than lying.

Ways people use to EVADE questions:

  • Forcibly challenge the questioner. (The Donald Trump Technique)
  • Change the subject. (The Tony Blair technique)
  • Give the answer to a different question
  • Have an emotional outburst, (usually an outburst of anger or tears)

Probing questions techniques

  1. Key questioning skills
    How to ask probing questions
  2. Getting to the facts, not opinions or guesses
    Separate facts from opinions, interpretations and guesswork
  3. Notice when a person says one thing, then later contradicts the statement
    Contradictions should be noted and investigated
  4. Gaps in the narrative
    Find out what bits they have failed to mention
  5. Take things in chronological order (time order)
    Structure their statements into a time-sequenced order

Role play number 1

Taking the witness statement
Take the initial complaint with the right amount of detail.

Separating facts from opinions.
Feedback on your performance, in order that you learn more, by analysing any errors or omissions.

Methods of recording interviews

Taking contemporaneous notes
Taking hand written notes: Accurate, complete and legible

The art of asking questions and taking notes at the same time
The rules on recording.

Role play number 2

Questioning the person being accused of doing something wrong
Practice questioning the trainer who will try to evade your questions.

Feedback on your performance, in order that you learn more, by analysing any errors or omissions.

How to set up the room

  • Where to sit – The relative positions of the interviewer to the interviewee makes a difference to the outcome. You should avoid confrontational positioning.
  • Prepare the environment – Environmental factors such as noise, interruptions, lighting, furniture, all make a difference to the outcome of an interview.

Body language and voice tones

  • Yours – There are some things you should not do with your body language
  • Theirs – There are some things you should look out for, in their body language

Body language

  1. Posture
  2. Eye contact
  3. Hand Gestures
  4. Facial Expression
  5. Congruent and incongruent communications

Role play number 3

Another chance to interview another person who is accused of bad behaviour

Practice questioning the trainer who will try to evade your questions.

Feedback on your performance, in order that you learn more, by analysing any errors or omissions.

Summary, personal action planning and close

The Training Method

The training method follows this general pattern - the training is very interactive and interesting:

  1. The trainer gives a clear explanation of the point in question with specific examples.
  2. Then, the delegates practice by doing an exercise with each other.
  3. The delegates practice by doing an exercise with the trainer.
  4. All points are supported with full written notes to take away.
  5. Delegates are asked to write down an associated action, for each point made.
    (At the end of the day, we have about twenty such actions, from which the delegates choose six which are the most personally meaningful).

Note: we do not believe in placing people in any situation of embarrassment by demanding that they 'perform' in front of the whole group. So you can relax: come on this course and be at ease; ready to learn new skills!

The course content had very constructive ideas. I have learnt plenty in relation to managing my time, as well as my emotional well being in work. The workbook was also informative. The trainer's presentation was great. Enjoyed the day.

Customer Reviews

Price for open training course

Contact us for open course training availability. Open Course cost includes:

  • Full day of quality training
  • Tea, coffee and cakes
  • Lunch
  • Full colour course notes
  • Written action plan
  • Certificate
  • Additional training material by means of monthly updates
  • Access to the Post Course Portal

Plus 3 months free telephone coaching

To answer any on-going questions, you will also receive email and telephone support from your trainer after you have attended the course. Whilst you are implementing what you have learned we will be there to help you if you need us for advice, guidance and coaching.

After the course, how can you to keep the training-momentum going?

We understand that it is important to keep the momentum of the training going, in the weeks after the course. The ideas and methods that you learnt during the course need to be implemented, not just for the two weeks after the course, but for all time!

In order to make that happen, we will give you continued, on-going support after the training course has finished. The support comes in the form of the Post Course Portal.

The Post Course Portal is a web page that contains a review of all the course material, plus the following:

  • Newsletters containing training blogs and articles, which will provide you with ongoing training and good ideas, whenever you need them.
  • Fun questionnaires that are designed to tease out your strengths and weaknesses and then give you ideas as to how you might improve your performance.
  • Decision matrices that will allow you to make decisions and prioritise tasks into the correct order.
  • Summary diagrams and mind maps from the course.
  • Conflict scripts that give you examples of how the conflict method can be used, in real life situations.
  • Free eBook the effective leader manager.

Free Telephone Consultation service for buyers

If you are a manager who is trying to figure out how to take the results from your organisations staff appraisal and training needs, and turn them into a coherent set of training courses, that will meet these needs, in as efficient a manner as possible, then we can help you with our free service. More...

Price for in house training course

In House Course: from £1,850 +VAT per day (international training price varies) for up to 20 delegates (download in-house prospectus)

Please call us on +44 020 3856 3008 to discuss your requirements for the in house training course.

If you want to know more about any Management Training Course or their suitability for you or a colleague call us on +44 020 3856 3008.