2.
I
nterview
p
re
p
aration instructions. The
i
nterv
i
ewer
p
rov
i
des the w
i
tness w
i
th a set of
i
nstruc
-
tions, which effectively prepares the individual to provide complete answers. The interviewe
r
lets the witness know that it is all right to say that they do not know the answer to a ques
-
t
i
on
i
f the
y
do not recall. The
i
nterv
i
ewer also lets the w
i
tness know that
i
f he does not under-
stand a question, he should ask him to rephrase it or use different words. If appropriate, th
e
interviewer will also discuss with the witness how natural it is to be nervous during an inter-
v
i
ew. It
i
s dur
i
n
g
th
i
s
p
o
i
nt as well that the
i
nterv
i
ewer rem
i
nds the w
i
tness to be as deta
i
le
d
as possible, providing even minute details when they are recalled.
3.
Reconstruct t
h
e circumstance
s
.
The interviewer begins by asking the witness to begin his rec-
o
llect
i
on at some
p
o
i
nt
p
r
i
or to the
i
nc
i
dent under
i
nvest
ig
at
i
on. Th
i
s effect
i
vel
y
p
rov
i
des a
c
ontext for the witness’s memory and helps with recall. The interviewer reminds the witness
to include as much detail as possible about the people who were present, feelings, or other
g
eneral observat
i
ons that ma
y
seem
i
rrelevant to them. The
i
nterv
i
ewer re
i
terates h
i
s
p
rev
i
-
o
us statement encouraging the witness to be as comprehensive as he can in his recollection
.
4.
Ch
ange o
f
perspectiv
e
.
Once the interviewer has obtained as much information as possible
f
rom the w
i
tness’s first rec
i
tat
i
on, he now asks the w
i
tness to chan
g
e the
p
ers
p
ect
i
ve of th
e
o
bservation. This might include asking what he would have seen if he had observed the inci-
dent from another position or asking the witness to begin telling the story from a differen
t
p
o
i
nt. Another effect
i
ve techn
iq
ue
i
s ask
i
n
g
the w
i
tness to tell the stor
y
i
n reverse, wh
i
ch
o
ften will result in additional details being remembered. The interviewer may also us
e
m
emory jogging techniques such as asking if the individual observed reminded him of
an
y
one that he knew. The
i
nterv
i
ewer m
ig
ht also ask the w
i
tness to draw a d
i
a
g
ram of the
incident to clarify certain aspects of his responses.
5.
Cl
osin
g
t
h
e interview
.O
nce the interviewer has obtained as much relevant information as
p
oss
i
ble, he should attem
p
t to extend the
i
nterv
i
ew w
i
th the w
i
tness throu
g
h
g
eneral con
-
versation or gathering additional biographical information. By extending the interview th
e
witness often will remember additional details regarding the incident. Prior to leaving, the
i
nterv
i
ewer should
gi
ve a statement of ex
p
ectat
i
on to the w
i
tness. Th
i
s statement of ex
p
ec
-
tation tells the witness that he will remember additional details regarding the inciden
t
because everyone does. The interviewer then asks the witness to commit to reporting thes
e
n
ew deta
i
ls. Obta
i
n
i
n
g
the w
i
tness’s comm
i
tment to call often w
i
ll result
i
n add
i
t
i
onal
information being reported.
C
O
MM
O
N INTERVIEWER ERR
O
RS
T
here are a number of common errors made durin
g
interviewin
g
, the most common of which is inter-
ru
p
t
i
n
g
the v
i
ct
i
m or w
i
tness
i
n the m
i
ddle of a res
p
onse. Th
i
s
i
nterru
p
t
i
on d
i
sru
p
ts the retr
i
eval
of the memory and effectively discourages the victim or witness from offering information to the
i
nterviewer
.
I
n add
i
t
i
on to
i
nterru
p
t
i
n
g
v
i
ct
i
ms or w
i
tnesses wh
i
le the
y
are res
p
ond
i
n
g
, man
y
i
nterv
i
ewers us
e
c
losed-ended questions much too early during the interview. Interrupting the retrieval process wit
h
c
losed-ended
q
uestions ham
p
ers the recover
y
of memories much like a s
p
eed bum
p
reduces the vehicle
s
p
eed on a road
.
1
2
8
T
h
e Process of Investi
g
ation

Get Process of Investigation, 3rd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.