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Developing Investigative Interviewing Skills for School Administrators

Principals, Assistant Principals, Deans and other school administrators oftentimes are called upon to conduct investigations of students, and in some cases staff, regarding involvement in inappropriate, and in some cases illegal, behaviors or activities. In this 6-hour virtual training program you will learn how to structure the investigative interview, how to evaluate the credibility of the subject’s behavior, and in those instances in which the investigative information identifies the offender, how to create an environment conducive to the subject telling the truth about what they did.

This training program will consist of three primary topics:

  • Behavior Symptom Analysis
  • The Behavior Analysis Interview
  • Positive Persuasion

Behavior Symptom Analysis

During this segment of the program we discuss the verbal and nonverbal behavior symptoms that are displayed by a person who is telling the truth during a non-accusatory, non-confrontational interview, as well as those displayed by a person who is fabricating or withholding relevant information. The specific behaviors discussed include attitude; posture; significant posture changes; grooming, personal and protective gestures; eye contact; and, verbal responses. The ability to recognize and evaluate these behaviors becomes particularly important in those cases in which the available investigative information does not definitively establish the credibility of the subject.

At the conclusion of this segment of the program, the participant will have a behavioral model for both the truthful and deceptive individual that can be used for the evaluation of subjects in future investigative interviews.

The Behavior Analysis Interview

Most investigative interviews consist of two types of questions – investigative and behavior provoking. Investigative questions concern the subject’s version of events, alibi or activities at the time in question, developed by the traditional who, what, where, when, why and how type of questions. Behavior provoking questions are ones that are used to assess the subject’s truthfulness by evaluating the nature of their response. Truthful people answer the behavior provoking questions one way, while a deceptive person usually offers a different verbal response.

During this segment of the program we will discuss how to phrase and ask the behavior provoking questions, and describe the type of answers to anticipate from the truthful and deceptive individuals.

Positive Persuasion

Through the use of understanding, logic, empathy and rationalization the investigator presents persuasive statements to motivate the subject to want to tell the truth. The process involves Stating your Position; Developing Persuasive Statements; Responding to Denials; Addressing the subject's Concerns; the Closing; Establishing the Details; and Documenting the Subject's Statement

During each of these segments we will show videotapes of actual interviews and persuasion efforts to illustrate the material.

Each participant will receive a workbook and a Certificate that they earned 6 hours of Continuing Professional Education credits for attending the program.