9. Listen like a lawyer
- Investigation Guides
- An Employer's Guide to Conducting Internal Investigations
- 47 Quick Tips: Better Investigation Interviews
- Checklist for Sexual Harassment Investigations
- Black Book of Lie Detection
“Lying is done with words and also with silence” – Adrian Rich
Whilst it's important, that when you trying to detect whether someone is lying, you read their body language, eye cues and facial expressions; what the suspect says and how they say it may also provide you with valuable deception indicators.
The most effective interrogations are those where the interrogator approaches the questioning neutrally. Whilst you may have your suspicions, you will be more effective if the suspect believes you are open minded and not accusing them. If they feel accused, they will become defensive and more difficult to read.
Where possible, try to allude to the issue rather than directly confront it. If the suspect is not being accused and does not having guilty knowledge, they should not start firing off deception signals.
The following verbal behaviors are consistent with, but not determinative of, deceit:
- Vocal pitch increasing.
- Increased use of pauses.
- Speech errors.
- Inconsistencies in the account.
When questioning your suspect ask, pause and observe. You need to give yourself a chance to observe the deception signals they may be giving as well as carefully formulate your next question.
Rather than make a direct accusation when your suspect appears to be giving deception signals, you should probe deeper with further questions. Request more detail but do so in an `interested' manner rather than accusatory. Lying about detail requires a lot of thought and concentration.
If the suspect has had little time to prepare, you will be more likely to uncover inconsistencies in their account. Ask your suspect to describe their account in reverse chronological order. It is much harder to describe a fabricated account in this way, than it is to recall and describe a truthful one.
One tactic used by professional lie detectors is to pretend they believe the suspect and get them to provide more information. With their guard down, the suspect is more likely to trip up and make a mistake.
Table of Contents
- We all want to be lie detectors
- Types of liars and degrees of lying
- You need to be cautious
- Factors influencing detection accuracy
- Setting the scene
- Your body wants to confess
- Eye think you are lying to me
- Time to face the truth
- Listen like a lawyer
- Download the PDF