Interviewing Witnesses: Ask the Right Questions and Get the Right Answers

Interviewing a witness.

One of the many talents of a private investigator is interviewing witnesses and suspects. A skilled private investigator knows the right questions to ask to find the information necessary to find a lead or solve a case.  During the course of their work, private investigators interview witnesses, subject matter experts, family members, and sometimes even law enforcement officers.

There are a wide variety of books are designed to help private investigators master the techniques of interrogation:

  • Learn how to interview witnesses and gather the pertinent facts about your case
  • Learn techniques to identify behaviors that indicate lying or deception
  • Learn how to ask the right questions to find what you’re looking
  • Learn who to interview in various situations
  • Learn to tell the difference between useful information and unreliable information

A good place to start is the Everything Private Investigation Book. It Teaches the reader how to master the techniques of professional investigators to examine evidence, trace down people, and discover the truth (Everything Series). This book is printed in paperback format. The Everything Private Investigation Book explains basic research techniques, how to dig up background information, how to use the internet, and other secrets from the pros. Learn how to use newspapers, military records, motor vehicle records, and more to do background checks, check out tenants and find missing persons.

Another great book is the Practical Aspects of Interview and Interrogation, Second Edition (Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigations). This book focuses on why false confessions exist and how to avoid them. It includes topics such as:

  • Telephone interviewing, asking questions over the phone
  • False Confessions
  • Field Interviewing witnesses in person
  • Sexual Harassment Interviewing
  • Confronting the Alleged Harrasser
  • Pre-employment Interviewing
  • Legal aspects and considerations about the process
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Principles of Kinesic Interview and Interrogation – This guide explores both basic and advanced interview and interrogation techniques. It focuses on understanding a persons behavior based on their body language and their writing. Good stuff for private detectives who need to develop skills in this area.

The Art of Investigative Interviewing, Second Edition – This book explains techniques that can be used by interviewers in any setting to detect indications of deception. It includes a section on ethics involved in interviewing and interrogation. A great guide to help you learn how to communicate effectively and use the art of persuasion.

Investigative Interviewing: Psychology and Practice – This book focuses on the psychological concepts and research-based knowledge that can support and guide investigative interviewing. It explains basic methods for investigative interviewing and explains how to deal with false confessions and unreliable or incomplete witness information. A great book for police, detectives, attorneys, social workers, forensic psychiatrists and others.

Interested in learning more? Buy these and other books at

Also, check out our other Private Investigator Books.


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