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Advanced Interviewing Techniques, Second Edition

Advanced Interviewing Techniques, Second Edition. By John R. Schafer and Joe Navarro; Charles C. Thomas Publishers,; 192 pages; $33.95.

This most recent edition of Advanced Interviewing Techniques begins with information that is often overlooked by interviewers—preparing for the interview. Experienced interviewers already go through a mental checklist before the actual interview, but many times they neglect to properly prepare for the more complex ones.

This book focuses on details, such as the best time of day to conduct an interview for optimal results as well as the pros and cons of using various interview locations. Decisions also have to be made about the setting in the interview room and what, if any, props will be used. Schafer and Navarro do an excellent job in this text of educating readers about how to “set the stage” to gain control of the physical and emotional environment of the location as well as to develop rapport with the interviewee.

From this point, Advanced Interviewing Techniques walks the reader through the entire interview process from the moment the interviewee walks in the door to when the interviewer escorts the interviewee out of the room. There is no element in the process not clearly and concisely addressed. Excerpts from actual interviews are included to illustrate information and to help the interviewer understand how to segue to critical topic areas in order to conduct a successful interview.

Given that 60 to 80 percent of communication is nonverbal, Advanced Interviewing Techniques also discusses how to detect deception by observing clusters of nonverbal behavior. And because routine interviews rarely involve polygraph examinations, the section entitled “Poor Man’s Polygraph” is especially interesting; it discusses a series of questions that the interviewer can ask to increase the probability of detecting deception.

An appropriate ending for this excellent resource book is to remind readers that the most important task that we perform as law enforcement officers, military personnel, and security professionals is collecting information. To be successful, we must practice our information collecting skills and modify them when necessary. Advanced Interviewing Techniques will provide the tools you need to achieve this goal. It is a must-read for anyone who conducts interviews and should be included in every interviewer’s “interviewing toolbox.”

Reviewer:Marianna Perry, CPP, is a Safety and Security Consultant with Loss Prevention and Safety Management, LLC, and vice chair of the ASIS International Crime/Loss Prevention Council.