Book Review: Interviewing
Advanced Interviewing Techniques, Third Edition. Charles C. Thomas; ccthomas.com; 216 pages; $39.95.
An excellent reference for anyone who interviews people on a regular basis, the third edition of Advanced Interviewing Techniques offers varied methods for conducting interviews. Authors John R. Schafer and Joe Navarro acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all interviewing technique, so they explore many.
While the title implies that these are advanced techniques for interviewers, in fact, the techniques outlined in the book are fairly standard for the experienced interviewer. Nonetheless, the novice interviewer will find much to learn here.
The book is written in a concise and reasonable fashion. The table of contents flows in a logical sequence. The first chapter concisely and appropriately details the importance of planning the interview, and subsequent chapters contain short but substantive scenarios and interviewing tips.
The authors clearly have considerable experience. They cite and give credit to other authors to better illustrate key points of learning, including the interview setting, props, and other logistical considerations. They point out how critical these issues can be without dwelling on them.
While topics and techniques are discussed in a concise fashion, that brevity does not detract from the key ideas; rather, it engages the reader to understand the point without getting bogged down in unnecessary verbiage.
Chapter 8, “Detecting Deception,” is exceptionally noteworthy. It neatly describes the techniques and observable behaviors that can help interviewers perceive deceptiveness on the part of the interviewee.
This book is an excellent resource for its intended audience, which is primarily military, law enforcement, and intelligence gathering personnel. Although HR personnel are also addressed by the authors, the contents of this book will be of limited value to them.
Reviewer: James E. Whitaker, CPP, PCI, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), has more than 40 years of experience in law enforcement and private sector investigations. He served on the ASIS Investigations and Insurance Fraud Councils and serves on the Healthcare Council and the PCI Review Course Faculty. Whitaker has also been active with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.