What do I do if I learn something after the interview? Lynch Law Firm, Workplace Investigations, Austin, Texas, Natalie Lynch
What do you do if you learn an important fact after you've already interviewed someone?
This happens, it just does. I can foresee things like this better than I could when I first started as an investigator but it is inevitable that post-interview revelations happen. And it kind of depends on how complex the situation being investigated is. Even then, you must make the decision to:
- Accept the new information as fact,
- Go back into a formal interview to discuss the new information, or
- Quickly call the person to discuss the new information.
Some of the things that should be considered as you contemplate how to address this issue are, How likely is litigation to come from this investigation? How formal is the organization? How comfortable is the person with you? Sometimes you can just pick up the phone and say, "Hey, it's Natalie, I need to ask you about one another thing. Is there a time I can talk to you in private? We don't need to do a whole full-blown meeting like we did last time, but if you could block off 15 minutes for me, it would be super helpful."
And other times, you really do need to call the person back into the interview room, repeat all the admonishments, and go through the investigative formalities again. Sometimes you need to do that with the reporting party because sometimes our reporting party starts you off on one investigative trail and along the way you realize that the reporting party is the cause of all the things that they complained about. And so you need to ask the reporting party AND the accused about allegations coming out of your investigation. If you learn that the reporting party is being accused of a lot of things, you now need to go give the reporting party the opportunity to discuss those things with you as well.