What do I do to make someone comfortable in an interview? Lynch Law Firm, Workplace Investigation, Austin, Texas
How do you make somebody comfortable so they'll open up to you in your investigative interviews?
I think that that's really an individual thing, but what I'll say is that setting expectations about the interview helps make things comfortable. I know from my own personal style, I usually make a very mild self-deprecating joke. So, in my admonishments, I have a couple of little jokes weaved into it. If it's a safe person that I'm talking to (nobody that's giving me security alerts, or nobody I think ever going to call me at two o'clock in the morning, or try to get in contact with me for weeks after the investigation), I'll also mention any similarities we have. Like, oh, we are both parents or, oh, we both went to the same college. Something fairly innocuous like that. I mean, I certainly don't disclose my son's birthday, or my social security number, where I live, or anything like that, but some level of connection with personal information, and also just some jokes at your own expense that don't detract from your professionalism, those things can help really break the ice so that people open up to you.