What do I do when the interviewee is dishonest? Lynch Law Firm, Workplace Investigation, Austin, Texas, Natalie Lynch

 

What do we do if we think somebody is lying to us during an investigative interview?


This probably comes up more than it should with adults, but it happens, and there's a handful of ways that you can handle it. One of them is just to say, "I'm having a hard time understanding that what you're saying is true. Can you help me understand better?" Or, "These two facts that you gave me can't both be true at the same time. Help me understand."


You can also do things like approach a topic that the person is dishonest about and then move on for a few minutes or a few topics, and then circle back around to the topic where there was dishonesty, to see if the story is the same as the first time you covered it.


And if there is a particular issue, like 'did you see this person on Tuesday,' or 'did you yell these particular words' Whatever the particular issue is, if it's really the crux of your case and the person's being dishonest, make sure you ask them two or three opportunities within the interview to be honest.  Then, during your reporting phase, you can say, "Bob was given three opportunities to explain to what occurred and he declined to do so." Or, "He consistently reported this other thing inconsistent with all the other people that we heard from."


So, that is how I approach a person that I think is being dishonest with me.

 


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