the Peace Model
Get the Full Story
• Firstly, it’s critically important to interview the
suspect, even if you already think you have the
case solved. “If you don’t ask for their version of
what happened, you didn’t do everything you
could have possibly done,” he says. If the suspect
refuses to comply or their counsel rejects the
request, document that in your report as you can
then say you’ve exhausted all means.
Avoiding the 5 WHYS Trap
• What proof do I have that this cause exists? (Is it concrete? Is it
• What proof do I have that this cause could lead to the stated effect? (Am I
merely asserting causation?)
• What proof do I have that this cause actually contributed to the problem
I'm looking at? (Even given that it exists and could lead to this problem,
how do I know it wasn't actually something else?)
• Is anything else needed, along with this cause, for the stated effect to
occur? (Is it self-sufficient? Is something needed to help it along?)
• Can anything else, besides this cause, lead to the stated effect? (Are there
alternative explanations that fit better? What other risks are there?)
True or False
It sometimes seems as though there are as
many interviewing techniques as there are
interviewers. Some organizations proscribe a
forceful interviewing style, akin to interrogation,
while some methods are all about building
rapport and coaxing information out of
Types of Lies the Hidden Five
• 1. Direct Denial- encountered the least because
it doesn’t offer an alternative explanation.
• 2. Lie of Omission- leaving out key details.
• 3. Lie of Exaggeration- lie isn’t necessarily made
up, but the truth is stretched.
• 4. Lie of Fabrication- the whole story is made up
• 5. Lie of Minimization- admits to doing
something wrong, but that something is usually
smaller than the larger issue being investigated.
Why are you moving do you have to
go to the washroom?
• Emotional gestures and contradictions- this is similar to the stories
where a husband or wife goes missing for days and the partner
doesn’t seem to be too concerned. If someone is lying, the way the
react to news is going to be an indicator.
• Watch to see if the timing of gestures and words match- when the
two don’t match, it usually signals that someone is lying.
• Anchor movements- when someone is lying, they usually have poor
posture and are slumped over, head hanging.
• Someone who puts their hand over their nose can’t handle to smell
of their own lies.
• Some people’s natural habits may be the same as indicators that
signal that someone might be lying. Beware of making this mistake
You are telling one way or another
Domains for Detecting Deception
• 1. Comfort/ Discomfort- guilty people/ liars often feel
• 2. Emphasis- people who are telling the truth
emphasize their speech with hand movements,
pointing, etc. Liars don’t think about emphasis, they
just think about the words to say.
• 3. Synchrony- harmony between the words body
language. Time and space synchronicity when recalling
• 4. Perception Management- context is everything.
Sort of, Could have
Some of the telltale signs of deception he talked about were:
• Weakened assertions, such as ‘to tell you the truth” or “as
a matter of fact”
• Stalling, using hesitation or phrases such as “let’s see”
• Lack of specificity, using vague identifiers such as
“someone” or “something”
• Changing pronouns from “I” (as the person doing the
action) to “me” (as the recipient of action)
• Second-person referencing, such as “you know…”
• Modifying or qualifying statements, such as “little”,
“usually” or “sort of”
3 D’s of Deception
• Deny wrongdoing
• Divert the interviewer to another topic
• Develop a theme
No Hunches just Facts
Answer all the Questions
Secondly, do your homework. Being diligent, includes
answering the following four questions:
• Is what I’m looking at some sort of fraud, crime or scheme?
• Is this the only explanation for what I’m seeing?
• Is this person responsible for these activities?
• Is this the only person who could have been responsible for
• “If I can answer these four questions in the affirmative and
support it with exhibits and evidence, then I’m done. If not,
I’m not done.” Without these answers, the case may
remain unresolved, he says, because the risk of making a
mistake is too great on a hunch.
P.E.A.C.E. stands for:
• Preparation and Planning
• Engage and Explain
• Account, Clarify and Challenge
“If someone perceives that you don’t believe them
or you accuse them of lying, then sometimes their
behavior adapters will be the same as someone
who is being deceptive. So behavior adapters then
By giving the subject the impression that you
believe him or her and using a non-confrontational
approach, you can reduce his or her stress level and
be better positioned to read any signs of deception.
I have a question for you
• What is your response to the allegations?
• If the harasser claims that the allegations are false,
ask why the complainant might lie.
• Are there any persons who have relevant
• Are there any notes, physical evidence, or other
documentation regarding the incident(s)?
• Do you know of any other relevant information?
Non-accusatory, information gathering
approach to investigative interviewing, the
PEACE model is considered to be best practice
and is suitable for any type of interviewee, victim,
witness or suspect.
two big problems
• There are two big problems with using scare tactics in
investigation interviews. One, you may scare the suspect
into keeping silent, and two; you may scare the suspect
into confessing to a crime he or she didn’t commit.
• More importantly, if you’re resorting to scare tactics to
coax a confession from a suspect, you’ve probably already
made the biggest mistake you could make in an
investigation: deciding on the suspect’s guilt before the
interviews even begin. The use of tactics such as misleading
the suspect about the consequences of a confession or
applying strong psychological pressure on a weak suspect
indicate that you think he or she is guilty.
Their No comment
• A witness or the subject in an investigation who has a reason to
withhold information may be uncooperative or even downright
hostile. The investigator’s job is much more difficult when this is
Reasons for Reluctance: An uncooperative interview subject may be:
• Afraid of getting involved
• Angry for being singled out
• Guilty of something
• Reluctant to snitch on friends
• Agitated at being embroiled in an investigation
• Worried about retaliation
Your No comment
The Power of Silence
• Ask as many open-ended questions as possible,
questions that begin with tell, explain or describe
• Avoid giving your opinion
• Listen actively
• Don’t interrupt
• Follow the 80-20 talking rule, which means that
the interviewer talks only 20 per cent of the time
• Is there a place for both styles of interview? Are
there some situations where a confrontational
interview is the best way to go? What do you
That’s ok well just talk
“As long as they are talking there’s hope. They may be hostile, but as
long as they’re talking. I never raise my voice… if I just talk calmly and
continue, they will ultimately come around.”
Types of Interview
• Be careful to avoid the word “interrogation”, explaining that there
are two types of interviews: subject and informational.
• The subject interview has three phases:
• The subject admits what he or she did
• The subject confesses the details
• The investigator gets the subject to help to document in writing
what has been confessed
• Informational interviews are any other interviews with people who
are not the subject of the investigation.
Could you just tell me please
• What did you see or hear?
• When did this occur?
• Describe the alleged harasser’s behavior toward
the complainant and toward others in the
• What did the complainant tell you? When did
they tell you this?
• Do you know of any other relevant information?
• Are there other persons who have relevant
“Active listening means watching them
and paying attention,”
• Regardless of the investigator, if persuasion
does not work, some degree of coercion may
become necessary. Ideally the company’s
inappropriate workplace conduct/harassment
policy states that all employees have an
obligation to cooperate in workplace
investigations. (If you do not know that your
policy has such a statement, go check
This does not work in the business
Bullying Tactics and False Confessions
Workplace investigations are like
snowflakes – no two are exactly alike.
As we get to know these types of witnesses, we
find out what strategies tend to work to best
interact with these witness to meet our overall
• gathering information
• responding appropriately to our findings
• optimizing future workplace conduct
The Mechanics of Rapport and
Two effective means for building rapport are:
• developing shared experiences
The essential element needed to build rapport in order to
interrogate someone, collect intelligence, or even to select a
new employee, is the realization that communication lies at
the heart of each of these tasks. Once we understand that we
are essentially just communicating, it is much easier to elicit
an actionable response from those with whom we are
communicating. These two processes, if subtly initiated, can
go a long way in building rapport and, ultimately, getting to
the heart of the matter.
The Mirror in Us
There are two critical things that we need to note in using the
mirroring technique. The mirroring technique is not sinister.
There is no magic to it, just a simple and subtle method of
• The concept should be employed subtly, and we’d stress
that overtly copying someone’s behavior and mannerisms
would not be beneficial in having a good interview.
• Emotive mirroring can be described as identifying with an
individual’s mental state. Active listening is crucial.
Accurately applying active listening and general knowledge
of the emotional state that someone could be in during the
interview setting allows you to meet their need for active
communication and open up potential information flow.
It’s just a question no more no less
Constant Assessment and Adjustment
• Rapport building is a constant give and take situation,
where you must gauge the interviewee’s responses to
your actions and questions, and then make subtle
adjustments to build and maintain rapport.
Establishing this baseline rapport with the interviewee
allows you to subtly direct the conversation. Armed
with good rapport, you can elicit truthful answers from
your interviewee while eliminating the unnecessary
hurdles of distrust and emotionally charged behavior.
The best scenario for an employee investigation usually is that
the issue being investigated never reappears after the
investigation is concluded and acted upon.
• If there is no wrongdoing, that has been established and
documented, and that conclusion is never questioned.
• If there is wrongdoing, it is addressed and does not recur.
• The more effective the investigation, the more likely this
best case scenario is.
• However, even if the investigation was flawless, the issue
may return in some fashion, including litigation. If litigation
is instituted or threatened, it is critical that the employer
be able to document that it took the proper measures
every step of the way.
• The complaining party later claims the company did not address
certain complained-of behavior, but the company in fact was not
aware of that behavior.
• Retaliatory action is taken (or not taken but alleged) by a subject of
the investigation or other individual during or after the
• The subject of the investigation claims that his or her reputation
was damaged by the company during the course of the
• The subject of the investigation claims that the company was on a
“witch hunt” and the outcome of the investigation was a foregone
conclusion. This can manifest itself in a discrimination lawsuit – for
example, a male who is a member of a legally protected class
claims that he was disciplined in a discriminatory fashion and the
victim of a biased investigation.
Close the Gap not the mind
To oversimplify somewhat, there are three types of
• the complainant(s)
• the accused(s)
• third party witnesses
• It is usually beneficial to document various things
with each interviewee before the first question is
asked. Indeed, the 3rd and 4th bullets arguably
cannot be as effectively addressed after the
interviews have taken place.
Soft Approach Can be the Right
Our “soft approach” philosophy, as well as how we believed this
approach to be not only the “right thing to do” but also one that, in
our experience, simply yielded better results.
There are certainly some individuals who will provide an admission
when confronted with tactics of intimidation and fear, but do you
really want to be “that” investigator? Whether they show it or not, the
employee is already scared to be in the interview seat. There is no
reason to try to scare or intimidate them further.
Soft Does Not Equal Easy
• Please understand by that by “soft” I am not saying “weak,” nor am
I saying to go easy on people. Interviews are inherently
uncomfortable and internal investigations are serious matters and
should be dealt with accordingly. What I am saying is to treat
people with dignity and respect at all times and focus on the
evidence at hand, having a conversation and listening.
Don’t bring it in here please
“One of the biggest investigation mistakes is the
failure to recognize and secure evidence. Often,
the interviewer fails to bring evidence or
documents to the interview,”
Never go to mental exercise class
Jumping to Conclusions
Just because this one is last doesn’t mean it’s the least
important. And it’s certainly not the least common.
This is when the investigator makes up his or her mind
about the case beforehand, or too quickly, and then
looks for facts that line up with their theory, thereby
filtering out or ignoring contrary information without
even realizing it.” An interviewer should let the
interviewee answer the question in an open-ended way
and let the facts develop as the investigation proceeds.
Going in Cold
• “The biggest mistake investigators make is conducting
an admission-seeking interview without having the
requisite experience.” “Inexperienced interviewers
tend to not follow up on clues given by the admission
seeker, and they also tend to be less confrontational.”
A skilled interviewer knows how to coax the truth out of
a subject using a variety of techniques, starting from the
first exchange of words. “Inexperienced interviewers fail
to establish a rapport, which allows them to
communicate effectively with the subject.”
If you want to fail
1. Not Prepping for the Interview
• Set up the investigation room properly- remove barriers between you and the
subject and eliminate distractions (put phones on silent, turn computers off, etc.).
• Cover the ground rules with anyone present to witness the interview- keep any
interview witnesses out of sight and out of mind.
• Know the witness- are they a close friend of the subject?
• Choose the right investigator- consider reporting lines, cultural issues and
personality type when selecting the interviewer.
• Know who you’re interviewing
• Get the timing right- Make sure the interview is scheduled during a time where
the employee is scheduled to work.
• Decide on an end goal- Determine what needs to happen for action to be taken.
• Determine what will happen after the interview- Will you need to make prior
arrangements to arrest on site? Will the subject be placed on investigatory
suspension or terminated?
If you want to fail
Failing to Build Rapport
A very important question: why would someone
confess something to someone they don’t like?
Establish rapport by learning as much as you can
about the person. We suggest easing into the
interview by asking the person about themselves,
their job, outside interests and more
If you want to fail
Failing to Ask the Question
• During the interview, don’t dance around the
issue under investigation. Statements like “did
you misappropriate company assets?” are too
vague and can lead to a number of answers – and
not necessarily the ones you’re looking for. Avoid
using pejorative words like stole, embezzled and
fraudulent, as well as words that remove intent,
such as borrowed, misplaced and accidentally
If you want to fail
Failing to Stop Denials
• The single most important action you can take
during an investigation interview. The more
times a subject denies something, the harder it
will be for them to admit it.
• Don’t let it start
• Put your hand up, look away and say something
along the lines of ”I’ll let you speak in a minute,
but I have something important I need to say.”
If you want to fail
Showing Judgment REMEMBER YOUR NOT THE
JUDGE AND JURY
• We can inadvertently give away our feelings
through our body language. Everything from
the words we use to the way we hold our
hands can be a signal of our true feelings. We
need to be aware of our own actions to
ensure that they don’t get in the way of
achieving the end goal of the interview
They write we - read!
• Every investigator has experienced the frustration of receiving a
written witness statement that provides minimal information and is
of questionable value to uncovering the accident's root cause.
• They say that people learn in different ways and that trainers
should incorporate a variety of learning styles in their training
sessions. I realized (it took some time J) that perhaps using a
different technique in gathering witness information may also work.
• Often initial statements are vague and brief. In fairness, from the
witnesses' point of view they have little idea about what's of
interest to the investigator. Leave an appropriate amount of space
between each question in relation to the amount of detail you
expect that the answer requires, and tell the witness you've done
this. No guarantees, but what you have now isn't worth much, so
you have little to loose in trying.
Just the Facts
• “Sometimes, if people aren’t factual in the
report itself when they write it, they (include)
an opinion that wasn’t asked for, and it’s
more of a judgment… then you’re putting
everything at risk, because the credibility can
Before you go remember your “C”
C - Closure
• To avoid immediate or future problems with the
relationship formed between the interviewer and
interviewee, investigators should ensure that, at
the end of an interview:
• interviewees are thanked before leaving;
• everyone understands what has happened during
• everyone understands what will happen in the
• Your digging for facts not dirt and buried