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Goodnight, Kenneth M. Interviewing concepts. National Fire & Arson Report. Vol 12 No 2 (June 1994). p 10-11.

Abstract: This article discusses the process of conducting interviews following a fire.

The author discusses the differences between an "interview" and an "interrogation." The interview is more informal, whereas the interrogation is a more structured process, or as the author states, it is to "ask questions formally when examining a witness."

In preparation for an interview, systematic preparation is necessary. A plan should be developed that determines who is going to be interviewed, why they are going to be interviewed, and the relationship of the subject to the investigation. Prior to conducting an interview it is necessary to gather all data available about the subject and the incident.

While telephone interviews are great "time savers," their effectiveness is limited in comparison to a "face to face" interview.

The timing of the interview is important. Often, it is beneficial to conduct interviews soon after the incident.

The setting is determined base on who is being interviewed and their relationship to the incident. The author discusses factors such as physical barriers, distractions, the layout of the room where the interview is being conducted, and other factors.

Separate interviews are usually more effective than combined interviews.

For more information, contact:
The National Fire and Arson Report is out of print. To request a printed copy, call 1-800-694-2313.

 
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