The structure for all investigation interviews should be the same.
Intake Interviews versus Investigatory Interviews
For an intake interview, you are capturing information to identify the issues. For investigatory interviews, you are capturing information about the issues. There are different considerations for each of these types of Interviews, however, the structure of the interview should not change.
Preparing for the Meeting
- When you prepare for the meeting, determine where the interview will take place. Consider the layout of the meeting venue, such as where you will sit vis-à-vis the interviewee so that he or she feels comfortable to share factual information.
- Consider how you are going to record the interview. This approach may vary depending on the nature of subject matter, the interviewee’s comfort level, and other factors.
- Know what your practice is if you or the interviewee wants to bring another person to the meeting such as a lawyer or advocate. Is there a relevant policy to review on this question?
- Consider some communication tools, such as paraphrasing and asking why before responding to comments or questions.
Opening the Meeting
When you open the meeting, thank the person, and introduce yourself and others.
- Explain your role, the process, the scope of confidentiality, and that you are taking notes. When you are probing, begin with general questions.
- Ask for details and how the person reacted or responded at the time of the event.
- Also ask whether there are people with additional information or any other information to review, and if there is any additional information that would be helpful.
Closing the Meeting
- When you are closing the meeting, explain the protection against retaliation, the scope of confidentiality again, that you may need additional information, and that you are the contact person regarding what was discussed in the meeting.
- Ask if there are any questions. For investigatory interviews with respondents, managers, and people with information, there are common points and differences.