Interviewing Techniques Verbal Cues
When you are conducting your interview with either the subject or the witness, you can use these Effective Interviewing Techniques throughout your investigation. First, we will discuss verbal cues to detect verbally what people say and nonverbally what their body does could contradict each other. Five areas of verbal cues include:

  • Selective Wording – Someone might be lying if he or she doesn’t actually answer your question.
  • Quasi-denials – Listen for instances when people back out of statements before actually staying them, like “I could be wrong but…”
  • Qualifiers – Another possible sign of description could be using qualifying phrases like “to the best of my knowledge…”
  • Softeners – If people are guilty, people soften their diction using words like “borrow” or “mistake”
  • Overly formal wording – Liars might use phrases that add distance, like formal titles Mr. or Mrs.

From an interview perspective, when you are questioning someone, you want to look for certain non-verbal cues. These cues will give you indications based on the following 5 topic areas:

  • Stress signals – much of detecting lies is actually detecting stress.
  • Deviation from base line – Look for a baseline of truthful answer behaviors and then take note of any changes during further questioning.
  • Telltale four – Look for clusters of verbal and nonverbal signs.
  • Eye signals – As a lie is constructed and told, the liar’s blink rate goes down. After the life is told, the blink rate will increase up to eight times.
  • Emotional incongruence – Sometimes you just have a gut feeling that something is off, like catching someone with a phony smile.


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