A Good Interviewer is a Good Actor

I continue to hone my knowledge and skills in the area of interviewing. I read recently that being a good interviewer is like being a good actor – you have to convince the suspect (or interviewee) that you are on their side. For some of us, that may be easier to do than others because some approach diversion with more empathy, while others may be more judgmental. Even those who are more empathetic naturally may have a hard time convincing a suspect they are on their side if the diversion resulted in patient harm. But, we must do our best because our goal is to obtain the truth and to do that, the suspect must feel comfortable with the interviewer. A rapport needs to be developed. No matter how egregious the details of the diversion are, a professional interviewer must maintain a demeanor of being non-judgmental while displaying no outward signs of aversion toward the suspect’s actions.

“By adopting a mental discipline of suppressing all signs of adverse emotions during an interrogation [interview] – anger, disgust, revulsion, sarcasm, revenge, etc. – the trained investigator has a much better chance of developing rapport with a subject and thereby greatly improve the probability of obtaining the truth through a fully corroborated confession.”1 How do we do this? By not making it personal during the interview.

It’s not personal, It’s business. — Louis Sense 1

Terri Vidals
Terri Vidals

Terri has been a pharmacist for over 30 years and is a drug diversion mitigation and monitoring subject matter expert. Her years of experience in various roles within hospital pharmacy have given her real-world insight into risk, compliance, and regulatory requirements, as well as best practices for medication and patient safety.

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