Interviewing is often viewed as a process that only entails a bit of common sense; however, in the case of potential dishonesty, conducting an interview becomes a complicated process.
Whether you’re trying to gather some crucial information for a case’s resolution, limiting your list of suspects by process of elimination, or wanting to get an admission of fault from responsible parties; knowing how to conduct an interview professionally can save your company from ugly consequences such as low employee morale, possibly terminating the wrong person, or being faced with a wrongful termination suit.
Remember that an interview which seeks to get answers is a conversation with a purpose. Untrained or inexperienced interviewers who have no inkling on how to direct a conversation can complicate an incident and create more problems for your organization.
Below are the 3 liabilities for dishonesty interviews and how you can use them for finding a solution in cases of possible fraud.
The main purpose of conducting dishonesty interviews is to get an admission from the individual(s) who’s responsible for the reason why there has to be an interview in the first place. This is where the significance of professionally directing the conversation truly comes into play, but how?
Using the wrong terms such as introducing the word ‘steal’ can make the interviewee clam up or give you inaccurate details, thereby resulting to sending back the dishonest individual to his or her position where that person can continue to create losses. Another thing of note is that by not being able to identify who the dishonest person is via interview, that individual now possesses a knowledge of how your fraud investigation process works, making him or her more adept on how to avoid getting caught later.
It goes without saying that obtaining an admission via interview won’t be possible every single time, but if the interview was handled by someone who knows how to direct the conversation towards getting answers, then you’ll be effectively limiting future possible losses to fraud.
One wrong move can mean either a lawsuit or sabotaging the interview so an experienced interviewer knows how and when to present an accusation. It can also create an unpleasant work environment when made against an innocent person.
There are a few instances when making a direct accusation is the way to go. An example would be if you have a video footage showing the individual in question in the act of committing the fraud. In this scenario, making an accusation will save up time and would hasten the process towards a resolution. The errant individual can then choose to simply own up to what he or she did or to continue lying – in which case you’ll have a strong evidence of dishonesty and fraud against the individual.
Never make an accusation out of frustration or out of anger. This would only result to the company and the interviewer facing a lawsuit and hindering the resolution of the predicament at hand.
Never forget that an interviewer can singlehandedly destroy a whole company’s morale. If an interview is handled incorrectly, everyone who was called to be a part of it can feel that they’ve been accused. The last thing you’d want to do is to alienate possible witnesses or to create more problems for your company.
Keep in mind that a professional dishonesty interview is geared towards taking the rotten apple(s) out of your barrel. You certainly won’t want to damage a whole barrel or place your organization in hot water for just one questionable individual.