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The evaluation of deception is an imprecise art, not an exact science. Accordingly, no one cue-- either verbal or nonverbal--should be taken as proof positive that the subject is not being truthful. All cues must be taken together as a whole to make a judgment about the subject’s truthfulness. The Phases of an Interview

Interviews generally have three distinct phases: the introduction, the body, and the close. During the introduction, the interviewer should provide his/her name and company, avoiding titles. Typically, the more informal the interview, the more relaxed and cooperative the subject

will be. Also, background information about the subject should be obtained and the theme of the interview should be clearly established. During the introduction the interviewer should pay close attention to all verbal and nonverbal cues exhibited by the subject so that a “baseline” can be established for evaluating changes in these cues later on during more sensitive questioning. During the body of the interview, information concerning the who, what, when, why, where, and how of the alleged fraud should be obtained by asking open-ended questions. During this phase the interviewer needs to carefully observe all verbal and nonverbal cues of deception and probe deeper into suspect answers by asking follow-up questions. The close of the interview should: (1) provide the subject with an opportunity to convey any additional information useful in resolving the matter under review, (2) summarize the content of the interview to ensure that all facts are correctly understood, (3) thank the subject for his/her cooperation or admission, and (4) end on a positive note since the subject’s cooperation will likely be needed later. The following case study illustrates and elaborates on many of the basic principles of interviewing presented in this paper. A Case Study in Conducting Effective Interviews

The owner of a medium-sized construction company received a “tip” from a disgruntled spouse that “Steve”--a highly-trusted, upper-level project manager--had an ownership interest in two vendors with which the construction company did business. Consequently, the owner engaged “Joe”--a CPA and a certified fraud examiner (CFE)--to conduct a review of the two vendors in question. The review revealed that the vendors had only post office box addresses, no phone numbers listed on the invoices, and did not have taxpayer identification numbers on file. The payments made to the two vendors totaled $65,000. Neither of the vendors was listed in the Interviewing as a ‘Forensic-Type’ Procedure

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