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INTERVIEWING AS A ‘FORENSIC-TYPE’ PROCEDURE - page 9 / 19

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Joe: “The owner has asked me to look into the possibility of fraudulent activity by management and employees. When talking about fraud in business, we are talking about a big area. We’re not talking about taking a company pen or making a few personal copies on the copy machine. Rather we are talking about a whole range of activities where people steal from the company, lie to management, or take unfair advantage of the company. Do you think fraud is a problem for business in general?” Steve: “I have no idea.” Verbal cues: The interview is now moving toward more sensitive, possibly incriminating issues. Most informed people would acknowledge that fraud is a problem for business in general. However, since Steve is actually guilty of fraudulent activity, he is not inclined to acknowledge that fraud is a problem for business in general and would like to end the interview as soon as possible. Joe: “Do you think that this company has a problem with fraud?” Steve: “No, not at all.” (Leans back in his chair and looks down at the floor) Verbal cues: Once again, Steve fails to acknowledge fraud as being a problem. Moreover, he perceives a disturbing trend (going from general to the specific) in the line of questioning. Steve anticipates Joe will eventually accuse him of fraudulent activity. Nonverbal cues: Steve shifts his body position away from the interviewer and breaks eye contact in an effort to relieve the anxiety he is beginning to feel. Joe: “If employees or managers are stealing from this company, why do you think they would do it?” Steve: “How should I know? I don’t steal.” Verbal cues: Even though the question is non-accusatory, Steve feels directly attacked by the question and responds accordingly. Such “denials” to non-accusatory questions can be good indicators that the subject has “something to hide.” Joe: “I didn’t say you did. If you knew another employee was stealing from the business, what would you do?” Steve: “I don’t know, I’ve never really thought about it.” Joe: “Do you know of anyone who might be stealing or taking unfair advantage of the business?” Interviewing as a ‘Forensic-Type’ Procedure

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