Here are some tips for setting the stage:
- Shut Up: You’re in control when they’re talking, because you’re getting the information,” says J.J. Newberry. And don’t miss critical clues because you’re composing your next question. Sounds elemental? It’s the bane of law enforcement officers and journalists alike.
- Set Up: Position and location matter. Women are most comfortable when seated directly across from an interlocutor. Men prefer to be at an angle relative to an interviewer. If your interviewee appears anxious, linger outside the room where you are scheduled to converse. A person may offer information just to avoid entering the room itself. Navarro calls this a “door jamb” confession. And a person exiting a room may feel guilty about wasting your time and concede a few unexpected morsels.
- Change Perspective: People gear up for a verbal altercation. Have someone draw or act out an event—these actions can bring inconsistencies to light.
- Get the Story Backwards: Reversing chronology forces a “frame by frame” recollection, rather than a reliance on knowledge of how events usually transpire. Reverse recall can trip up a liar and unearth forgotten or dormant information.