Interviewing Witnesses and Suspects (Online Self-Study)


Interviewing Witnesses and Suspects

CPE Credit: 4
Course Level: Overview
Prerequisite: None


An interview is a well-structured question-and-answer session designed to elicit information. It differs from an ordinary conversation in that the interview is structured, not free-form, and is designed for a purpose.

Interviewing Witnesses and Suspects offers an introduction to interviewing by examining the entire interview process. From choosing an interview strategy to obtaining a signed statement of confession, this course provides helpful tips to make your next interview successful.

Key Takeaways:

Types of interview questions

Legal considerations regarding the interview process

Common interviewing obstacles

Mechanics of an interview

Behaviors that either facilitate or inhibit communication

Techniques to obtain cooperation from interview subjects

Strategies for admission-seeking interviews and obtaining signed statements

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Table of Contents:

Lesson 1: Introduction

Lesson 2: Obstacles in Interviewing

Lesson 3: Interviewing Strategies

Lesson 4: Inhibitors of Communication

Lesson 5: Facilitators of Communication

Lesson 6: Legal Considerations

Lesson 7: Communication Skills

Lesson 8: Developing Effective Questions

Lesson 9: Form

Lesson 10: Content

Lesson 11: Timing

Lesson 12: The Mechanics of the Interview

Lesson 13: The Subject Matter and Purpose of the Interview

Lesson 14: The Setting of the Interview

Lesson 15: Establishing Rapport and Calibrating the Subject

Lesson 16: Questioning the Subject

Lesson 17: Admission-Seeking Interviews

Lesson 18: Making a Direct Accusation

Lesson 19: Establish Rationalization and Diffuse Alibis

Lesson 20: Alternative Questions and Benchmark Admissions

Lesson 21: Verbal Confession

Lesson 22: Obtaining a Signed Statement of Confession

Lesson 23: Wrapping Up the Interview Process

Lesson 24: Conclusion

CPE Information:

You Will Learn How To:

Compare the different types of interview questions

Ascertain legal considerations regarding the interview process

Identify common interviewing obstacles

Recognize the mechanics of an interview

Discern behaviors that either facilitate or inhibit communication

Identify techniques for obtaining cooperation from interview subjects

Recognize strategies for admission-seeking interviews and obtaining signed statements

Field of Study: Communications and Marketing

Last updated: June 2017

Please note: To be eligible for CPE credit, you must complete the final exam within one year of purchase date. You may only claim CPE credit for a course once.

ACFE online self-study courses feature:

24/7 access to courses through your Internet browser
Save time and quickly earn CPE credits with instant access, grading and printable certificate
The flexibility to start or stop a course and pick-up right where you left off
No additional shipping fees

Learn more about accessing your online self-study course.

Learn more about online self-study courses and their features.

System requirements:

Internet access: High-speed connection recommended

Free Adobe Flash Player

Speakers required for video sound

Online Self-Study Troubleshooting Guide:

Problem: When I attempt to access my courses from “My Online Learning,” the course never launches, or I receive an error message saying my pop-up blocker needs to be turned off.

Solution: Your web browser must be configured to allow pop-ups in order to access ACFE Self-Study courses. Your browser may prompt you to allow pop-ups, or you may have to allow them manually. You may either allow them for all sites, or allow them just for the current site.

For information on how to manage your pop-up blocker settings in a specific browser, click the link below that corresponds to the browser you are using:

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Also note that many toolbars, such as the Google Toolbar and Yahoo! include pop-up blockers as well. If you have one or more toolbars installed on your browser with built-in pop-up blockers, you must configure them to allow pop-ups.

Problem: When I click on a course from “My Online Learning,” I am presented with a login page, but my username and password won’t allow me to log in.

Solution: You do not have to log in a second time to access your online self-study. You most likely reached the login page because you clicked the link labeled “Click Here” as shown below:

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Do not click that link; instead, allow your browser to automatically open the eLearning window on its own, which should happen after a few seconds. This will log you in automatically so that you can access your online courses.

Problem: I receive the following error when I try to load a different lesson with a course:

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Solution: This occurs in Internet Explorer when trying to load a different lesson without closing the current lesson. This error can be avoided two different ways:

Always close the current lesson before going to another one. Always click the Close Window button (usually the red “X” in the upper right corner) of the current lesson before clicking on another lesson.

Use a different browser. This error seems to only occur in Internet Explorer, so using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome should resolve the issue (see below for links to download either of these browsers).

Other Troubleshooting Tips: If you encounter other errors, such as courses freezing or crashing, we recommend taking the following action:

Try a different browser. ACFE online self-study courses are designed to run on all modern web browsers, but if you encounter a problem that is not solved using one of the suggestions above, you can try using a different web browser to see if it eliminates the problem. We have most frequently seen where using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome has resolved an issue that was seen in Internet Explorer.

Mozilla Firefox can be downloaded here
Google Chrome can be downloaded here

Make sure you are running the latest version of Flash. Go to to see what version of Flash you are running, and then compare that to the table on that page to see what the latest version is for your operating system/browser combination. If you are not running the newest version, you should upgrade and see if that resolves the problem.