Interviewing Witnesses and Suspects (Online Self-Study)

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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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





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

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

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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:

Internet Explorer
Google Chrome

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:

Online SS Image Absorb Error

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:

SS Online API Error

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.