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PATC E-NewsletterThe "Pause" - An Effective Interview Technique
By Stan Walters "The Lie Guy®"

A simple and effective tool an interviewer can use is “the pause.” 

If we turn the tables, certainly too many “pauses” by a subject in his or her responses during an interview would attract your attention as the interviewer.  We classify such pauses as “incriminating” stress cues.  These are symptoms that both truthful and deceptive subjects may exhibit during their interviews but deceptive subjects present a far higher number of them.  See the article Categories of Stress Behavior Seen in the Interview Room for more information on this subject. 

For the interviewer a pause is a passive yet excellent tool for eliciting more information.  After a subject answers a question or finishes the recitation of his version of a sequence of events, try waiting a few seconds before you respond.  With your facial expression and physical demeanor give the subject the subtle cue that you expect that there is actually more information that he or she should divulge.  Your pause can also give the subject the impression that you may know more than they realize and you expect them to be forthcoming. 

Don’t be in a hurry!  Try it and be ready for some bonus information!

You don’t have to talk all the time or be ready to fire off a question the split second after the subject finishes his or her response.



About the Author:

Stan Walters

© 2006 by Stan B. Walters "The Lie Guy®"
Stan B. Walters writes, teaches & does keynote speeches internationally on deception, interview & interrogation.  He is regularly called on by the media as an expert to comment on high profile cases.




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