The Art of Questioning

The art of questioning is normally employed by police detectives, social workers, and psychologists who tend to ask questions in order to assess the situation at hand and provide a logical solution. They use different techniques of questioning to obtain necessary information, analyzing the answers of a person who may be a victim, a witness or a suspect.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming

This is one of the techniques used in detection that involves the analysis of human behavior, how they communicate and arrange their words. Therefore, neuro-linguistic programming includes observation of human behavior, such as hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, and sensing. The combination of these five senses belongs to neurology, and the use of verbal or nonverbal means to communicate their ideas is referred to as linguistic. All these factors can arrange their ideas in a specific way, known as programming. For an interview or interrogation process to be effective in achieving what is required, the interrogator must create a rapport with the respondent through paying attention to the language used. This is used to create trust of the interviewee and this will help in providing information.

Building rapport can be done in three ways, which include matching kinesics that involves the use of gestures, postures and other body movements like hands, feet etc. The interrogator should analyze the sitting posture of the interviewee to be able to ensure that there is efficient communication in order to assess whether the information given is true. In our case, the investigator should analyze the body movement like use of hands while expressing ideas. Some people, who are interrogated, involve their feet during conversation by drawing lines on the ground; this implies that the person is not sure of what he is talking about. Eye contact is very important in any conversation; it is believed that those people who are not maintaining eye contact tend to avoid speaking the truth. Hence, it is a clear indication that the information given is not true. Some people pull their ears during conversation; this could indicate that there is vague information given. To create rapport using gestures and posture, the investigator should make the interviewee comfortable and relaxed.

Language can be used to build rapport in finding answers to questions given. This includes visual, auditory and kinesthetic use of language in expressing ideas. The investigator may implement ways to suit the language use of the interviewee. For example, a person interrogated may be using words like “I can see”, “I get picture” etc. This gives the indication that the interrogator should use visual means of gathering information from the suspect. In our case, Sam can say “I figure out the picture of the girl every morning”, which may indicate that he is familiar with the girl, and he knows the time when she goes to school. Others may use auditory words, such as “I get your point”. It may require the use of this kind of phrases in order to get proper information. The use of kinesthetic phrases shows understanding of the situation. For example, it involves phrases like “I can imagine how it feels”, and “I can smell danger”. This may indicate, like in our case, that the subject can be the prime suspect, thus, more investigation should be conducted.

Speech patterns can also be used in creating rapport with the suspect to be able to collect information. This includes the manner the suspect speaks, and the volume of facts used in passing the information. The investigator may meet some suspects who take their time in search of appropriate words for their responds. The observer should allow them to get information at the end of the conversation. Others may speak with high tone finding it hard to grasp even a word. Therefore, the investigator must understand the speech patterns of the suspect at hand to build a good rapport for the interviewee to feel comfortable in answering the questions asked.


Neuro-linguistic programming is an important technique in dealing with cases, such as interrogation, interviewing and even investigation. It provides the ways of making communication easy in order to understand the respondent. This technique elucidates the information concerning the situation. It also helps in analyzing the answers of the respondent to find out if he is involved in the case.

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