It’s Not Personal; It’s Business: Part III

While the verbal and even paralinguistic channels are absolutely key when it comes to communication and capturing meaning during an interrogation, a third mode of communication must be considered—nonverbal.

To wrap up our series on It’s Not Personal, It’s Business, adapted from the article found on, we focus on nonverbal behavior and how the interrogator’s gestures, postures and other nonverbal behavior impact an interview.

The first thing that we are asked to consider is the unspoken nature of body language. Consider the case in which the interviewer actually believes that the suspect is not guilty but he addresses the suspect with crossed arms and sits back in his chair in an intimidating way. What sort of silent message does this send?

A general rule of thumb is that 80% of a message’s meaning is actually gleaned from nonverbal communication and when there is a disparity between what you say and what you do, people tend to buy in to what you are doing.

The last thing that an interviewer or interrogator wants to be labeled as is insincere, which is one of the main reasons why such great strides need to be made in both the use and monitoring of nonverbal language.

Police one explains that what the investigator needs to do to be most effective is as follows. To avoid

“….a disconnect between the interrogator’s spoken word and the accompanying nonverbal behavior, [t]he investigator needs to drop the barriers and lean forward in an open posture during the interrogation process. The resulting compatibility between the interrogator’s verbal and nonverbal behavior intuitively validates the credibility of the interrogator’s words in the suspect’s mind.”

How are you doing as an investigator when it comes to considering your choice of nonverbal behavior? How about the ways you monitor it?

One way you can refine your techniques is to watch yourself after an interview using iRecord’s digital video and audio recording systems. While you’re already utilizing the most effective system on the market, why not also take advantage of its value by using it to evaluate and train yourself and your team on the importance and impact of nonverbal language.

Contact iRecord today to request a product demo or to learn more.

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