Let’s face it. Finding someone you can trust and have confidence in is challenging. Nothing is worse than paying for a service only to feel you received less than you deserved. It happens all the time. Depending on which sports team you cheer for, this might happen often. All you want to see is a little effort. Am I right?
Trust and confidence are earned. Before you sign on with an investigator or begin to share the challenge you are experiencing, conduct a hard interview of the individual you are considering. Ask tough questions! Don’t limit your questions to:
- What is your background?
- How long have you been in business?
- What separates you from your competitors?
While these questions offer some value, they rarely explain what makes an investigator tick. While investigative stories may be entertaining, skilled investigators are methodical, meticulous, and naturally curious. Shouldn’t all investigators be this way, you ask? The answer is yes. However, finding a ‘good’ dentist, doctor, or investigator is often challenging.
An initial piece of guidance. If you share your personal or professional challenges, ensure the recipient is worthy of hearing your story. These are the three qualities a skilled investigator should possess:
Effective investigators are relentless. While investigators are compensated for their services, the tenacious investigator is focused on learning the truth. If you want to discover how dogged an investigator is, ask them about an investigation they conducted where they “made something out of nothing.” They should be able to relate a complex investigation that consumed their thoughts and actions. Tenacious investigators possess a tactical mindset and a high degree of cleverness.
Skilled investigators possess a solid understanding of judicial processes, evidentiary needs, and the tools and strategies that assist in constructing an air-tight case. In other words, they are continuous learners. While experience provides a solid foundation, the effective investigator continuously explores and acquires new skills. Today’s investigators should be knowledgeable about case law, drone operations, GPS technology, the dark web, and open-source investigations (OSINT investigations). They also have a firm understanding of their authorities and limitations.
A skilled investigator understands and appreciates people. They withhold judgment, connect with their clients frequently, and are excellent listeners. Active listening is an essential skill in interviewing. Unsurprisingly, most investigators have participated in or led an emotionally taxing investigation. They have witnessed terrible events, uncovered injustices, and can still empathize with victims and perpetrators.
Before deciding to share your story, ask an investigator the following:
- Describe the most complex or challenging investigation you have led.
- Tell me about the most creative investigation you have undertaken.
- How did an emotionally taxing investigation change you?
The response to these questions will tell you whether you should retain their services. If the individual you are considering does not come across as tenacious, resourceful, or empathetic, turn away.
Trust and confidence are earned.