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Considerations Before Conducting an Investigation

Before an investigator begins the interview process, it should be stated that the entire investigation and the information obtained are under a strict "need to know" basis. It should be stressed to the complainant, the accused and witnesses, that it is policy to keep discussions confidential at all times. If the confidentiality code is broken, disciplinary action may occur in accordance with your company policy. Helpful ways to avoid breaches in confidentiality include limiting those who are exposed to information about the investigation. Do not add extraneous information into the interview questions or interview discussion. The interviewer is collecting information, not providing details that don't need to be shared.

Before interviewing begins, instruct witnesses not to interfere with investigation. Remember to make credibility determinations based on:

  • Facts and documents gathered
  • Demeanor
  • Motivations
Using well-defined questions when interviewing the complainant, the accused, and witnesses is paramount. Examples of interview questions are included in the upcoming course pages. Your company may utilize questions very similar to those shown here. This is meant to be a helpful guide and is by no means an exhaustive list of interview questions for harassment event investigation.