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Interviewing the Accused

Care must be taken to collect information from the accused perpetrator in the interview process as well. Again, a set of well-prepared questions is very important to gain the information that is required to perform an adequate investigation.
First, stating that the investigation is serious and that no adverse consequence can be taken against the complainant for filing the complaint is advised. Next, asking the accused about their work relationship with the complainant is an effective method to begin the interview. Questions should cover any previous consensual relationship, the time period in which the parties have known each other, and whether they have socialized together before in groups or alone. Finally, begin to ask questions pertaining to the event(s) filed by the complainant.
As an interviewer, state the event(s), including details such as dates / times, claimed by the complainant, and provide adequate time to the accused to respond. Additional questions should include those shown in the box to the right.
It is very common for the accused to deny the allegations. Therefore, it is important for the interviewer to observe the reactions of the accused while listening / answering questions. The interviewer should record whether or not there is anger, surprise or disbelief. Highlight any conflicting accounts of the event(s) between the accused and the complainant. If the accused denies the allegations, it may be helpful to ask more detailed questions that address any reasons and motivation that could potentially have caused the filing of a complaint.

*List compiled from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Department of Workforce Development