How to Survive Interrogation

By Contributing Writer

Finding yourself on the wrong side of the interrogation table can be a nightmare. Fear can work to turn even the most honest person into a basket case. Constant questions from intense interrogators can cause panic in the most self-assured person. Learn to survive an interrogation without falling into common traps.

Think before you speak. Listen carefully to the questions that you’re asked before blurting out answers. Remember that your statements are being documented and assessed for inaccuracies. Your mannerisms are being studied to determine the best strategy to break your will. Speak in a confident manner without being cocky.

Stick to your story. Once spoken, your words shouldn’t be altered. If you must retract a statement, do so early in the interrogation. Your credibility will suffer if you change your story multiple times. Listen to the exact question the interrogator is asking to detect small changes that may trip up your story. For example, the interrogator may intentionally ask you to confirm your wrong time of arrival to test your story.

Keep your composure. Panic will only cause you more frustration when the questions become more focused. The interrogator’s job is to poke holes in your story. Attempts may be made to undermine your credibility or get you visibly upset. Calm down and focus your energy on answering questions in the most efficient way possible.

Ask about your rights. Go into the interrogation room knowing what to expect from your questioners. For example, you will be more at ease if you know what information the interrogation will cover. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions like whether you must participate in the interrogation.

Contact a lawyer. This may be the best option in cases of extreme nervousness or uncertainty. Although the interrogation may not be an official investigation, it’s important to put your best foot forward. Asking the advice of a lawyer isn’t an admission of guilt.