Workplace Investigation Interview Recordings: To record or not?

Investigation Interview Transcripts


To record or not record workplace interviews?


Leave the audio recorder for the police detectives.


The audio recording offers you be most accurate account of the interview conversation however, the presence of the audio recorder during a workplace investigation interview can make people nervous and inhibit open disclosure.


As an Organisational Psychologist, I believe that the workplace investigator and investigation process needs to match the workplace setting and the potential implications if the outcomes of the investigation are found to be true. For most of the investigations I am called in for the presence of an audio recorder would be ‘over the top’ and not appropriate for the potential outcomes of the investigation.


If the outcome of the allegations is unlikely to amount to serious or gross misconduct (if found to be true) or a dismissal or a criminal charge then leave the audio recordings for the police detectives.


During investigations I prefer to prepare an interview Memorandum.


What is an Investigation Interview Memorandum?


The memorandum of the investigation interview is a specific document that records the interviewee’s comments. It is a numbered document, each paragraph is numbered and every paragraph is one thought that the subject expressed.


I allow subjects to edit and sign the completed memorandum of interview, so they have the opportunity to provide as much information as possible.


As an Organisational Psychologist my expertise is in providing expert Human Resources advice for workplace investigations that involve sensitive interpersonal matters that involve bullying, performance management or other disciplinary matters.


My approach to investigations is interpersonal and sensitive, I have significant experience assisting organisations in the Health, Not for Profit and Private Sector and I believe these investigations need to be sensitive to the staff and organisational culture.


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Heidi Smith is the principal psychologist at Aresolution. Heidi has over 12 years experience in counselling. Heidi is passionate about working with couples, families and individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder. In couple counselling Heidi has a particular interest in helping couples manage conflict and recover from affairs.