Workplace Investigations – Recording Interviews17 July 2020
- You will have a verbatim account of what was said, and by whom, during the interview.
- You will be able to more accurately capture what is said by those witnesses who talk quickly, jump from one issue to another during the interview, or are generally difficult to follow during the interview.
- Your sole focus will be on the conduct of the interview, without the distraction of having to write notes.
- An audio recording will provide evidence if reliability of the interview and/or the conduct of the interview is later questioned.
- Some witnesses may not like the formality of being recorded, which may create some anxiety and inhibit their candor in the interview.
- If some witnesses agree to being recorded and others do not, there may be an argument that the process is inconsistent.
- There could be technical issues with the recording device, in which case solely relying on recording could result in losing information presented during the interview.
- You may wish to avoid the delay and cost if subsequent transcription is required.
- You may not like to use recording instruments because they affect your train of thought and impact the flow of the interview.
If you are undertaking an investigation, at the outset the approach to be used should be discussed and agreed with the person instructing the process.
For the reasons stated above, generally our preference is that interviews be recorded and subsequently transcribed. Our experience is that interview subjects quickly settle into the formality of the interview process and transcription is not an issue as we use a service, which is cost effective and fast, with notes being returned within 24 hours.