Sources of Data Physical evidence Recorded media Written records Peoples recollections
Of all of the sources of data People provided data are the only type susceptible to the influence of the investigator Most investigators spend more time on scene interviewing than in performing any other task
Allow into the interview: Interviewees representative One representative of each party unless there is a good reason to include > 1 Trainees
Before starting Identify the likely concerns of the interviewee Determine how to address those concerns If possible, select a time and place for the interview that will put the interviewee most at ease
Before Starting: Preparation Identify the information to be obtained Determine the order in which information is to be obtained Determine the general questions that will elicit the information to be obtained for each topic
Before Starting: Preparation Establish the ground rules for conducting the interivew Assure that the interviewee is as comfortable as possible
Ground rules No interviewess should be permitted to observe other interviews Investigating officer asks the questions first Others will then ask questions in order
Ground rules No interruptions to either questions or answers Follow up questions are permitted, but in same order as initial questions If recording the interview-Verify that the interviewee is aware of the recording If not recording the interview-One person should be responsible for taking notes during the interview
Ground rules All present in the interview should agree to and sign notes as soon as possible
Taking notes during interviews Video/audio recording and transcribing Court report/stenographer Handwritten Laptop
Setting the stage You are in charge of the interview The interviewee is in charge of the information given Assure that the interviewee talks more than interviewers
Assure that all questions will not allow for yes/no answers Begin with broad, general questions Proceed to specific detail type questions Listen to the answers Phrase follow up questions based on the answers given
Asking questions Complete one issue before continuing to the next issue Maintain a consistent logic in the questions you ask Attempt to keep the answers pertinent to the particular issue
Interview rules: Do Determine in advance the objective of the interview Establish agreement on the ground rules Introduce everyone and their affiliations to the interviewee Attend to the needs and concerns of the interviewee throughout
Interview rules: Do Allow the interviewee to take a break during the interview Demonstrate attention to the interviewee at all times Thank the interviewee at the conclusion of the interview Provide the interviewee the opportunity to ask questions
Interview rules: Dont Ask leading questions Ask yes/no questions Talk more than the interviewee Provide information to the interviewee Exhibit indications of approval/disapproval to specific answers
Interview rules: Dont Use technical jargon unless you are certain that the interviewee understands it Allow the interviewee to set the pace, pattern or style of the interview
Rephrase the question Ask the question again Change your tone of voice Do not threaten or intimidate Move on
Dealing with silence Recognize that some interviewees talk slower than others Do not fill in a pause with your own comments Wait until the interviewee says something If you have waited for a while, wait some morewithin reason Then ask the next question
Q.Would you just describe what your ideal medical oversight system would be, medical oversight of mariners? A.Well, we've talked at the MERPAC meetings about a qualified panel of physicians or certified medical examiners or whatever, and I certainly think that in a perfect world we'd have that and I think, you know, we have spoken with Admiral Salerno and expressed views about some of that. I think you need to have docs that know what they're doing, number one. If a doctor's concerned about whether or not he's going to keep this business or whatever and passes things through that he probably shouldn't, you know, I think there should be some sort of way to have oversight of physicians and make sure they're doing the right thing. Example of good question
Q.Okay. Doctor, how do you see the role of medical oversight in the Coast Guard, the medical oversight of mariners? A.The medical evaluation certification system is part of the triad of the Merchant Mariner licensing, the documentation system, the other two parts being safety and security vetting, and then professional qualifications and medical certification is the third part. I think it's just as important as the other parts. It is sometimes very complex and it interacts with a lot of other programs.
Example of good questions Q.Okay, well, was there any aspect of his performance in this event that you were not happy about? A.Yes. Q.What was that? A.Clearly I wouldn't have relieved him of his FOSC responsibilities if I found his performance in this event to be satisfactory. So I you asked me the general question before. Q.In what way was his performance unsatisfactory? A.In areas in particular in areas of risk assessment, internal and external communications, utilization of all available resources, and ability to make adjustments when the plan didn't provide for the specific situation that he encountered.
Example of bad question Q.Okay. Dr. French mentioned that they expected 6,000 Merchant Mariner documents per year that NMC will review, notwithstanding the fact that there will be a concomitant increase in information on these documents. What kind of increase in staff can we expect in the NMC to provide the kind of review that will be required to provide an adequate level of public safety? A.In posing that question, I think you just said 6,000, but the figure was 60,000, from your discussion with the Dr. French, which is approximately the number of mariner applications on an annual basis.
Example of bad question Q.But, isn't it fair to say that even with the minimal review, if the Coast Guard will review every single Merchant Mariner document that comes along, as will be the policy in September, that one physician will be insufficient to provide even a minimal review, given the expected -- just by sheer statistics in the population, expected increase in the number of documents that would call for a thorough review, given the increase in the use of prescribed medications, given the increase in aging of the population? A.I think it's fair to say that that's a legitimate concern that we should be attentive to and watching as the full workload does shift to the National Maritime Center.
Example of bad question Q.Okay. Why is it that the pilots have to have a physical on an annual basis but other people who navigate ships can go five years between physicals? A.Seriously, sir, that's because of how the statutes are written. I don't know the history behind those. Q.Okay. All right, that's a good answer. I won't question that one.
Effective interviewing requires good listening skills, even more than the skills required to ask questions Interviewing is a skill that improves with practice, and with the diligent review of previous performance