Remote Workplace Investigation InterviewsRemote Workplace Investigation Interviews

Remote Workplace Investigation Interviews I have been asked a number of times if I thought that workplace investigation interviews could be effectively conducted remotely via Zoom or MS Teams, my answer was Yes,  a number of questions always follow;

Q. But how can you interview a person if you’re not there in person?

A. During Covid 19 there was little choice. I don’t think that it makes much difference, an interview is me asking questions and the interviewee answering.

Q. But what about the rapport, how do you build rapport over a screen?

A. Since around March 2022 people have been working remotely using Zoom and Teams, they have become used to it, it has become part of the everyday working life, I introduce myself, explain the purpose of the interview, answer any questions that the interviewee may have before we start and away we go, that all the rapport i need to build.

Q. Okay, but how can you assess their body language, how can you tell if someone is lying?

A. I don’t assess body language.  Even prior to Covid 19 when I was interviewing people in person I would never base a judgment on a person’s body language.

Q. Why not?

A. Simple I can’t prove it.  Any finding I make during a workplace investigation is based on evidence and evidence only. If I can’t prove it I don’t say it.  If I based an adverse finding on body language I am sure that the person affected could bring 10 witnesses to a Court or tribunal to dispute my finding.

Q. But you can’t really tell if the person is nervous or not and being nervous could mean they are guilty.

A. Very few people have much experience being interviewed as part of a workplace investigations, therefore is it highly likely that they will be nervous, nothing should be read into that.

Q. So what if the person does not have access to Zoom or Teams?

A. Yes that happens.  in that case I have conducted phone interviews especially when the interviewee is in a remote area with poor or no internet access. Remember if you are interviewing over the phone and recording the call you must advise the person and obtain their permission to record the call, failing to do this could be a breach of telecommunications laws, always check your jurisdiction.

Q. What are the advantages with remote interviewing?

A. There are a number of advantages
* For me it is convenient, i don’t have to leave my office.
* It saves me travel time to a clients location
* It saves the client money by not paying me for travel time, especially if the interviewee is remote or interstate
* Scheduling is usually easier for both myself and the interviewee.
* If I am interviewing multiple people on the same day, one of the biggest time wasters is waiting around between interviews. With Zoom I can set interviews on the hour and log in just before I need to. Another money saving for the client
* Often people are still working from home so an in person interview may not be an option
* At times people may not want to come into the office for privacy or other reasons such a health and welfare issues
* A respondent may have been stood down and may not be able to come into the office
* I have interviewed people while they have been away including overseas
* If the interviewee doesn’t turn up the clients hasn’t paid for my travel or waiting time

Q. Are there any other advantages?

A. Well just for fun, my summer corporate interviewing uniform is a business shirt and shorts and usually bare feet, my winter uniform is a business shirt, track pants and Ugg boots, I could not wear those interviewing in person.

Q. Are there any downsides

A. Only tech or internet failure. It doesn’t happen often, if it does I go to a phone interview.

How can AWPTI help with Remote Workplace Investigation Interviews –

Australian Workplace Training & Investigation can provide workplace investigation services to suit your individual needs and all services are tailored to work within your budget.

Outsourcing a workplace investigation service enables you to concentrate on your business and to allow experienced and qualified investigators handle what we refer to as the ‘dark side of HR’.

Workplace Investigations – Fair Work. We ensure that all our investigations and training programs are consistent with the requirements of the Fair Work Commission and relevant State Industrial Relations Commissions.

Typical area of workplace investigations

  • Complaints and grievances,
  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Sexual harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Misconduct
  • Breach of policy or Code of Conduct
  • Inappropriate use of IT or other resources
  • Misuse of social media
  • Fraud or theft.

Supported workplace investigations & peer mentoring

If you intend to conduct a workplace investigation internally we can assist by peer mentoring you before, during or after the process, including acting as your support person during interviews, reviewing evidence with you and providing guidance as required during the report writing process. More details. Please contact us if you would like to discuss how we can assist you and costing

Investigation review

Where an internal investigation has been conducted we can provide support and review of:

  • Investigation process
  • Evidence, interview & statements
  • Allegations and letters of allegation
  • Findings & recommendations
  • Final report
  • Procedural fairness

We can assist in the provision of workplace training – Workplace Training

AWPTI – Workplace Investigations based Sydney providing services through-out NSW and Australia wide
Workplace training worldwide.

Misconduct investigations, bullying investigations, harassment investigations & sexual harassment investigations, complaint and grievance investigation.