Building Rapport: The Critical Interview Skill That Is Often Overlooked, But Cannot Be Overemphasized

Building Rapport: The Critical Interview Skill That Is Often Overlooked, But Cannot Be Overemphasized
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2023-08-22
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Building Rapport: The Critical Interview Skill That Is Often Overlooked, But Cannot Be Overemphasized
Unit 2Transcript: Building Rapport: The Critical Interview Skill That Is Often Overlooked, But Cannot Be Overemphasized
Unit 3Workbook: Building Rapport: The Critical Interview Skill That Is Often Overlooked, But Cannot Be Overemphasized
Unit 4Recording: Building Rapport: The Critical Interview Skill That Is Often Overlooked, But Cannot Be Overemphasized

When it comes to interviewing in the law enforcement setting, rapport-building tends to be overlooked. Building rapport is crucial to extract as much information from suspects, victims, or witnesses. This session presents the value of rapport and strategies for effectively establishing rapport for various scenarios.

Back at the Justice Clearinghouse to talk about the importance of rapport in interviewing is Ray Nash. Ray has a prolific 40-year law enforcement career starting as a police dispatcher while he was still in high school and rising through the ranks becoming a Police Chief, Training Specialist, and Sheriff. He is currently the CEO and founder of the Police Dynamics Institute which trains on valuable leadership and law enforcement skills.

Specifics of his discussion include:

  • Why building rapport is a foremost skill in effective interviewing.
  • An overview of the six phases of the Inductive Interview System model.
  • The six primary objectives of rapport building that are critical in the successful outcomes of inductive interviews.
  • What setting the context looks like, the importance of establishing a personal connection, and how doing so enhances credibility and eliminates noise from secondary issues.
  • How cultivating a relationship with the interview subject and overcoming reluctance through a quid pro quo approach fosters a trusting atmosphere for effective interviews.
  • How building rapport and focusing on establishing the interviewee’s baseline norm outweighs other psychological techniques used in interviews.
  • The importance of seeking common ground as well as uncommon ground to encourage the interview subject to talk and narrate as much which is the source of data collection.
  • How to set a psychological stage by embodying the desired attributes that you want the subject to adopt and using “Help Phrases” and “Truth Phrases” to foster cooperation and honesty.
  • Establishing the baseline norm by engaging them to talk about themselves in a narrative form and looking at both their verbal and non-verbal cues.
  • How deviations from the baseline are observed across mannerisms, voice, and cues and might suggest guilt or deception.
  • Being the Butler: How letting them relax and not feel threatened, taking care of their basic needs and offering breaks shows empathy and encourages cooperation and may even result in confessions.
  • The concept of proxemics and how manipulating the space can influence the subject’s mindset and likelihood to cooperate.
  • The importance of the rapport phase in getting people to reveal information based on the interaction and environment they’re subjected to.
  • How truthful and deceitful people tend to object.
  • Furthering rapport building through the Ask-Follow Up-Offer Technique.
  • How the Inductive Interview System works and how rapport building serves as the phase to retreat back should tension or shutdown arise anywhere within the interview.

Questions from the webinar attendees are about:

  • Why build rapport with suspects and care about them.
  • Guidelines when building rapport with victims.
  • Using the inductive interview system and rapport building when the subject is under the influence.


Click here to view and register for other upcoming Law Enforcement webinars and recordings on the JCH Platform.

Audience Comments

  • “Great info and presenter! Thank you!” — Tamara
  • “Outstanding techniques for building rapport with suspects. The goal is to get to the facts.” — Travis
  • “I have a better understanding of how to make my clients more comfortable so I’m able to ask the hard questions and get all the answers I need to help them more efficiently.” — Kimberley
  • “I found everything to be valuable and a different perspective I could use for my clientele.” — Santana
  • “Great tips provided that I will be able to use in the future.” — Rosa
  • “In general, building that strong rapport with someone when speaking. The presenter gave great examples! Thanks again.” — Robert
  • “Building rapport is an art.. This was a great webinar/training.” — Natarish
  • “Very helpful topic, the technique described here to guide conversation with individuals is something that I will be able to use daily when working with clients under community supervision.” — Lysandra
  • “I learned additional things I can do to build rapport when talking to individuals on my caseload.” — Kristie
  • “As previous law enforcement, it is great to get refresher training with SMEs. In my current capacity as a victim advocate, having that understanding to build rapport is very beneficial and the talking points about understanding not to bring up family if a victim was assaulted by a family member was great information. Trying not to revictimize a victim.” — Johnnie
  • “I think the most valuable thing I learned was to return back to the rapport-building stage whenever it is needed. It is helpful to remember that it is not a set pattern and can be adjusted as needed.” — Holly
  • “Excellent information and may be used in working with the Juvenile Probation population we work with.” — AQUILINA
  • “Most of these tactics and techniques are already something I do, but it is always good to learn more about how to get a better rapport with defendants. It is also a “feel good” moment to be validated. Thank you for putting out this webinar!” — Alvin
  • “Great stuff–I have four pages of notes and am gonna go right home and practice it on my less-than-forthcoming teenage grandchildren. Thank you.” — Andrea



This webinar has been pre-approved by the Maine Animal Welfare Program for 1 Continuing Education Unit for the State of Maine’s ACO annual training. You can find more information about Certification, required annual training or submitting materials for credit at Maine’s Animal Control Officer Resource Page.




Additional Resources
8 months ago
After the Webinar: Building Rapport. Q&A with Ray Nash
Webinar presenter Sheriff Ray Nash answered a number of your questions after his presentation, Build […]
1 year ago
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A lot of innovations in the field of investigations have been and are still being developed to bette […]
5 years ago
The Ten Types of Lies: The Inductive Interview System
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5 years ago
Part 2: Inductive Interviewing System
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5 years ago
Introduction to the Inductive Interview System
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