The study aim was to explore the factors considered important and useful in facilitating safety and building rapport in police investigative interviews with traumatized interviewees. We conducted 21 semi-structured interviews of police investigators involved in investigative interviewing of victims after the Utøya massacre on 22 July 2011 in Norway. Using a thematic analysis based on a reflexive hermeneutic-phenomenological epistemology, four themes emerged: (1) Preparation through planning, reflection, and openness: balancing knowing and being receptive; (2) Using first impressions, casual conversation and communicating expectations to make the interviewee comfortable; (3) Getting closer to the experience of the interviewee through engagement, adaptation, and understanding; and (4) Handling negative feelings and being receptive in the interview relationship. We discuss the findings in relation to current theory and research on investigative interviewing and highlight the importance of working on an emotional level to facilitate rapport when interviewing traumatized interviewees.
- police interview
- Investigative interviewing