The twenty-first century is a time of dramatic change, but one aspect of investigation and intelligence collection has changed very little in thousands of years. If an agent or investigator wants to collect information from people, they must ask questions. The setting for those questions may range from a secure location with a source who is in custody to a living room with a source who just offered the investigator a cup of coffee. Regardless of the setting, the necessary skills are the same.
A successful interviewer is one who is trained to listen carefully to what is said and what is left unsaid, and who is competent to interpret all of the ways in which a person communicates with their body and inflections. A successful interviewer must also be able to recognize indicators of deception, and simultaneously catch the cues that indicate which questions might lead them to valuable intelligence. While focusing on all of these tasks, skilled interviewers also work to constantly maintain and improve rapport with their source. Ultimately, the best interviewers know which questions to ask, when and how to ask them, and how to gain the most useful information possible from the answers.
The Human Intelligence Group was founded by an expert interrogator, Joshua Villines, for the primary purpose of helping everyone who is in a position to need these skills - law enforcement officers, intelligence agents, private and corporate investigators, attorneys, and human resource professionals - to develop and improve these abilities. We offer a number of different training programs, of varying lengths and skill levels, that can be adapted to the specific needs of your organization. Joshua is the primary instructor for these courses, but over the past two decades he has built a large network of skilled investigators and interrogators who also provide instruction in some of our seminars.
In addition to providing training, that same network of professionals is available to consult with your organization and also to work as contract or court-appointed investigators, depending on your needs.