The Private Investigator Interview: It’s More Important Than You Think

Many people think that they can just look in a telephone book and hire a private investigator, but this is not something that you will want to do. These investigators have to be ethical, professional, and upstanding. Keep in mind that they will be dealing with very sensitive information that could pertain to you and the people you know. You definitely do not want to hire someone who could be unethical with that information or use underhanded and illegal methods to get the details you need. In order to hire the right professional, you need to interview your possibilities. Even if you think you know which investigator you will be working with, always sit down for an interview with them so you absolutely know what you are getting into. Here are the things that you will need to ask your potential private investigator so that you can choose the right one.

Work Experience

 To begin with, you need to know more about the work experience, knowledge, and education that the private investigator has. This will be important to establishing that the investigator knows what they are doing. Here are some questions that you need to ask:

  • How long have you been in the private investigative business?
  • What types of investigations have you handled in the past?
  • What education do you have?
  • Do you offer any types of specialty services?
  • Do you have the proper licensing?

Of course, if you start the interview process and you find out that you are considering a private investigator that is not that experienced, not trained for the kind of work you need, or not properly licensed, then you know that you should look elsewhere. However, this is only part of the interview process. There is more that you will need to ask.


Of course, the private investigator cannot disclose to you personal information from past cases, but that does not mean that they cannot provide you with reference work in order to show you that they will work professionally on your case as well. Here are some questions that you will need to ask:

  • Can you provide work samples that will show me your process and how thorough you will be with the investigation?
  • Can you provide references that I can either read or speak to (keep in mind that confidentiality is a requirement of professional investigators)?
  • Can you show me the samples of the reports that you will provide to me during the investigative process?


A private investigator will not specifically tell you what methods they use in order to gather information, but there is certainly nothing wrong with asking questions that will help you determine if the person you are interviewing will or will not use shady methods of investigations. Here are some pointed questions that you could ask:

  • Do you know all laws and jurisdictions for our area so that you can avoid doing anything illegal?
  • Do you belong to professional organizations like the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners or the National Council of Investigation and Security Services?
  • Can we set specific parameters on how you will go through the investigation and to what extents you will go to get details?
  • Will you keep all of the communications between us private?
  • Do you follow privilege laws?

When you interview a potential private investigator, make sure to ask these questions. This can help you choose the right professional for the services that you need.

[author ]Sandy Davis is a blogger for, where you can find information on private investigation and digital forensics for individuals and businesses.[/author]

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This article has 2 comments

  1. Lucy Reply

    This is very interesting… As important as I think this is, it is often the other way round. (From first hand experience as a trainee PI)

  2. Pingback: The Private Investigator Interview: It’s More Important Than You Think | B-Gina™ TechNews Report |

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