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What is the Wicklander-Zulawski method?

What is Wicklander-Zulawski?

Wicklander-Zulawski (WZ) is a widely recognized and respected method of interviewing and interrogation. It is a non-confrontational approach that seeks to build rapport and establish trust with the person being interviewed in order to gather information and gather the truth. WZ is based on the principle that people are more likely to reveal the truth when they feel comfortable and are not subjected to pressure or fear. The WZ method includes a series of questions and techniques that are designed to encourage the interviewee to open up and provide more complete and accurate information.



Who uses the WZ Method?


The Wicklander-Zulawski (WZ) method is primarily used by law enforcement agencies and government organizations, but it has also been adopted by some private corporations and retailers.


Retail companies that may use the WZ method include those in the loss prevention, security, and investigations fields. For example, a retail company may use the WZ method to interview employees who are suspected of theft or other types of misconduct. The method can also be used to interview customers who are suspected of fraud or other types of criminal activity.

It's important to note that the use of the WZ method in a corporate setting is subject to the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction in which the company operates.


The Wicklander-Zulawski (WZ) method is a behavioural-based interview and interrogation technique that is designed to elicit the truth from a person by building rapport and establishing trust. The goal of the WZ method is to create an environment where the interviewee feels comfortable enough to open up and reveal accurate information.


The WZ method consists of the following steps:

  1. Building rapport: The interviewer begins by establishing a relationship with the interviewee by finding common ground, showing empathy and understanding, and establishing a non-threatening and relaxed atmosphere.

  2. Obtaining a voluntary statement: The interviewer then asks open-ended questions to encourage the interviewee to voluntarily provide information about the topic of the interview.

  3. Re-establishing rapport: If the interviewee becomes defensive or evasive, the interviewer will re-establish rapport by showing understanding and empathy, and by reframing the questions in a non-threatening manner.

  4. Presenting the evidence: The interviewer will present any evidence that may contradict the interviewee's statement, and then ask questions to clarify any inconsistencies or discrepancies.

  5. Confrontation: If the evidence clearly contradicts the interviewee's statement, the interviewer may use confrontation to challenge the inconsistencies. The confrontation should be done in a non-threatening and respectful manner, and should focus on the evidence rather than the interviewee.

  6. Overcoming objections: If the interviewee continues to deny the truth, the interviewer may use various techniques, such as minimization, rationalization, and diversion, to overcome the interviewee's objections and encourage a full admission.

  7. Closing the interview: The interviewer will then close the interview by summarizing the information obtained and ensuring that the interviewee understands the importance and relevance of the information they have provided.

It's important to note that the WZ method is highly ethical, and interviewers are trained to avoid using coercion, intimidation, or other unethical methods to obtain information. The WZ method is based on the principle that people are more likely to reveal the truth when they feel comfortable and are not subjected to pressure or fear.



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