Never the Right Word

Never the Right Word

Scripts & Templates for Life’s Uncomfortable Conversations.

Contact & find out more.

Legal Information

NTRW is supported by adverts and affiliate marketing links. This means if you click a link or buy a product, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Partnerships help fund this site. For more info, please see our Earnings Disclosure.
This site does not constitute as legal, mental, or medical health advice, please consult a competent licensed professional.

5 Ex-detective Interview Scripts to Get the Truth Out of Anybody

Everyone has, at some time or another, found themselves in a situation where they know that the person they’re talking to is lying to them, but they are unable to get to the truth.

People lie for all sorts of reasons, of course – to cover up criminal activity or a minor misdemeanor, out of misplaced loyalty to another person, to prevent someone’s feelings being hurt, or just because they get some strange sense of satisfaction from lying and manipulating people and their emotions.

Whatever the reasons behind the lies, being lied to can be frustrating and upsetting, but there are ways to deal with this situation that can give you a better chance of finally getting to the real facts.

Detectives and police officers are, of course, used to people lying all the time, so who better to ask for advice on how to get to the truth when faced with someone lying to you?

So, let’s get to it. Read on for: We Asked an Ex-Detective for 5 Interview Scripts That Will Get the Truth out of Anybody and They Said This…

Illustrations courtesy of Shutterstock.

Interview Script 1 | “Please Help Me Connect the Dots”


Some of what you said doesn’t add up, can you help me understand what I’m missing, please.

In this template, you are subtly pointing out to the person who is lying that their story doesn’t ring true, without actually coming out and accusing the person of lying.

By avoiding any accusations, you don’t risk the person becoming defensive, so they are more likely to keep talking, and may finally reveal the truth. 

Whilst you’re listening keep an eye out for non-verbal cues, if the person say’s they turned left but the body language signals right you know there’s an inconsistency in their story which suggests that they aren’t telling the truth.

The more the person talks, and the more you remain quiet, listen and watch, the more likely you are to get to the truth. Try not to give the person prompts like “so you went out with X around 9?” until you’ve collected enough information.

Interview Script 2 | “I’m On Your Side”


I understand what you’ve been going through lately, and that stress must have been what caused you to behave this way.

In this example, you are starting from a presumption that the person did whatever they are lying about, whether that is stealing something from work, forging a signature on some documents, or whatever.

By starting from a presumptive position, you don’t have to accuse the person of anything, and by empathising, you convince the person that you are ready to listen without making judgements.

Illustrations courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on If this article appears on any other site other than without clear referencing it is a violation of the copyright owned by

This article may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy a product, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Never the Right Word is a participant in the Awin Affiliates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to participating merchants. For more information, please view our Privacy Policy and disclosure page.

Interview Script 3 | “We Would Like to Hear Your Side of the Story”


[Insert Name] already told me exactly what happened, but I’d like to hear your side of things

For this template to work, you do need to have at least some of the facts from the third party mentioned, even if you are not convinced that you’ve heard the full story.

Don’t be tempted to reveal to the person you’re interviewing exactly what you’ve already been told, as that will allow them to think through some more lies to counteract what has been said.

Instead, let the person think that the truth is already out there, so there is no point in continuing with any more lies. Again, the more the other person talks, the more likely you are to get to the bottom of what has happened.

Interview Script 4 | “Please Tell Me Everything- No Detail Is Too Small”


So you say you were [Insert Activity] at [Insert Time] at which point you saw [Insert Person] can you tell me about [what the person was wearing/ what they were doing at that time] etc?

What is often regarded as unimportant information can often reveal whether the person in question is being truthful or not.

Throwing in seemingly random questions like “do you remember what was around you at the time/ what colour shirt was your friend wearing” and asking similar questions multiple times is tactic used by professionals to detect where someone’s story is incongruent.

The devil is in the details as they say, so if someone’s ‘sandwich at a coffee shop’ turns into ‘drinks at a swanky bar’ the next time you ask where the person was you can best believe that something isn’t right.

Interview Script 5 | “Take a Look at the Bigger Picture”


It will ultimately be better for everyone if you tell me what has happened.

When most people lie, they do it to protect themselves from something, and their main concern is themselves.

By subtly pointing out that their lies could actually cause harm to other people, perhaps their loved ones or friends, you should be able to make them realise that continuing with the lies is the wrong thing to do.

You may need to go further than the example above, perhaps by asking them how they think [Insert Name] will feel when they find out what has happened, or what their peers in the office would say if they knew about the situation. A little gentle pressure, without any specifics or accusations, should push the person towards telling the truth.

This idea also works well when you feel that the person is very anxious about the situation they have found themselves in. Perhaps they have been asked to cover up for someone else’s bad behavior or they’ve got caught up in another person’s lies, and are going along with it out of loyalty to their friend.

When lying doesn’t come easily or naturally to a person, that person is the most likely to be able to get the truth from, as they are desperate to be rid of the burden of lying. Convince them of what they already know – that it’s always better in the end to tell the truth.

As well as these example conversation starters, we have some general tips for handling situations where someone is lying to you and you need to get to the truth. First of all, always make sure that you start this conversation in private – no-one will ever admit to lying if they are in a group of people. Secondly, never come out with a direct accusation. Instead, phrase your questions in a way that presumes you know the truth. As an example, instead of saying “I know you took that petty cash”, try “could you tell me where the petty cash is now, please?”

Another good technique is to show empathy and understanding – if the person believes that there is a sympathetic ear ready to listen to what made them act the way they did, then they are more likely to open up with the truth. Always use the person’s first name too, to help convince them that you can be trusted. Take your time, and let the other person do all the talking, only asking for gentle clarification along the way.

Whilst the TV crime dramas might show forceful and aggressive interview tactics, in reality, this isn’t what happens in the police interview room, and a much more considered and subtle approach is taken. Adopt a similar approach, and you should find that, with patience, you can get to the bottom of any issue, no matter how stubborn or manipulative the person being interviewed is.

At Never the Right Word, our aim is to give you practical examples of how to handle life’s difficult conversations. If you have an awkward situation that you’d like example templates for, request a topic here.  

If you’re interested in further reading, we’ve also included links to our trusted resources and related posts below. To find out more about NTRW and our recommended tools, you can do that here.

Lastly, if you found this content helpful or want to share your own examples, let us know in the comments. We’d also be delighted if you shared this article and joined us on social media too!

Never the Right Word

Never the Right Word

Hi there! I’m Amy, and I’m the person behind Never the Right Word. I’m a designer-by-day who’s fascinated by human psychology; you’ll find me learning about what makes others tick through all types of media and good old-fashioned conversation.

In 2019 Never the Right Word was born to fill the gap of ‘how-to’ websites with copy and paste examples showing you EXACTLY what you need to say to steer difficult conversations into positive outcomes.

Popular Articles...

Relevant Books We Recommend...

Everybody Lies (Paperback)

Eye-opening, amusing, and somewhat concerning Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has us extremely inquisitive over what people are really thinking and Googling. In this groundbreaking work, Stephens-Davidowitz, a Harvard-trained economist, former Google data scientist, and New York Times writer, argues that much of what we thought about people isn't necessarily the full picture. Packed with statistics provided by a wealth of endless search history data and interesting queries, if you're curious about what humans are really like- you're likely to thoroughly enjoy this book. Get your copy of Everybody Lies by CLICKING HERE.

Liespotting (Paperback)

According to numerous studies by different researchers, most of us encounter a lie nearly 200 lies a day. We are being lied to practically by everyone. That's why we need Liespotting by author Pamela Meyer. In this book, we are introduced to three disciplines; facial recognition training, interrogation training, and a comprehensive survey of research in the field. These are disciplines are combined into a specialized body of information developed specifically to help business leaders detect deception and get the information they need to successfully have important interactions and transactions. We found this book to be especially compelling if not a little frightening. Get your copy of Liespotting by CLICKING HERE.

What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People (Paperback)

In What Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-reading People we are shown how we can use our subconscious statements to use to our greatest advantage and also gain clues to what others are 'saying' nonverbally. Author Joe Navarro, a former FBI counterintelligence officer and a recognized expert on nonverbal behavior, teaches readers many skills such as how to "speed-read" people; correctly analyze moods and intentions, and decode and detect deceptive behaviors. Readers are also shown how their body language can influence what their employers, friends, and family, and even strangers think of you. CLICK HERE to get your copy by clicking here.

Get the Truth: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Persuade Anyone to Tell All (Paperback)

Tired of having the wool pulled over your eyes? Get the Truth: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Persuade Anyone to Tell All is a step-by-step guide that empowers readers to extract the truth from others. As former CIA agents and bestselling authors of Spy the Lie, Philip Houston, Mike Floyd, and Susan Carnicero are among the world's best at detecting deceptive behavior and eliciting the truth from even the most skilled liars. The authors provide an easy and effective way of getting absolutely anybody to give an honest answer. Whilst you won't become an instant expert overnight, you can easily learn the skills the experts use to steer the outcome of conversations. CLICK HERE to get your copy of Get the Truth.

Pin Never the Right Word on Pinterest!

Like Our Site? These Are the Resources We Recommend.

To build this site we used these highly recommended tried-and-tested tools:

We Trust Elegant Themes

The Elegant Themes membership gives you complete access to 87 amazing themes and 3 awesome plugins, including Divi, the ultimate WordPress Theme and Visual Page builder. Elegant Themes have been building the world's most popular WordPress themes for the past 10 years, and rest assured their products will always be improved and maintained. 

Divi WordPress Theme

We Build With Divi Theme

One of the most popular WordPress themes in the world. Building layouts is easy and fast, making it ideal to create mockups and wireframes, prototyping a design, and creating the website itself. Build from the frontend or backend. The builder is intuitive. It's easy to learn and can be used by non-developers to create amazing websites. Check out the official Divi Theme here.

Divi Cake is a community driven marketplace for Divi Child Themes, Builder Layouts, and Plugins - Shop Now!

We Customize With Divi Cake Plugins

Divi Cake’s main goal is to help the members of the Divi community find the perfect premium Divi themes, layouts, and plugins created by leading Divi developers and designers. Shop hundreds of premium Divi products like Divi child themes, Divi layouts, and Divi plugins on Divi Cake, the community driven Divi Marketplace. Find out more about Divi Cake here.

We ❤️Shutterstock Media

We get our images from the OG leader in stock assets. Boost your business with the right images. They're royalty-free and ready to use. Footage & Music Libraries. 4k Images Added per Hour. No Daily Download Limit. Speedy Search & Discovery. With flexible plans and countless amounts of premium content uploaded weekly, we couldn't leave Shutterstock off our list.

Skill-Up With LinkedIn Learning

When you want to enhance your professional skills with expert-led, online video tutorials, the only place to go is LinkedIn Learning (Lynda). With a subscription you get 24/7, unlimited access to over 13,000 business, design & tech online courses and with a free month. We like them because we get expert-led courses that we can access anytime, anywhere. What's not to love?

Web Hosting

We're Hosted With SiteGround

SiteGround boasts a whole list of fantastic features at amazingly affordable prices. Along with multiple growth options, free site transfers and domains, built in Content Delivery Network integrations, WordPress support AND human support we wouldn't go to anyone else. They're basically faster, safer and more supportive- you can check them out here.

We Trust Grammarly Premium

Even seasoned writers need a helping hand at times, that’s why we trust Grammarly Premium. As the World's Most Accurate Online Grammar Checker, Grammarly Premium goes beyond grammar to help you ensure that everything you write is clear, engaging, and professional. Learn more about Grammarly Premium’s AI-powered assistant here.

Find Graphics With Creative Market

Creative Market is the world’s marketplace for design. Bring your creative projects to life with ready-to-use design assets from independent creators around the world. We love the unique finds, social media templates, vectors you name it they have it. I also doesn't hurt that our founder has a little store on there...

Powered by Creative Market

Powered by Creative Market

Contact Us

Email Us

Never the Right Word
Building 19475
PO Box 6945
United Kingdom

Follow NTRW

Support NTRW

Become a Patron!
Donate to Never the Right Word and keep us accessible to all. Thank you!

Stay in the Loop

error: Content is protected !!

Pin It on Pinterest