The following are some examples of warning signs that can indicate that the interviewee is feeling stress over a certain area of questioning, possibly leading to a deceptive response. These behaviors alone do not necessarily indicate dishonesty. However, the auditor should be alert for a change in the interviewee’s verbal, vocal, or physical behaviors, such as the sudden adoption of one of these indicators, especially when it arises during a line of questioning regarding a particular issue or area.
- Repetition of the question.
- Oaths (e.g., “I swear” or “honestly”).
- Answering with a question.
- Avoidance of emotive words (e.g., such as “steal” or “lie”).
- Qualifiers (e.g., “to the best of my memory” or “if I recall correctly”).
- Modifiers (e.g., “basically,” “about,” “kind of,” or “actually”).
- Changes in pitch of voice.
- Changes in volume of voice.
- Changes in speed or cadence of responses.
- Coughing or clearing throat.
- Manipulators (e.g., playing with hair, cracking knuckles, or playing with a pencil).
- Broken eye contact.
- Fleeing position (i.e., sitting with body aimed toward the door, while head is faced in another direction).
- Defensive posture (e.g., arms or legs crossed).