Currently listening to the excellent social-engineer.org podcast. They’re talking about police interrogations (probably more properly called ‘interviews’) and it reminds me of what I’ve read in a book a while back that I browsed over a few lunches in the bookstore (I hope I’m recalling the book content properly, it’s hard to verify without the book nearby). I’d still recommend it, because it does go into some good detail on police/FBI interviews: Arrest-Proof Yourself: An Ex-Cop Reveals How Easy It Is for Anyone to Get Arrested, How Even a Single Arrest Could Ruin Your Life, and What to Do If the Police Get in Your Face. Yeah it’s a long, cheesy title with a cheesy cover, but the insight is pretty nice for the price.
Television interviews are often rife with drama and tension and lots of build-up and subterfuge, but often it just comes down to the on-the-spot ability for an interviewer to get someone to tell them something they probably shouldn’t or wouldn’t want to tell you. From my observations, this just ends up being a small set of subtle reflexive skills. Skills that you can learn and, for a while, conciously employ, until they become normal. But really, it’s less specific situational subterfuge and elaborate planning and just about general human interaction like mirroring.