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Audit Tips

6 Tips to Conduct an Effective Audit Interview

Conducting interviews is a key evidence-gathering technique for performance auditors. While auditors can prepare for an interview by reading piles of documents and drafting a structured questionnaire, to be effective they also need to go to the interview with the right attitude.

These tips can help:

Audit Tip 1

Be gentle

Allow interviewees to complete their sentences and answer questions in their own timeframe. A respectful attitude will reassure interviewees, reduce defensive mechanisms, and make for a more fruitful collection of information.

Audit Tip 2

Be critical

During the interview, remain vigilant for any internal inconsistencies in the interviewees’ answers. If the answers contradict information from other sources, it is OK to point that out (politely, of course).

Audit Tip 3

Be clear

Ask simple, jargon-free questions.

Audit Tip 4

Be open

Take your cue from the interviewees. You may start with a game plan and a prepared set of interview questions, but if the interviewees raise themes or issues that they think are important, listen carefully. You may obtain important information that you had not thought to ask for.

Audit Tip 5

Be sensitive

Sometimes you can learn more from the attitude and the tone of the interviewees than from the content of their answers. Be attentive to verbal and non-verbal cues given by the interviewees. Are they defensive or overly enthusiastic? Do they elevate the tone, fidget, or avoid looking you in the eyes?

Audit Tip 6

Be focused!

Understand the purpose of the interview and know the overall audit plan. It has to all fit together.

Liked it?

There is much more to learn in the Evidence Collection and Analysis Training  offered by the CAAF.


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