Tired of Scrolling?

When you’re on the web and you want to scroll down, you don’t have to click on the little arrows or use your mouse’s scroll wheel. Just use the space bar. Hitting the spacebar will scroll down one full page in any web browser. To scroll up, just hit shift + space bar. This is an easy time saver.

Sharing is Caring (Unless It’s Personally Identifiable Information)

With social media, contests, giveaways, loyalty programs and blogs there are a lot of opportunities to share our personal information online.  Be very cautious about what you share and who you share it with, particularly when it comes to personally identifiable information (PII).  PII is any data that could potentially identify a specific individual, such as name, date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name, and other personal information. PII can be used to impersonate you or guess your passwords and logins, and therefore sharing it online creates a risk.

Is Your Wireless Router Secure?

All wireless routers come with a default name which is assigned by the manufacturer or internet service provider. To reduce the chances of hacking, change it to a name that is unique to you and won’t be easily guessed by others. The default ID is called a “service set identifier” (SSID) or “extended service set identifier” (ESSID). You can also make the SSID and ESSID hidden. This is another simple step that can help prevent attacks on your router.

The Battle of the Sexes in the Interview Room

Who’s better at interviewing: men or women? You’re probably thinking that an article written by a woman would contain a clear cut answer, firmly tilted towards – women. This should be a slam dunk, no-brainer, obvious as can be. Even though I do like clear cut answers to my questions, the answer to this one was a little more slippery than I thought it would be.

I had heard from other practitioners over the years that in their experience, female interrogators do indeed have an advantage. And I went along with this theory, throughout my career, happy to believe this urban legend. Aren’t women indeed more nurturing, more caring, more empathetic, better listeners, more patient, etc.? Or are these just stereotypes?

So I began a search for any scientific studies that would back up my initial thought, that women were indeed more effective interrogators. There exists quite a bit of anecdotal evidence but very little hard science. As I searched, I was astounded at the amount of interview/interrogation material out there that made blanket statements about women interrogators with nothing other than some case examples to back up their theories. My position has now changed to the following: there are so few female interrogators that those who do exist have become successful because they employ those traits aforementioned that make them the most effective. In other words, they are good at what they do because they had to figure out the best way to be successful in a competitive arena, not just because they are women. In a male dominated profession, you can be a mediocre male interrogator – you have the numbers on your side. Further, I posit that if we took a company or government agency and suddenly hired equal amounts of female and male interrogators from a pool of inexperienced candidates and then we gave them the same training, chances are pretty good the perceived effectiveness for both males and females would be similar. Of course this is only my opinion; maybe someone can conduct this experiment… in my lifetime.

In an effort to make this article somewhat believable, since I couldn’t find studies on the topic, I conducted a semi-scientific poll and asked a few people I know, men and women, their opinions on this topic. I was especially interested in hearing from the team at Wicklander-Zulawski: what was the word on the street, so to speak? Did they get a lot of questions about the topic during their seminars or did they themselves observe one population or another to be better or worse at interviewing? Good, straightforward questions, one would think, but the answers were all over the place. I heard quite a few expected responses that women are more empathetic and better listeners. One interesting point was that “people would rather talk to a woman.” There have been some studies around this point; when shown pictures of men or women and asked who they would rather talk to, the study participants chose women over men the majority of the time. This may give the female interviewer an edge at the beginning of an interrogation, but the skills needed to be successful are learned, not decided with a chromosome split.

Some other comments shared were about difficulties female interrogators have; evidently it’s not all confessions all the time for us. “They lack confidence when they interview men.” “Women aren’t raised to be confrontational.” “Male suspects will try to take advantage during an interrogation.” Couldn’t all of these observations apply to any individual regardless of their sex? One thing I’ve noticed during my career is that we all have an Achilles heel that we self-impose. Whether it’s interrogating men, women, minors, elderly, or people of another race, we tend to pick a group and tell ourselves that we have a hard time dealing with them. I had my own early on, and guess what? I overcame it. I believe that this occurs when we have a failure with one interrogation and blame it on the fact that the suspect was A, B or C, instead of looking in the mirror and figuring out what it was that we did wrong. From there it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

There are countless cultural elements that factor into an interrogator’s confidence; too many to count or go into here, plus none of it is backed by scientific research. They are just things that as a society we believe to be true.

Now before you pound out your letter to the editor, let me finish by saying that, yes, in my experience, female interrogators do have an advantage. But the really interesting question is – why is that? Is it due to their sex or is it due to necessity?


Stefanie is a regular contributor to the work of the International Association of Interviewers. To enjoy other great content from her and other contributors, please visit CertifiedInterviewer.com

Stay Safe While Shopping Online

Before placing an order at an online store, make sure it uses secure technology. First, verify that the web address begins with https. Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page. If you don’t see the lock and the “https,” don’t shop on that site. In the next 6-12 months browsers will start blocking all unsecure pages, which will hopefully further reduce risks of shopping online.

Personalized Facebook Ads – How to Turn Them Off

Annoyed at Facebook serving you the same ads about something you searched for before? In Facebook find Ad Preferences, then scroll down to Ad Settings and switch to Not Allowed for ads based on data from partners and ads based on your activity on Facebook company products.

Facebook then loses your data, and you lose more customized ads. Personally, I like customized ads, but I know some people find them annoying.