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Questions to Ask a Private Investigator before Hiring Them

  • November 04, 2010
  • by PInow Staff

questions to ask private investigatorWhen it comes to hiring a private investigator, there are many questions that need to be covered in order to ensure that your final results are met. The most common misconception about private investigators is that they are all the same. The truth is that most private investigators specialize in very different things, and individually they offer a wide variety of services and market themselves accordingly.

The first step in hiring a private investigator is to sit down with each particular private investigator you are interested in hiring and interview them about their knowledge or past experiences with your exact problem. Narrowing down a private investigator based on specialty services and solid work experience is the first step to finding the right person for your case.

Next, ask them what kind of equipment they will be using and how they plan to use it to successfully fulfill your requirements. Make notes about the specific equipment that they will be using and do some research on your own. Make sure you know background information about the legality of their equipment, as you both could be held liable in certain states.

Throughout your conversation, pay attention to how many questions the private investigator is asking you. It is imperative of a private investigator to know all the details surrounding a case before starting it. This will also ensure that there is a full understanding of what goal and end result you are looking for. Be cautious of investigators that ask little or no questions about your case in particular.

Once you are confident in your chosen investigator and you feel they have a clear understanding of your case, they should provide you with different options and strategies of how they can accomplish your objective. Make sure you discuss their plan thoroughly so there are no misunderstandings or unrealistic expectations for either party involved. Also, make sure you ask who specifically will be conducting your case. Sometimes, when working with larger firms your initial meeting may not be with the person who is working on your case. Make sure you schedule a time to talk to the person who will be on your case so you can get a better idea of their background and experience.

Discuss how you would like to conduct all communication about your case. Many clients will want a discrete way of communicating and the private investigator being hired needs to know exactly how and where to contact you in case communication between the two of you is needed at any point during the investigation.

Lastly, ask about price and budget. Once you have developed a plan for conducting an investigation, they will have a general idea of what they will charge based on experience, time spent working on the case, specific equipment being used, and their experience level.Getting an upfront bid for the services being provided is important to make sure the financial boundaries are understood by all parties involved. Once the financial aspects are out of the way, always ask to see a copy of their state license and insurance (based on state licensing and insurance requirements.)

If at any point through this process you feel uncomfortable about the experience or knowledge of a private investigator, trust your natural instincts and either find another private investigator that satisfies your needs, or re-negotiate the investigation. Most importantly, before hiring a private investigator make sure you have done plenty of research and have a clear vision of what you would like to be accomplished before hiring them for their services.

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