FAQ About Lie Detection: The FAINT test

Q: So what exactly is FAINT?

A: FAINT is an acronym for the Forensic Assessment Interview Technique. It is a technique of questioning used widely in police investigations, detective training, employment disputes and fraud complaints.


Q: It is a physical test?

A: No: The technique does not impinge physically on any suspect, which is why it is so widely used and respected. It is based on using questioning techniques by trained individuals, to detect signs of deception.


Q: What is the rationale behind the FAINT test?

A: The rationale is that guilty individuals with something to hide will respond differently (without knowing it) to set questions than will an innocent person.


Q: How can your specialists ensure validity?

A: Riding Ltd. has highly trained experts conducting the interviews. Each individual interviewed will be asked the same questions, thus ensuring that the results are directly comparable.


Q: So you base an individual's innocence or guilt entirely on what they say during the interview?

A: No. At Riding Ltd, in line with the FAINT principles, we use a three-pronged approach during the interview. Verbal responses to our set questions are of course recorded accurately to ensure validity. We also make notes about each individual's non-verbal communication such as body language and facial expression. Our experts are trained to interpret non-verbal communication and can use it to build up an overall picture of an individual's probity. We also ask interviewees to hand-write responses to a set of pre-planned questions. We use these responses to help our assessment process.


Q: How can this technique benefit my business?

A: Riding Ltd. experts use this technique as a way of screening employees and narrowing down a 'shortlist' of suspects where fraud, infiltration or defection may be in operation. This significantly cuts the cost to your business of polygraph testing. FAINT is a highly efficient and highly effective way of identifying potential suspects from a large contingent. Polygraph testing is then conducted, at our clients' request, on the 'shortlisted' individuals.

This technique has also proved invaluable in pre-employment screening: to check that individuals have been honest on their CV and about their background, habits and moral conduct.


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