According to former CIA officers Philip Houston, Michael Floyd and Susan Carnicero in their book Spy the Lie, non-answer statements can include the following:

  • That’s a good question.
  • I’m glad you asked that.
  • I knew you were going to ask me that.
  • That’s a legitimate concern.

When you get these responses, it generally means the interviewee is trying to buy time to come up with an answer that doesn’t harm or implicate them. One question like this may not be an indicator of deceitfulness, but several may.

Challenge the non-answer by asking more questions. For example, when the interviewee says “That’s a good question” you could ask: “How do you mean? What makes that a good question? How did you feel when I asked you that question? What makes it good from all the other questions I have asked? What went through your mind when I asked that question?”

These questions will put the interviewee on notice that you are listening carefully and are not going to get fooled by deceptions.