8 Qualities of a Good Private Investigator

In cases where the traditional law enforcement route of getting information or solving a case doesn’t suffice or has been exhausted with negative results, then, a private investigator or detective is needed. A private investigator works for individuals or organizations to find legal, personal, criminal or financial information. Being a private investigator is a very lucrative career path, especially for individuals with a military or law enforcement background.

A private investigator needs to find and verify information from multiple sources, assemble evidence, search for missing persons and look for potential criminal activities. They act as private citizens rather than law enforcement and must understand the legal parameters required by the local law jurisdiction.

Common Tasks Performed by Private Investigators

Some common tasks performed by private investigators include:

  • Interviews – These can be done through recorded phone calls, setting up face-to-face meetings with a source or via email
  • Performing surveillance – Following persons of interest in an investigation and recording their movements by taking photographs
  • Researching information – Going through legal, financial, and online records of the person of interest.
  • Updating clients on the progress of an investigation
  • Presenting investigation results as evidence and giving testimony in court
computer and hands

In order to accomplish these tasks, a private investigator should have these eight qualities.

  • Be analytical and a problem solver:

A private investigator must have a sharp analytical mind that can evaluate a problem from different multiple angles in order to come up with a solution. They should be able to solve the case in an effective and timely manner.

  • Disciplined and trustworthy:

Clients need to be able to confide in a private investigator without any fear of having private information leaked to the public. A private investigator should have high standards of work ethic.

  • Curious and inquisitive:

A questioning personality is a requirement for a good private investigator. They should be eager to learn more about a case by asking probing questions and not settle until they have answers.

  • Patient:

A lot of investigative work involves doing day-to-day mundane tasks over and over. A private investigator should be able to tolerate delays or problems without becoming anxious.

  • Empathic and compassionate:

A private investigator should be able to show sympathy towards their clients and be able to identify and understand any emotional distress that their clients might be going through.

  • Leadership:

A private investigator should be able to take the reins of a case and deliver with minimal supervision.

  • Attention to detail:

Any minute detail from information gathered could be what is needed to close a case. A good private investigator goes through all sources and follows every detail that comes up until he/she has exhausted all avenues.

  • Confident and outgoing:

Being confident and friendly allows an investigator to seamlessly socialize with people from different backgrounds, which is a great help especially when he/ she needs access to sensitive information.

Solving a case can be hard and time consuming, especially when the individual does not possess the qualities of the best private investigators. Hiring a private investigator with the traits listed above can be a lot of help when dealing with a particular case.