Private Investigator Job Applicant Mistake

I spent years interviewing people for jobs in this industry. First in hiring Loss Prevention Officers then hiring new Private Investigators for my detective agency. Here’s a mistake I saw them make over and over again…

Job applicants would come to the interview trying to show me how well they could dress for undercover assignments rather than dressing as the professional I wanted to hire!

Sure, I get it. You want to demonstrate how you will “blend in” with the environment you’ll be working in. But, remember, I can dress you down! I need to see that you are a professional. I need to know you can show up for court (if necessary), look professional and act accordingly.

Blending in to an environment isn’t too hard. Especially when you consider, most of the time, you’re observing and not interacting with people! But when you go to court, you will have to show a judge and attorneys that you are a pro. An then you have to do it while being verbally attacked by the lawyer from the other side!

That’s much harder to pull off than “dressing down” to blend in while working undercover.

Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – If you like this information from an experienced P.I., be sure to check out my special report, “If You Want To Be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things”. You can get it on the home page of my blog.

What’s the difference between a private investigator and a private detective?

What’s the difference between a private investigator and a private detective?

They are two different job titles for the exact same job.

They are exactly the same thing.

Here, in the twenty-first century, it appears “private investigator” is the far more commonly used job title. And I think it sounds a little more modern and professional especially sine there are now so many types of investigators working in the private sector!

Whether you consider yourself a private investigator or a private detective… Remember: Do the right thing even if it’s the hard thing.

Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – If you like this information from an experienced P.I., be sure to check out my special report, “If You Want To Be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things”. You can get it on the home page of my blog.

Have you really thought about these past and future dangers to privacy?

Dangers to your privacy have come in the past and there are future privacy threats you need to be thinking about now.

Social Security Number

Social Security Number creep has spread throughout the US.

I’m not sure how this happened since the SSN is only supposed to be an account number and not an I.D. number, but we are where we are.

Of course you know essentially all social security numbers are “out there” today because of data breeches. What does genuinely surprise me is how casual major institutions were with our SSN’s in the past. Institutions large enough to bully people under their power into compromising their SSN’s.

For example, When I was in the military, it was required all through boot camp for our mail to have our names and Social Security Numbers on the front of the envelope! That meant, if you wanted to receive mail from your family, girlfriend, friends or anyone, you had to give them your SSN!

In college we were required to place our SSN’s on the cover page of our reports! This was not the requirement of some tiny, private college. This was at a large (Big 10!) Sate University!

Date of Birth

Your name and date of birth (DOB) are pretty much just as unique an identifier as your SSN!

Why people are so casual about sharing their birthdays with others is beyond my comprehension.

Facial Recognition

Facial Recognition is already a reality and privacy nightmare, but it’s going to get worse.

As facial recognition and other biometric recognition become more prevalent in real-time, it’s going to transform from an investigative, spying and marketing tool into a true 1984 society.

This information will be cataloged and kept (easily retrievable) for hundreds of years to come.

Voice Recognition

With improvement to voice recognition, many things we thought (and intended!) to be private will be cataloged and kept in databases.


This one seems quaint by comparison of what we’ve just discussed, but it’s an important example because it is the way all things are going.

If you show your house key online, it can be easily duplicated. This may seem like a problem that effects a very small portion of the population (like people who share their “everyday carry” or EDC habits), but it’s the perfect example of us sharing something with no intention of giving away any more than a small thing, yet we actually give-away the keys to our homes! Literally!

What you share today, will (100% guaranteed!) be cataloged, stored and used in the future in ways you can never anticipate.

Am I afraid of all of these privacy violations? No. But they do sadden me. It ain’t right.

If you like this helpful information, then don’t miss out on my free special report If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. If not, you can get it right here…

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Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – After an article like that, you may find this promises comforting… “The Lord is my light and salvation; whom should I fear?” Psalm 27:1

How to find and hire a good private investigator.

I get this question in my email and in the comments all the time; people asking how to find a good private investigator to work their case.

You need to know there is no silver bullet answer to this. There is no one place you can go, one resource, one accreditation that means that investigator is going to be the right one for you.

Usually, I suggest find your state private investigator association and contact them. Ask them for some referrals. Ask them for investigators who specialize in what you are interested in.

That is one place where you can find detectives who are willing to put in that little bit of extra effort and money to be a member of their state association. That’s usually a good sign.

The other way to find a private investigator is to start with a list of private investigators in your area and start calling down the list, talking to different investigators.

If you’re price shopping, as you go down that list, you’re going to get a whole different response from the detectives who answer their phones. Investigators get that call all day long, people calling and asking how much we charge for this service or that service.

Rather that asking right away, “how much do you charge to …”, try asking if they even work that kind of case!

You are going to get a different response asking about cost first than you will if you lead with saying, “Hey, I have this particular case or problem, is this something you specialize in?”

Even if you go first to the state association and get a list of people who they think might be right for your case, you still have to do the telephone interview part and ask them different questions.

You are going to want to ask…

Do they specialize in this type of case?
When was the last time they worked a case like this?
How often do they work a case like this?

Those are very important questions because a lot of investigators try to be a jack of all trades because honestly, they need to make money. They need to bring in clients. So there are investigators who will step outside their comfort zone and pick up cases that they’re not super-proficient in.

Another question you might want to ask of a potential agency is: Who is going to be working for you?

Is it going to be the primary investigator? This is the person who holds the license and they’ve got some experience and have been tested by the state.

It’s not necessarily bad of if they give your case to an employee to work because (theoretically), the licensed private investigator has made sure that the P.I. they assign to your case has experience working in this kind of specific case.

So if you’re a private investigator, how does any of this information help you?

I would say seriously consider being a member of your state association. When you’re starting out as an investigator, it may seem like a lot of money to pay those annual dues, especially when it may not seem like you are getting a lot of benefit out of it.

I wasn’t a member for years and years and honestly, I’m not sure joining helped me from a business perspective, but it greatly helped me from the networking perspective and from a credentials point of view.

Not so much because I was able to say that I am a “member in good standing” of the state association, but because soon after I came on, I ended up on the board of directors.

I had been going to the meetings every month even as a non-member. They were gracious and allowed me to do that. They had nothing to hide from other investigators or the public for that matter. So they let me come to meetings, I just couldn’t afford to join even though it wasn’t that much money!

I will admit to you, I think it was $120/year to be a member, and I had trouble in the early days coming up with that money! It just didn’t seem like the right place to put $120.


So when you’re looking at hiring a private investigator, do your due diligence. Call around and ask questions to see if they are the right investigator for you.

A final note for investigators…

Don’t forget the number one thing; you have to be ethical about all of this! Nobody wants to hire someone who is a cheat, who is lazy or who is going to cut corners on the case.

Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.