\ afm \ Adjudicator's Field Manual - Redacted Public Version \ Chapter 15 Interviewing. \ 15.3 Officer Conduct and Appearance.
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Officer Conduct and Appearance.
It is imperative that the officer conducting the interview dress in a professional manner. Both men and women should wear appropriate business attire, although some offices may permit "business casual" attire on certain days.
Conduct and Attitude
All interviews should be conducted in a courteous and businesslike manner. The following guidelines will ensure that the interview is conducted professionally:
- Maintain control of the interview at all times. "Maintaining control" does not mean being overbearing or abusive; on the contrary, it requires that the officer maintain a professional demeanor at all times. The exact nature of that professional demeanor will sometimes vary, according to the interview techniques being employed (see below). The ability of the officer to maintain control of him/herself is instrumental in maintaining control of the interview.
- Speak clearly, distinctly and not too rapidly, using plain and simple language when questioning an applicant, petitioner or witness. Avoid complex and lengthy questions, and always obtain a responsive answer before proceeding to the next question. Avoid using USCIS or government jargon.
- At all times, maintain due regard for the rights of the person being interviewed.
- Avoid arguments with the person being interviewed, as well as remarks of a personal nature that may be taken as a reflection of a judgment of a personal lifestyle.
- Refrain from making any extraneous comments or asking extraneous questions, as they are irrelevant to the purpose of the interview and detract from the professional demeanor that the officer should maintain. Avoid questions about a person's religious beliefs or practices unless they are relevant to determine the individual's eligibility for a benefit. Do not make any comments that might be taken as a negative reflection upon any other person, race, religion, or country.
- Maintain professional conduct even if the person being interviewed becomes abusive or if derogatory information is developed. If necessary, contact a supervisor. See section 15.4(e) for guidance on Concluding or Terminating an Interview.
- Be fair, courteous, and patient without diminishing a full and complete development of the material facts, whether they are favorable or adverse to the person being interviewed or any other person.
- When questioning persons concerning sexual relations, always avoid questions which can be construed solely as prurient or prying.
- Ensure that your demeanor does not imply or reflect prejudice. Interviews should proceed in a fair and impartial manner so as to avoid complaints regarding the conduct of USCIS officers.