Being a great private investigator isn’t just a matter of exhibiting stealth. Despite what the media and movies may tell you, it takes a number of skills to be good at this job. As a PI, surveillance becomes more of an art form than a science. It requires learning through trial and error, but it also requires a few innate skills as well.
Here’s what some of those skills entail:
Vigilance and Observant
Do you have a knack for picking up on things? Are you observant when the smallest changes occur? As a PI you need to be extra vigilant and observant in order to pick up on the finest of details and stay ahead of the subject. People are creatures of habit, so in order to excel in this field you must be able to pick up on patterns of habit and know when things stand out.
Ability to Read People
This is one of those skills that can’t always be taught. Having the ability to read people can save you so much time and aggravation. You must be able to pick up on when people are concealing the truth and when they’re actually telling it.
Stamina and Focus
These two factors are imperative, especially if your assignment requires surveillance for a significant period of time. You must be able to maintain focus for as long as it takes. So that means if the “call of nature” arises, or you feel the need to go grab a bite to eat, you should be able to push those needs to the background and focus on the job.
Strong Research Skills
Researching is an important part of the job. You must be skilled at sifting through information, documentation, or collecting statements from people that will work to benefit your client’s cause. But, of course, you’ve got to be smart about this and know where to look.
Knowledge of the Law and Legal Procedures
As a private investigator, you’ve got to have at least a grasp of the fundamentals of the law and legal procedures. This ensures that you know what you can and cannot do. Being aware of your own limitations can help ensure that you don’t end up in a precarious situation.
Good judgement is something that will serve you well as a PI. It gives you the upper hand on various situations and people and can help prevent you from taking cases, or dealing with scenarios that won’t benefit you or the work.
Being a private investigator is a highly sought after position. But it comes with a lot of responsibility and requires a great deal of skill in order to succeed in this field. So if you’ve been considering getting into the field, go over each of these skills to see if you’ve got what it takes to be a great private investigator.
Are you interested in a career as a private investigator? The Smith Investigation Agency is a leading provider of PI training in Ontario. Simply register for our online course, complete it on your own schedule, and you’ll be prepared to take the exam through SERCO and contact MCSCS to apply for your Ontario private investigator license.