The Foreign Service Journal, February 2011

16 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 1 was also precluded by my preliminary questions, as detailed above.) Fewer Confused Applicants and Better Revocation Memos I have found that by treating inter- views as mini-depositions, I can apply skills I learned during my prior career that are relevant and helpful. On sev- eral occasions, using those skills has prevented genuinely confused appli- cants from inadvertently creating the impression that they were lying to me. On other occasions, these methods have helped create the basis for strong revocation memoranda. But the best thing about the tech- niques is that you don’t have to have any legal training to understand and use them at the window. So if I have piqued your interest, please give them a try and let me know what you thought of the experience, be it posi- tive, negative or mixed. Or if you are a veteran consular hand who is al- ready familiar with these methods, I would welcome your feedback, as well. Either way, just e-mail me at Jeffrey E. Zinsmeister, a former com- mercial litigator, is a first-tour, political- coned FSO in Praia. He will work in the narcotics affairs section in Mexico City beginning in spring 2012. F S K N O W - H O W Repeating questions reaps benefits with both honest and dishonest applicants.