The present study empirically examines the structure of police interview competencies in self-reports of 230 police investigators suggesting five major underlying dimensions, that is, ‘Careful-tenacious’, ‘Controlled-non-reactive’, ‘Dominant-insisting’, ‘Communicative’ and ‘Benevolent’. These dimensions discriminate performance in a series of interview vignettes, grouped in terms of type of case (interviewing a suspect, a witness or a victim) and type of suspect. In addition self-ratings on these dimensions are related to self-estimated interview effectiveness in the same vignettes. Participants are further administered the NEO PI-R (Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Professional manual: Revised NEO personality inventory (NEO-PI-R) and NEO five-factor-inventory (NEO-FFI). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources), enabling an examination of the relationship between the competence dimensions and their personality trait building blocks. The implications of this study for the development and coaching of police interview competencies are discussed. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.