Assume you are employed as a counselor at your local high school. You need to conduct a 30-minute interview with a student who has suddenly had a dramatic decline in her grades. Prior to conducting any interview, it is extremely important to plan its structure, the type of information you hope to acquire, the timing and sequencing of the interview, and the types of questions you might want to ask. To prepare for the interview, analyze the structure of the interview and present a summary including the following reasons for your choices:
- Purpose of your interview
- Discuss the topics you plan to cover and the sequence in which you will cover them
- Questions you will use to obtain the information
- Opening techniques to build rapport with the volunteer
- Types and examples of questions you want to avoid
In your discussion, please be sure you cite, at a minimum, the online course and the text book for the course. Your paper should be 2–3 pages (not counting the cover and reference pages), be APA formatted, and include a reference page.
During the first week of class you conducted your first practice interview. You have since had the opportunity to learn about the formal process of interviewing and the techniques used in interviewing. With this new information in mind, it is time to develop a detailed plan for your second interview, which you may conduct face-to-face or over the telephone. Your second interview is broken down into two parts.
- The first portion, preparing for the interview, is due this week in Module 3 (LASA 1).
- The second part of this assignment, conducting and analyzing the interview, is due in Module 5 (LASA 2).
For this week you will be completing A. You will need to:
- Locate a Volunteer:
He/she will play the role of “client” seeking help for persistent headaches and problems sleeping. The person you interview can be someone you know personally or you can contact your classmates through the Student Lounge to arrange to interview one another.
- The client believes that stress may be part of the problem with his/her symptoms. Remember that this is a role play, and your volunteer should be aware that this is a practice interview and not a real psychological interview.
- Prior to conducting your interview, ask your volunteer to think about stress that s/he can discuss related to the client’s problems (e.g., your client may think about stress from a job or stress related to a relationship with a significant other). However, DO NOT have your volunteer discuss this stress with you prior to the interview. You want to be able to explore this topic in depth during your interview. This scenario is intentionally left open-ended in order to allow students to maximize opportunity to utilize interview skills during the interview.
- Create an Interview Guide:
- In order to achieve a quality interview, you will need to first plan your interview, which is this week’s assignment (you will conduct and analyze the interview in Module 5).
- The purpose of your interview is to gather in-depth information to aid in diagnosis and treatment planning for the client. You will need to gather detailed information about the symptoms being reported for both headaches and sleep problems (e.g., How often are the headaches occurring? How long do they last? What do they feel like? Has any treatment helped? Is there any pattern to the headaches?). You will also need to present a complete picture of the patient. What is the patient’s gender, age, marital status, and employment status? Be sure to go beyond these example questions, and provide an in-depth, highly detailed interview with your client.
Interview Guide Topics
The Interview Guide should directly address the below topics. Use each of these topics as headings within your paper to ensure that you directly respond to each. You should respond with at least a paragraph for each topic/heading.
- Identify and summarize the purpose of your interview. How will the information you gather be used?
- Explain how you will structure the interview and your reasoning behind the structuring of the interview. Include a list of topics you plan to cover.
- Compose the questions you will use to obtain the information (develop a minimum of 15-20 questions). Be sure that you develop a minimum of 5 open and 5 closed ended questions.
- Develop a minimum of 5 examples of paraphrasing, summaries, or
reflections techniques that could be used during your interview (must have at least one of each paraphrase, summary, and reflection). When you conduct your actual interview, these exact examples you create may not fit depending on the responses of your interviewee, but it is important to start thinking now about how you will incorporate these techniques. For this Interview Guide assignment, develop hypothetical examples of each type of technique.
- Identify the opening techniques you will utilize to build rapport with the volunteer/client.
- Identify types/examples of questions you want to avoid during interview.
Include an Analysis Summary:
In addition to the Interview Guide include an analysis (2-3 paragraphs) of your own preliminary thoughts about this client based on the limited information you have about this client. Have you ever known a person with chronic headaches or sleep problems? What is your “gut reaction” to hearing about a patient with chronic headaches and problems sleeping? That the person is a complainer? Is he/she a victim of terrible illness? Spend some time examining your thoughts and attitudes. It is normal for all of us to make at least preliminary assumptions about everyone we come in to contact with, and a good interviewer has awareness of his or her preliminary assumptions. Include the following in your analysis:
- Identify your own beliefs (sympathetic, unsympathetic, or some mixture of both) and explain how these could affect your interview. Do you think that your beliefs are influenced by your own age, cultural, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity?
- Identify steps you can take to limit the impact of your own beliefs on the interview. Be as specific as possible.
Start planning now! Remember that you will need a volunteer to role play your client in Module 5. Work on identifying that person now and scheduling your interview well in advance to avoid any possible scheduling delays. You will also need to audio or video record the interview in Module 5 so that you can later transcribe the interview. Make sure you have access to the equipment you will need.
As we have discussed, interviewing skills can be used in a wide variety of settings. Let us now turn our focus to how those skills may be applied. Think of a career you are interested in pursuing after you complete your degree. If you are not certain about what type of career you may pursue, think about a career you would like to learn more about such as marriage and family therapist, school counselor, or human resource manager. You can also visit: http://www.bls.gov/oco/, where you can view the Occupational Handbook in order to get information about different career choices.
With your career choice in mind, think of a social service agency, healthcare agency, business, educational institution, or government agency that you would potentially be employed at that could make use of a counseling /clinical interview. In a 2-3 page paper, describe the organization you selected and then discuss the value and advantages of an intake interview for the organization. What situation would it be used in? Why would an intake or counseling interview be a good choice for this organization? What ethical issues may arise in this specific situation and how could they be addressed? Be sure to use APA formatting, and address each topic listed above and, as appropriate, cite the online course, the textbook, and other credible, scholarly sources to substantiate the points you are making.
During the first week of class you conducted your first practice interview, and in week three you developed an Interview Guide. For this activity, you will be using your Interview Guide, the analysis of potential interview biases from LASA 1, and the feedback you have received from your instructor to conduct an interview with a volunteer.
Prior to the Interview
- Locate an adult volunteer.
- Read the analysis requirements below and ENSURE you meet them within your interview. Make sure your interview includes:
- A minimum of 5 open and 5 closed ended questions (10 total).
- A minimum of 5 examples of paraphrasing, summaries, or reflections techniques (must have at least one of each paraphrase, summary, and reflection/5 total).
- Gather Recording Equipment (video is preferred). You will need to record your interview.
- Also make sure you have a watch or a timer to keep track of the length of your interview. Make sure your interview is not less than 5 minutes long.
- Needs to be at least 5 minutes long, but it should not be more than 10 minutes.
- Be prepared! Although it may not sound like it, 5 minutes is a long time in interviewing time. If you are having problems filling 5 minutes, go back to the interview skills you have learned about (e.g., probing, reflections, and summaries).
After the Interview
- Play back the recording of the interview.
- Transcribe or write out the interview completely. Be sure to write out everythingsaid during the interview
- After you have written the transcript of the interview, provide a detailed analysis of the interview. On your transcript:
- Identify Questions Used: On your transcript identify at least 5 closed and 5 open ended questions that you used during the interview. Identify these on your transcript using all caps (10 questions total).
Interviewer: How long have you been having headaches? CLOSED QUESTION
- Evaluate the Questions: After you have identified examples of 5 open and 5 open questions in your transcript, write an evaluation of the effectiveness of your use of questions (Approximately one paragraph for this analysis). Explain whether or not your questions were effective. How did your client respond to your questions? How would you improve the effectiveness of your questions?
- Identify Techniques Used: Next, identify at least 5 examples of paraphrasing, summarizing, or reflections you used (must have at least one of each: paraphrase, summary, and reflection). Again, use all caps on your transcript to identify each technique.
Interviewer: So it’s been several weeks since you’ve been able to sleep without problems? PARAPHRASE
- Evaluate the Techniques: Evaluate the effectiveness of your interview technique (Approximately one paragraph for this entire section). How did your client respond to the techniques in the interview? How do you know if you were effective with these? Provide justification for your response. How could you improve your use of these?
- Application: Analysis and Summary
- Explain how the information you gathered during the interview can aid in planning treatment for your client. How can treatment of this client be more informed or more targeted based on the information you gathered (Approximately 2-3 paragraphs).
- Identify at least two possible ethical issues that could arise during your interview (hint: go back to your Module 1 lecture for ideas about ethical issues in interviewing). Explain how an ethical interviewer should deal with each of these issues. (Approximately 2-3 paragraphs).