5: Conducting and Evaluating an Interview
By Saturday, March 8, 2014 complete the
assignment presented below.
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
(Assignment 3), the analysis of potential interview biases to conduct an
interview with a volunteer.
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
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.
The Interview 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).
Play back the recording of the interview.
or write out the interview completely. Be sure to write out everything said during
After you have written the transcript of
the interview, provide a detailed analysis of the interview.
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
Interviewer: How long have you been having headaches? CLOSED QUESTION
the Questions: After you have identified examples of 5 open and 5 closed
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?
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
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?
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).
at least two possible ethical issues that could arise during your interview (hint: go back to
your lecture for ideas about ethical issues in interviewing). Explain how an ethical interviewer should
deal with each of these issues. (Approximately 2-3 paragraphs).
Assignment 1 Grading Criteria
Conducted interview and utilized
the questions/techniques for an in-depth interview.
Transcribed interview completely.
Identified the questions and techniques used.
Evaluated the open and closed
ended questions used during the interview. Analyzed the effectiveness of the
questions and how the patient responded. Suggested ways to improve the
effectiveness of the questions.
Evaluated at least five
interviewing techniques (at least one of each: paraphrase, summary, and
reflection). Analyzed the effectiveness of the technique, and how the patient
responded. Suggested ways to improve the effectiveness of the techniques.
Explained how the information
gathered during the interview can aid in treatment planning for the client.
Identified at least two possible
ethical issues that could arise during the interview. Explained how an
ethical interviewer would deal with each of these issues.
Organization (16 points): Introduction,
transitions, and conclusion
Style (8 points): Tone, audience, and
Usage and Mechanics (16 points): Grammar, spelling,
and sentence structure
APA Elements (24 points): In text citations
and references, paraphrasing, and appropriate use of quotations and other
elements of style
Not sure if you still have Assignment 3 but here is a copy. Assignment 5 is based on the work done for Assignment 3:
The volunteer that I
have located is my friend Robert; currently and active duty Special Forces
soldier in the U.S. Army that does in fact suffer from persistent headaches and
problems sleeping. The volunteer has been asked to think about stressors that
he will be comfortable talking about during the course of the interview, which
he believes might be related to his problems with headaches and sleeping.
The purpose of this
interview is to discuss with the patient the types of symptoms that he suffers
from as they relate to chronic headaches and troubles sleeping. During the
course of the interview the patient will clarify the types of headaches,
frequency of headaches, and possible triggers that are causing the headaches to
occur. In conjunction with this, the interview will be designed in such a way that
it will aid in the determination of the patient’s ability or inability to fall
asleep and/or stay asleep. Gathering all of this information as it pertains to
the patient’s medical ailments will serve the purpose of the interview, which
is recognized as an attempt to gather in-depth information to aid in diagnosis
and treatment planning for the client.
This interview will be
structured as an information interview and it will be broken up into three
primary parts; the warm-up, the information exchange, and the wrap-up. It will
be during the warm-up phase of the interview that efforts towards rapport
building between Robert and myself will be attempted. This will begin by
“asking common-ground questions about shared interests, the weather, or travel
to the interview” (Employment Security, 2011). Once the warm-up phase has been
completed it will be at this point that the information exchange phase will be
conducted. It will be in this phase that the bulk of the questions that are
designed to determine medical concerns and potential diagnoses will be
discussed. Finally, during the wrap-up phase, this will be when Robert is
provided the opportunity to ask me any questions if he has them and I reiterate
to him that the interview is for educational purposes only and that I am not
legally able to provide him with any medical advice or referrals. Topics that
will be covered during the course of this interview will include, home life
structure, childhood development, relevant medical issues in the past, current
employment, marital status, medical concerns, treatments that have been
received and if they have been effective, stressors, diet, sleep habits, social
habits, and overall level of satisfaction with life.
The following questions
(Close-ended and Open-ended) will be used in an effort to obtain relevant
information from the interviewee:
1. Are you
currently employed? (Close ended question)
2. Are you
currently satisfied with the path your life is on? (Close ended question)
explain some of the more major stressors in your life currently. (Open ended
4. What is
your current marital status? (Close ended question)
provide a list of medical concerns that you have at this time. (Open ended
6. Of the
medical concerns that you discussed are any of these conditions ones you have
dealt with most of your life? (Close ended question)
7. Do you
recognize yourself as being healthy in general? (Close ended question)
you sought treatment in the past or currently for your headaches and struggles
with sleep? (Close ended question)
9. If you
have sought treatment can you explain briefly the types of treatment and if
they were helpful at all? (Open ended question)
much do the issues with headaches and struggles sleeping effect your abilities
to function? (Open ended)
explain your current home life structure. (Open ended question)
you recognized any specific stressors in your life that might be causing issues
with sleeping and chronic headaches? If so please explain. (Open ended
13. Did you
have what society would consider a healthy childhood? (Close ended question)
explain your social habits. (Open ended question)
15. Do you
smoke? If so, how much per day do you smoke? (Open ended question)
16. Do you
drink? If so how much?
17. Do you
drink to get drunk when you are by yourself?
are you satisfied with your life? If not, please explain. (Open ended question)
19. Do you
find that you have to ‘self-medicate’ in order to sleep?
The following list is examples of
paraphrasing, summaries, or reflection techniques that could be used during
1. Paraphrasing example: You DO
self-medicate and you feel like this could be a contributing factor to your
overall health since you feel that the self-medication techniques have become
essential to being able to fall asleep.
2. Summary example: You
are struggling with debilitating headaches roughly 2-3 times a week and this is
drastically interfering with your ability to work so you are continuing to look
for treatment options but in the meantime continue to self-medicate.
3. Reflection example: You
stated, “I drink a lot at home by myself during the week in hopes that I will
be able to sleep” – you are aware that this is not effective and potentially
increasing the damage to your health?
4. Paraphrasing example: You
had a normal upbringing and this is not, in your mind, any kind of contributing
factor to the current medical ailments of which you suffer.
5. Reflection example: “I
grew up with discipline but never had a history of headaches or sleep issues
Techniques that I will use to build rapport with
the volunteer will first be to mirror his body language and tone so he
comfortable in the setting. This will be important in ensuring that he feels
comfortable rather than me being rigid and over formalizing the interview,
which would likely create stress for Robert.
In conjunction with this, I will utilize the repeat and approve
technique, which is understood to be a simple but effective method in building
rapport. “After they speak, make sure you repeat a very brief synopsis of what
they say and then approve (excellent, great, amazing, that’s exciting). This
shows that you are indeed listening” (Bruno, 2010). Finally, to ensure the
successful building of rapport I will make sure to speak to Robert as a friend
and not as someone that is above or below him as this can create unnecessary
stress as well. It is imperative to the process of building rapport that I, as
the interviewer am “friendly, courteous, and polite at all times while not
trying to impress the client with big words or stuffy conversation” (Bruno,
While there are several types of interview questions
that are recognized as inappropriate, the following are examples of some that
should be avoided during the course of this interview. Questions that are
deeply personal, irrelevant to the interview objectives, or simply
inappropriate should be avoided. If information is volunteered then this is
fine but it should not be asked unless it is relevant to the purpose of the
1. What is
2. Are you
religious? What religion?
you ever been sexually harassed or assaulted? Is this what could be causing
4. Do you
think your weight might be contributing to your health issues?
5. Do you
have nice things?
6. Are you
in a lot of debt?
My own preliminary thoughts about this client
based on the limited information I have which is that he suffers from chronic
headaches and frequently has trouble sleeping, would first be concerns with his
diet. It is commonly recognized that poor diet and/or dehydration can result in
frequent headaches. However, I do not have any information regarding any
physical traumas that the client might have endured to result in these types of
ailments becoming a problem for him so this information will certainly prove to
be helpful. Moreover, I know some about the social habits of the client, which
would be indicative of late nights and excessive alcohol use which too could
also be a major contributing factor to the ailments that the client is
suffering from. While this might be the case it also might not be as I have
known people in the past that are polar opposites from this client that also
suffer from chronic headaches and have not seen progress from various treatment
My own beliefs as they are associated with this
client are a mixture of sympathetic and unsympathetic. I am sympathetic in the
sense that I know what it is like to have debilitating headaches and trouble
sleeping as well and it is frustrating and painful; however, I am unsympathetic
in the sense that the lifestyle choices that people adopt are very much
predicators of how we feel physically and it is up to us as individuals to
ensure that we are acting and reacting responsibly based on their own health.
For example, if someone has a broken leg they are not going to party and go
dancing while they are hurt. The same should be so for those that suffer from
other ailments as well. It is conjecture at this point and until the interview
has been conducted and the information gathered is analyzed thoroughly there is
no real way in determining which factors are contributing the most to the
Steps that I can take to limit the impact of my
own beliefs on the interview can be recognized in the various methods that
people adopt to overcome unconscious and hidden biases and that begins with an
understanding of what being bias is. “Biases affect us all in ways we seldom
fully realize, even when we have one we are aware of and would like to deal
with” (Fink, 2000). Once a viable understanding of what susceptible biases my
be, it is at this juncture that I will be able to approach and deal with issues
that I might be biased towards with an open mind. Being open minded when
dealing with others is imperative, especially when dealing with sensitive and
personal topics such as medical ailments and home life experiences. In
conjunction with being open minded, I can effectively limit my own beliefs
during the interview by not using phrases such as “I” or “me”; when these
phrases are used it is taking the attention away from the client and bringing
it towards myself which then creates unnecessary opportunity to share my own
beliefs which are not relevant to the interviewing process.
C. (2010). Client interviewing
techniques. Retrieved from http://paralegals.uslegalblogs.com/articles/client-interviewing-techniques/
Security (2011). The interview structure.
Retrieved from http://www.wa.gov/esd/guides/jobsearch/strategy/interview_structure.htm
S. (2000). The role of the researcher in
the Qualitative Research process. Retrieved from http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1021/2201%3E