Create an Interview Guide


  1. 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.
    1. 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. 
    2. 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.
  2. Create an Interview Guide:
    1. 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). 
    2. 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.                    

  1. Identify  and summarize the purpose of your interview.   How will the information you gather be used?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Identify  the opening techniques you will utilize to build rapport with the  volunteer/client.
  6. 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:

  1. 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?
  2. Identify steps you can take to limit the impact of your own beliefs on the interview.  Be as specific as possible.

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