Preparing for an Unstructured Interview

Week 3 Assignment

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Preparing for an Unstructured Interview

In an unstructured interview, the interviewer takes an organic, flexible approach to questioning rather than using a predetermined set of questions. Interviewers may prepare for the unstructured interview by planning sample questions to cover topics of conversation and brainstorming strategies to maintain focus.

In this Assignment, you will write unstructured interview questions and explore challenges interviewers face when conducting unstructured interviews.

The activity is designed to replicate the type of experience you would have during a follow-up meeting with an interviewee. Consider the scenario provided with the assumption that this interview is a follow-up visit to the initial intake interview, in which you begin to develop a plan to meet your interviewee’s needs.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review the following scenario:
    • You are conducting an interview with an individual who had come to the community resource center at which you work. The interviewee is in need of employment, health care, and educational resources. The purpose of this interview is to gather more information in order to determine an appropriate course of action. You remember that at the previous interview, which was a structured interview, the interviewee had expressed dissatisfaction with a similar organization in her former community but had not said why she was dissatisfied. You think an unstructured interview might yield more relevant information than a structured interview this time.
  • Review the information in Chapter 4 in your course text, The Helping Process: Assessment to Termination. Focus on the section titled “Closed and Open Inquiries.”
  • Review the information in Chapter 6 in your course text, The Helping Process: Assessment to Termination. Focus on the section titled “Gathering Additional Information.”
  • Review the information in the article, “The Unstructured Clinical Interview,” found in the Learning Resources for this week. Focus on specific suggestions for how to formulate questions for an unstructured interview.

The Assignment:

Submit by Day 7 a 2page paper that includes the following:

  • Three unstructured interview questions designed to gather information on the interviewees’ needs
  • An explanation of the challenges you might experience during this interview. Include some potential topics the interviewee might be uncomfortable discussing. Include information from both the Learning Resources and from your experience that you could use to address this challenge.
  • Two advantages and two limitations of unstructured interviews

Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.

McClam, T., & Woodside, M. (2012). The helping process: Assessment to termination. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning

Jones, K. D. (2010). The unstructured clinical interview. Journal of Counseling & Development, 88(2), 220–226.

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