Introductory Communications for Helping Professions

Topics: Nonverbal communication, Interview, Communication Pages: 7 (2451 words) Published: November 2, 2014

Perhaps the most significant phase of an effective professional helper is the self-evaluation. As a student taking a Communications class at the Medicine Hat College, I am being challenged to recognize and consider the concepts and skills used in an interview about a career choice. The fifteen minute interview included factors relating to the gathering of information about why another student, who was assigned by the instructor, has chosen her career choice (Anagnos, 2007). The purpose of this paper is to apply my understanding of the concepts and skills learned in our lab to achieve the best outcome for the interview. I will complete the interview assignment by discussing the general aspects of an interview, self-reflection and self-critique. General Aspects of an Interview

In discussing the aspects of an interview, the opening plan was to meet, introduce myself and build a working relationship by asking the interviewee questions about herself, her family and her career choice. At the same time I was conscious in trying to make her feel comfortable. I remembered to specifically tell her that the information she shared would be confidential. Knowing that helped to create a safer environment for open communication. Moving forward with an open ended question “do want to tell me a little bit about yourself” gave her an opportunity to share as much or as little as she wanted to. I used a clarifying question at the beginning when the interviewee said, I am the baby, and my response was “baby ay? That means you were spoiled a lot?” Another clarifying question was asking about whether the grandparents living in the city are on mom’s side or dad’s side? The purpose of using the clarifying questions was to identify the blind spots around understanding family members; in this case it could be used as empathy. In this circumstance I did not use clarifying questions to solve a problem (Egan, 1998). As well I clarified if any of “her social work classes transferred over to Child and Youth Care diploma?” Moving forward, the center focus was about family using some open-ended questions to allow for elaboration. For example, “how has the transition been going now that you are away from your parents?” The open ended question helped the interviewee to fill in things that are being left out of her experience and her story (Egan, 1998). I continued to probe by asking more personal questions about relationships with family, friends and teachers. The probe was to assist her in telling her story and engage in the conversation (Egan, 1998). I used some closed ended questions such as “are your parents supportive of your education?” I think this closed ended question was impactful as it would immediately attain internal understanding (Egan, 1998). I went on to focus on the career choice with an open ended question, asking “what kind of jobs will you get with this diploma?” I used another closed ended question by asking “do you have a diploma?” In the discussion about the interviewee having to move away from her parents’ home, I used a paraphrase by saying “you are not at each other’s’ throats then?” I used a focus question when I asked her “why did you pick this career?” She replied, “I am more creative and my sister and brother have all the brains. My focus/humor/probe statement was “that explains why your sister is going to be a pharmacist?” I did some empathy aspects in responding to her comment about her grandparents cook home cooked meals for her, I responded “less cooking for you that must be nice?” By being empathic I was building on my understanding of the interviewee’s core message and to share that I understood her point of view” (Egan, 1998). I was supportive in responses in several areas, one being “oh wow lucky” in response to her telling me that electives transferred over to Child and Youth Care. Overall, I used a mix of open-ended questions, probing and interjections throughout the...

References: Anagnos. (2007). Conducting an information interview modules (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2007 from the Rogue Communication web site:
Bradley, J.C. & Edinberg, M.A. (1990). Communication in the nursing context. 3rd ed., Connecticut: Appleton & Large.
Comer, R. J. (1998) Abnormal Psychology (3rd ed.), U.S.A.: Freeman and company.
Egan, G. (1998). The skilled helper: A problem,-management approach to helping, 6th ed., London: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.
Sieh. A. & Brentin, L.K. (1997). The nurse communicates. Philadelphia: Saunders Company.
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