Identify and explain the top three interviewing techniques outlined this week. Prepare a one page paper that explains how the interview requirements change when a difficult population, such as the elderly, presents itself.
How to Conduct a Client Interview
Conducting a successful client interview requires both tact and expertise. Whether you are an attorney interviewing a potential client in need of legal help or a human services worker interviewing clients and their family members to assess their needs, the purpose of a client interview is to collect enough information to help solve the clients problem. Your job during the interview is to show the client that you care and have the ability to help him.
Review any information about the client that you may already have available. Learning more about the client beforehand will help you develop an idea of what specifics you need to get when you meet. You may be able to communicate better with the person as well. Have ready any paperwork the client needs to complete.
Make the client feel comfortable. Building a rapport from the start can get you better results. Begin by introducing yourself and shaking hands. Engage in a bit of small talk. Use this opportunity to get to know your client and let her know that she can trust you.
Explain that whatever the two of you discuss will be strictly confidential. Do this first before you start talking about the clients situation. Show that you intend to work in the client’s best interest by treating him with respect.
Gather information about the clients background and the problem at hand. This will give you an idea about what kinds of questions you should ask later in the interview process.
Ask the client open-ended questions that provide basic information you will need to assist her. Look at the problem from the clients perspective and show her that you empathize with her situation.
Allow the client the chance to explain the situation in his own way. Lean slightly forward, take brief notes and nod your head when appropriate to show the client that you are listening. Maintain eye contact to let him see that he has your attention and you are interested in what he is saying.
Ask the client to clarify any statements she makes that are unclear. One way to show a client that you understand what she is saying is to rephrase a statement and repeat it back. As you get to know more about the client and her situation, follow up with additional questions that will provide you with more details.
Watch the clients body language. Pay particular attention to body posture and facial expressions. Body language can be a clue that a client may not be telling you all that he is really thinking. Look for signs that he may be more upset by a situation than he lets on.
Offer the client a summary of the information youve gathered before concluding the interview. Ask if she has other questions or anything more she would like to add. If she has no final comments or questions, explain what your next steps will be. Give a time frame in which the client can expect to hear back from you.
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