The Interview

Type Of Interview

For my assignment I chose to examine an interview I was a party to at my
place of employment with the local Association For Community Living. It was an
orientation meeting for a new client moving into a group home where I currently
work as a Direct Care Worker. Under the classification of interviews, my
analysis focuses on an Information Giving type of interview.
As outlined in class, information giving interviews are used to obtain
facts, opinions, feelings, attitudes, reasons for actions, trends or beliefs.
My specific interview was to inform, organize and assist the staff team, of
which I am a member, in supporting a new individual moving into the house.

Purpose Of The Interview

The purpose of this interview was to instruct the staff team on current
programs and supports surrounding this individual, as well as to train and coach
staff on handling techniques used through stressful periods. Lastly, this
interview was to clarify all procedures to be used with this individual.

Setting

The setting for our meeting, which is of importance, was a meeting room
at our local Head Office. The meeting took place at 1900 on January 9, 1996.
The meeting included the supervisor and three staff team members.
A physical description of the environment is as follows: a large wooden
rectangular table sits in the centre of the room with 12 chairs around it, there
are 2 cluttered bookcases along one wall and a large white board along another
wall. There are no pictures on the walls and no telephone. The meeting took
place after business hours so the building was quiet, empty and very dark.

Opening

The opening of this interview began with cordial greetings and small
talk, as we are all well-acquainted with each other. The purpose of the
interview was established and we moved quickly into the body of the interview.

Body

The supervisor, as the interviewer, was in the information giving
position. The staff team were informed of relevant background information and a
brief history of the individual. We began to develop new perspectives as a team
by reviewing current procedures, handling techniques, supports and activities
all the while trying to improve on them if possible. Problem solving was
undertaken to determine strategies to support this individual with the move and
any changes or adjustments. Confrontation was used by staff to identify
discrepancies and distortions in the information. After much brainstorming,
responsibilities were designated to each staff member for implementation. As a
staff team we set goals for ourselves.

Closing

As the supervisor shifted the conversation towards questions or concerns
surrounding the new client, I began to feel things drawing to a close. All new
information was reviewed and summarized to ensure understanding. The staff\'s
new role was clarified and the next steps were identified. After a final round
of clearinghouse questions, we agreed to meet again to review and evaluate our
progress after a trial period (one month).

Inclusion

Inclusion refers to how much a party is willing and able to take part in
an interview. The staff team were willing and able to learn. The supervisor
was able but seemed somewhat closed to offering specific information. For
example, the supervisor was evasive to questions regarding specific amounts of
support required for the new client.
As the interview progressed, the unwillingness on the supervisor\'s part
to exchange information caused defensiveness in the staff members. The
supervisor continued this throughout and staff became noticeably upset and
frustrated.

Control

Control refers to the degree of power each party in the interview has to
influence the nature and/or outcome of that interview. The supervisor, from my
point of view, had more control due to job position/status, as well as having
the information that staff was seeking. Control was exercised by the supervisor
by limiting the amount of information shared. This had a negative effect on
staff and the interview as a whole.
The power struggle between staff and supervisor seemed to increase as
the interview progressed. The staff became agitated to receive further
information and the supervisor became less inclined to offer any.

Affection

Affection refers to the degree of warmth between the parties in the
interview. This is completely a personal perception on my part. The supervisor
appeared hostile towards two staff members in particular. I base this judgement
on complete lack of eye contact and verbal bluntness with these particular staff.
The supervisor was seemingly speaking to one staff only. I felt negative
feelings from staff towards the supervisor intensifying as the interview
progressed (body language, verbal cues). Everyone became questioning of each
other and leery of the information being shared.

Level Of Interaction

There are