Discussion: Interview Format

Discussion: Interview Format

Despite what you may believe (or may have been told), there is no such thing as one “right” way to do an interview. In fact, there are numerous books written about the various ways of conducting the clinical interview. In actual clinical practice, you will find the format that “works” best for you and addresses your unique strengths and the needs of the client.

In this Discussion, you will practice finding the interview format that works for you and share those ideas with your colleagues for feedback.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Develop formats for initial interviews of mental health clients

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts and cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking Submit!

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To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the Learning Resources.
  • Develop an interview format you would use for an initial interview of a client.

By Day 3


  • Attach the interview format document you would use for an initial interview of a client.
  • Describe what interview format your preceptor uses for the initial interview of a client.
  • Describe which element of your interview format is most helpful in your practice.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues by constructively critiquing their interview format and providing feedback.


The initial interview for conducting an assessment should gather information that leads to identifying a diagnosis and treatment plan. The interview creates a therapeutic rapport between the client and the PMHNP. The idea is to first establish a rapport with the patient in a comfortable and therapeutic environment. The foundation of providing care to clients requires that a relationship be established between the PMHNP and the patient (Sadock, Sadock & Ruiz, 2014). Although providers utilize various forms of interview formats and processes during assessments, the initial interview is a fundamental tool in mental health diagnosis and treatment. As a provider, I would gather specific information that includes the patient background which would allow me to obtain an understanding of how the patient feels and possible triggers that lead to his dilemma. The interview format I will utilize will comprise of;

  • The Client’s chief complaint
  • History of Presenting Illness
  • Presenting Signs and Symptoms
  • Psychiatric History
  • Client’s Medical History (allergies,……………………….
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