HUMS 1611
Interviewing Skills for Human Service Practice

3.0 Credits


Students will learn a variety of interviewing skills including attending, questioning, paraphrasing, summarizing, encouraging and influencing. Client observation skills, the ability to demonstrate empathy and respond to multicultural encounters is also reviewed.

Delivery Method

Online, self-paced.




HUMS 1610 and HUMS 2530


After you have successfully completed the work in this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the phases of counselling: preliminary, beginning, action, and ending.
  • Identify the stage structure of an interview.
  • Identify and demonstrate interviewing skills: attending, questioning, encouraging, paraphrasing, summarizing, reflecting, confrontation, and influencing.
  • Adapt interviewing skills to facilitate communication in a variety of multicultural encounters, to and demonstrate empathy with diverse people.
  • Recognize the features of client resistance, anger, the four phases of violence (anxiety, defensiveness, acting out, tension reduction), and crisis intervention strategies.
  • Identify and discuss suicide warning signs, a risk assessment procedure, and crisis intervention strategies.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of human systems, such as family systems and group dynamics.

Course Outline

The course is organized into the following lessons:

  • Lesson 1: Enhancing Communication Skills with Active Listening
  • Lesson 2: Ethics, Values, and Self-Awareness
  • Lesson 3: Interviewing and Problem-solving Skills
  • Lesson 4: The Phases of Counselling
  • Lesson 5: The Stage Structure of an Interview
  • Lesson 6: Ending the Counselling Relationship
  • Lesson 7: Cross-Cultural Understanding
  • Lesson 8: Diversity
  • Lesson 9: Cross-Cultural Competency
  • Lesson 10: Anger, Violence, and Resistance
  • Lesson 11: The Phases of Violence
  • Lesson 12: Suicide Intervention Skills
  • Lesson 13: Family Systems and Group Facilitation
  • Lesson 14: Final Reflections

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

This is a companion course to HUMS 1541. Therefore, the materials package for this course will not include any materials that were required in HUMS 1541.

If you did not take HUMS 1541 and don't already own the required materials, please be aware that you will need to purchase them. To do so, contact or phone 1.888.663.1653.

The course textbook provides a comprehensive introduction to the interviewing and counselling skills necessary for beginning helpers within in a Canadian context. (Note that this textbook is also used in HUMS 1541 Interpersonal Communications and Helping Relationships.

Shebib, D. Choices: Interviewing and counselling skills for Canadians. 6th ed. Toronto: Pearson Canada, 2017.
Type: Textbook, ISBN: 9780134005140

Additional Requirements

Computer with speakers and Internet access is required for this course. You will also need the following:

  • Access to video recording equipment for the skills demonstration assignments
  • A partner for each of the skills demonstration video assignments

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the "mail" tool in the Learning Environment or by phone. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your course.


To successfully complete this course, you must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course. Students using this course to satisfy any TRU Social Service Worker Program requirements must achieve a minimum of 60% on the overall course. The following table illustrates how your final grade will be determined for this course.

Assignment 1: Skills Demonstration Video 1 and Self-Evaluation 25%
Assignment 2: Skills Demonstration Video 2 and Self-Evaluation 35%
Assignment 3: Interview Case Studies 20%
Assignment 4: Personal Reflection Paper 20%
Total 100%