Appropriate and Inappropriate Questioning
Words can—and often do—inflict harm. They can damage relationships, create hostile environments, and decrease self-esteem. In the human services profession, it is important to think before speaking. Because of the often personal nature of the information being gathered from an interviewee and the interviewee’s unique circumstances, the interviewer must be aware of the appropriateness of lines of questioning. A number of factors may contribute to whether a question is appropriate or inappropriate. For example, a question may be inappropriate if it is overly technical or if it is insensitive.
In this Discussion, you will evaluate the appropriateness of questions in human services interviews.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review Chapter 4 of your course text, The Helping Process: Assessment to Termination, focusing on the section titled “Essential Communication Skills.” Think about the appropriateness of interview questions.
- Select two of the following questions that you think would be inappropriate for an interview:
- What is your sexual orientation?
- How much money do you make?
- Did you fill out Form XYZ to see if you are eligible for the TANF program?
- Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior?
- Have you ever had an abortion?
- Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
- Are you a legal citizen of this country?
- Consider why you think the questions you selected would be inappropriate and if there are any situations in which these questions might be appropriate.