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Interviewing and Professional Skills

Course Code: CRIM 2140
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Criminology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course focuses on the dynamics of interpersonal communication and professional behaviour present in interviewing situations in the justice system. Personal and professional codes of ethics, confidentiality, values and ethical dilemmas are examined. Attention is given to active listening, response skills, effective inquiry, constructive feedback, elements of verbal and nonverbal communication, and how to structure and facilitate for information in interviews. In-class opportunities are provided for students to challenge, evaluate and shape appropriate professional behaviour and interviewing styles. Opportunities include role-playing, presentations, small group discussion, and simulated interviews. Intended for Criminology and Legal Studies students.

Course Content

  1. Elements of professional behaviour and the need for standards and guidelines in the criminal justice system.
  2. The role of values, confidentiality, ethical behaviour, and decision-making in the criminal justice system.
  3. Evaluation of professional behaviour by giving and receiving constructive feedback.
  4. Awareness of personal and professional codes of ethics, ethical dilemmas, and career choices in the criminal justice system.
  5. Understanding the function and goals of different types of  interview questions.
  6. The structure and functions of various types of interviews.
  7. Elements of non-verbal communication, including; language, body motions, and dynamics of the communication setting as they affect interviews.
  8. Analysis of response skills, including; clarifying, effective inquiry, empathizing, paraphrasing and summarizing, appropriate use of self disclosure, immediacy, and facilitating for information.
  9. Effective active listening styles.
  10. Skill development via presentations, role-plays, group discussions, simulated job interviews, and simulated client interviews.
  11. Critical assessment and development of professional skills and interviewing styles via the above.

Methods of Instruction

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:  lectures, class examinations, seminar presentations, written assignments, simulated interview assignments, role-plays, group discussion and audio-video material.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based on course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  Evaluation will be include some of the following: class examinations, student presentations, class participation, written assignments, and simulated interview assignments.  The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

An example of one possible evaluation scheme would be:

Midterm  20%
Final exam  20%
Written Assignment  20%
Simulated job interview  15%
Simulated client interview  15%
Attendance & participation         10%
Total 100%

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe the important elements of professional behaviour and interpersonal communication present in interviewing situations in the criminal justice system.
  2. Explain the importance of developing professional behaviour appropriate for communication and interaction with others in the criminal justice system.
  3. Describe how to evaluate perception in terms of self image and perception of others.
  4. Define the relationship between values, professional ethics, and career choices in the criminal justice system.
  5. Explain the relationship between ethics, decision-making, and ethical dilemmas as a criminal justice professional.
  6. Explain the importance of examining stereotyping and its relationship to interviewing in the criminal justice system.
  7. Explain the conceptual framework which can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of various interviewing styles.
  8. Describe the distinction between constructive and destructive feedback.
  9. Describe the barriers to effective interpersonal communication in interviewing situations.
  10. Describe and critically analyze, effective listening, constructive feedback and response styles, elements of verbal and nonverbal communication.
  11. Describe how to manage conflict and confrontation, and enlist client cooperation in an interview situation.
  12. Explain how to structure information in various interviewing situations.
  13. Describe the phases of an interview and objectives of each phase.
  14. Develop, through practice, a variety of interviewing skills.
  15. Evaluate his/her own professional behaviour and interviewing styles through public speaking, simulated client and job interviews and group discussions.

course prerequisites

CRIM 1100, 1150 and 1160

For Criminology Program students


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.