Interviews are increasingly common experiences for people in the world of work. In the world of social work the interview takes on an even greater significance. Few would disagree with Kadushin and Kadushin’s (1997: 3) assertion that ‘It is the most important, most frequently employed, social work skill.’ The interview is often the central means by which social workers make person-to-person contact and a ‘constructive engagement’ with others in order to begin the process of working together. In this chapter I will be exploring a recorded interview between a social worker and a service user in order to illustrate the expertise involved in making a relationship and working to keep it going. The analysis draws upon ‘constructivist’ theoretical perspectives as a way of highlighting and understanding the everyday, but mostly unrecognised, critical best practice (CBP) skills of interviewing in social work.
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