Competency Category:
Competency Series:

11.1 – Conduct Intake Interview

Purpose & Context

Career Development Professionals (CDPs) conduct intake interviews as a guided conversation aimed at gathering information from the client to determine the types of programs, services or other interventions required. This preliminary screening of client needs enables CDPs to direct a client to appropriate services or determine the need for a more extensive employability assessment.Intake interviews are usually semi-structured. Career Development Professionals (CDPs) use an interview guide to ensure essential and standardized information is collected, while seeking to probe and expand on the client’s responses. The quality of the data depends upon the CDP’s ability to establish rapport with the client, and adapting an interview style that works for the client. Building on the responses, CDPs recommend next steps to address identified needs.

Effective Performance

Competent career development professionals must be able to:

  • P1. Build rapport:
    • Convey helpful, friendly tone
    • Put client at ease, e.g. provide reassurance
    • Define own role
    • Explain client rights
    • Remain open and adaptable
  • P2. Establish reason(s) for client to seek services, for example:
    • Seek information
    • Goal clarification
    • Explore education or employment options, e.g. post-secondary application, trade school certification
    • Seek referral to training or education program
    • Gain employment, e.g. job search techniques and strategies, job readiness, job transition
    • Maintain employment, e.g. professional development, mentorship
    • Advance career, e.g. pursue promotion
  • P3. Obtain informed consent for collection, use and disclosure of information
  • P4. Collect required statistical information on client, for example:
    • Demographic characteristics, e.g. gender, age, marital status
    • Education and employment history
    • Current or past access to social assistance
  • P5. Initiate interview:
    • Explain purpose of the interview
    • Explain format of the interview
    • Ask client if they have questions before commencing
  • P6. Summarize understanding of discussion
  • P7. Determine eligibility for existing programs, services or referrals
  • P8. Determine capacity to access resources independently, for example:
    • Discuss online research client has undertaken
    • Review client’s current resume to determine level of assistance required
  • P9. Explore service options, based on, for example:
    • Pre-employability challenges
    • Client expectations
    • Capacity for independent progress
  • P10. Seek agreement on action items, for example:
    • Referral to third-party for services beyond scope of CDP, e.g. housing support
    • Direct to sources of information or tools
    • Enrolment in workshop(s), e.g. job seeking skills, interview skills
    • Schedule employability assessment meeting
  • P11. Prepare post-intake interview records, i.e. document interaction
    • Review and expand on notes, e.g. clarify details
    • Write down observations made during the interview, e.g. client behaviour, items for follow up
    • Record lessons, conclusions
    • Store information in client file

Knowledge & Understanding

Competent career development professionals must know and understand:

  • K1. Career development theories/models
    • Types of interview questions and purpose:
    • Open-ended, e.g. “How do you see the future?”, “What did you think about that?”
    • Closed/fixed response e.g. “What level of education have you completed?”, “What day did that happen?”
  • K2. Follow-up/probing: e.g. “Can you tell me more about… ?”
    • Well-considered use of questions, for example:
    • Avoid leading questions
    • Use wording free of bias or implied judgment

Contextual Variables

Competent career development professionals must be able to perform this competency in the following range of contexts:

Intake interviews may be conducted via telephone or through virtual sessions, and their length and complexity may vary depending on client needs and organizational protocols.

Steps taken may differ when dealing with multiple clients at once, e.g. use of questionnaires, ability for clients to discuss items together.

Glossary & Key References


Industry-specific terms contained in the standard defined here, where applicable.

Inter-personal: between people.

Information Sources and Resources for Consideration


Context Rating Scales


Q: What is the consequence of a professional being unable to perform this skill according to the standard?

Moderate risk: CRITICAL


Q: How frequent and under what conditions is this skill performed?

Routinely, regular course of procedure

Level of Difficulty

Q: Under routine circumstances, how would you rate the level of difficulty in performing this skill?

Moderate difficulty or complexity

Time Required to Gain Proficiency

Q: What is the average length of time or number of repeated events that are minimally necessary for an individual to become proficient in performing the skill to the standard?

To become proficient in administering intake interviews, a career development professional requires a minimum experience of working with 20 clients.


Practitioners typically perform this competency without supervision, and alone.


It is somewhat likely that this competency will automate.

Requisite Work Aids, Tools, Equipment or Materials


Career Development Professional Centre

Help us cultivate a community we all enjoy by reviewing and following the Code of Conduct.  

Our Purpose  

Thank you for being a part of the online CDPC social learning community. To ensure that all members have the best possible experience, we have a few ground rules that we ask everyone to adhere to. This code of conduct applies equally to every person in the community and is intended to foster an online space that is inclusive, safe, and welcoming to all. 

Community Rules 

Be welcoming 

We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. We aim to create and facilitate a community that promotes excellence and innovation in career and workforce development. Please extend respect to all members; we all come from different backgrounds and levels of knowledge and there is no such thing as a stupid question. 

Be respectful 

We won’t all agree all the time, but when we disagree don’t let those disagreements turn into personal attacks. A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened will not be a productive one. Instead, when having discussions in the online community, create productive conversations around the content being presented, not the person behind the content. Any post that is determined to be “hate speech” towards any individual or group will be deleted, and the user account may be locked until an investigation regarding the post has been concluded. The user may be given a written warning or removed from the CPDC community platform depending on the findings of the investigation.  

Hate Speech could include and is not limited to:  

  • Violent threats or language directed against another person 
  • Discriminatory jokes, language, or materials 
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A good rule of thumb is to never post anything that you wouldn’t be comfortable with the world seeing or that you wouldn’t want anyone knowing came from you. We ask that you keep in mind the focus of this community, which is building excellence and innovation in career and workforce development for all individuals.  

Be considerate of the purpose of the community 

This community will be focused on building excellence and discussing innovation in the career and workforce development field. The goal of this community is to communicate goals, challenges, constructive feedback, and questions in relation to career and workforce development. The community should be a place for continued learning and development as well as a place to discuss the future of our field (solicitation without written consent by the Project or Advisory team, is strictly prohibited). Any post that is determined to be soliciting any individual or group will be deleted, and the user account may be locked until an investigation regarding the post has been concluded. The user may be given a written warning or removed from the CPDC community platform depending on the findings of the investigation. 

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Make reasonable efforts to ensure that posts and materials are allocated to the appropriate group or topic. This will prevent cluttering the community and make it easier for everyone to find the information that they are seeking. Individuals who do this repeatedly will be contacted by one of the group admins and asked to follow these guidelines.  

Privacy and Release of Information  

CDPC-CEDC will not release your information to any third-party agencies.  

Group Admins 

There are four group admins who are available to you. Below are their names and their spoken language. 

Heather Powell | Anglophone 

Gabrielle St-Cyr | Francophone/Anglophone 

Florence Desrochers | Francophone/Anglophone

Muriel Andoblé-Yao | Francophone

Thank you and welcome to the CDPC Community!