Competency Category:
Competency Series:

11.2 – Conduct Employability Assessment

Purpose & Context

Career Development Professionals (CDPs) meet with clients for a collaborative assessment of the reasons for seeking career services and their employability strengths and needs. Building on the responses, CDPs and clients work collaboratively to identify initial goals and actions to address identified needs.Employability assessments are usually semi-structured. Career Development Professionals (CDPs) generally use an interview guide to ensure essential and standardized information is collected, while seeking to probe and expand on the client’s responses.

Effective Performance

Competent career development professionals must be able to:

  • P1. Prepare for interview, e.g. review client file
  • P2. Create a comfortable interview setting:
    • Welcome client by name
    • Introduce self by name
    • Reduce noise and eliminate distractions
  • P3. Build rapport:
    • Convey helpful, friendly tone
    • Put client at ease, e.g. provide reassurance
    • Define roles of self and client
    • Explain client rights
    • Outline services available to the client
    • Remain open and adaptable
  • P4. Obtain informed consent for collection, use and disclosure of information
  • P5. Initiate interview:
    • Explain purpose of the interview
    • Explain format of the interview
    • Ask client if they have questions before commencing
  • P6. Probe reason(s) for client to seek services as identified in intake interview, for example:
    • Goal clarification
    • Explore education or employment options, e.g. post-secondary application, trade school certification
    • Seek referral to training or education program
  • P7. Identify client strengths, for example:
    • Educational background
    • Work experience
    • Motivation
    • Demonstrated skills, e.g. perseverance, negotiation, emotional intelligence
    • Access to transportation
  • P8. Identify urgent pre-employability challenges, e.g. inadequate housing, mental health concerns
  • P9. Discuss barriers faced by client:
    • Intra-personal, e.g. learning disabilities, mental health concerns
    • Inter-personal, e.g. family issues
    • External, e.g. systemic discrimination
  • P10. Guide conversation using varied approaches, for example:
    • Encourage responses, e.g. nod, use of verbal cues such as “uh huh”, “yes”
    • Restate phrases to ensure information or meaning is understood
    • Ask questions to seek clarity
  • P11. Use active listening, e.g. provide undivided attention
  • P12. Monitor client’s level of discomfort or anxiety, e.g. face colour, body language, dryness of mouth, excessive perspiration, misguided eye contact, lack of engagement
  • P13. Adjust approach to help client feel more comfortable, for example:
    • Slow pace and ask questions on how they feel
    • Reframe conversation by asking more or different questions
    • Refocus the discussion by talking about the client’s goals and expectations
  • P14. Summarize understanding of discussion
    • Identify additional information needs, as required
  • P15. Determine eligibility for existing programs, services or referrals
  • P16. Develop goals and action plans with client:
    • Schedule meeting, as required
  • P17 Prepare post-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
  • K2. Types of interview questions and purpose:
  • K3. Open-ended, e.g. “How do you see the future?”, “What did you think about that?”
  • K4. Closed/fixed response e.g. “Have you tried online learning?”, “What day did that happen?”
  • K5. Follow-up/probing: e.g. “Can you tell me more about… ?”, “Can you describe how you handled that problem?”
  • K6. Well-considered use of questions, for example:
  • K7. Avoiding use of leading questions
  • K8. Use wording free of bias or implied judgment
  • K9. Follow logical order or sequence, e.g. broad and general questions before asking more detailed questions, seeking
    information on facts before probing for questions about feelings or conclusions
  • K10. Reasons for client anxiety or discomfort, for example:
    • Reluctance to seek service
    • Client’s mental health condition
    • Previous bad experience with career services
    • Discomfort with CDP
    • History of trauma
    • Trust issues
    • Fear of judgment
    • Discomfort with environment
    • Cultural or religious norms, i.e. person may not feel they can talk about their feelings or challenges
  • K11. Significant issues commonly faced by clients, e.g. poverty, systemic racism, post-traumatic stress, learning
    disabilities, unstable/unsafe housing, food insecurity, mental health challenges, addiction, limited
  • K12. Communication strategies
  • K13. Legislation and procedures regarding confidentiality and privacy, e.g. Personal Information Protection and
    Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)

Contextual Variables

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


Glossary & Key References


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


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?

Very hard or challenging

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 unlikely 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 
  • Defamatory or abusive language or materials 
  • Profane or illegal materials 
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior 

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. 

Post your discussions or documents in the most appropriate group or topic 

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!