TN 35 (09-12)

GN 00203.009 Difficult Interviewing Situations

A. How to handle problems that arise during the interview

Some interviews may involve:

  • communication difficulties,

  • language barriers,

  • personality conflicts,

  • dissatisfaction,

  • conflicts of interest, or

  • people with mental impairments.

We are committed to providing the most effective service to the public, including people with limited English proficiency (LEP), language assistance needs, and hearing, visual, or mental impairments. We make communicating with us as easy and convenient as possible by providing options for conducting business with us. Individuals can choose to communicate with us in a way that makes them most comfortable (e.g., in-office, telephone, field visits, mail, and Internet services).

People who are emotionally upset or under stress may show outward signs of distress (e.g., they may grimace, be antagonistic, or withdrawn). We require special interviewing techniques and skills because the person's distress may be due to a physical or emotional impairment (e.g., terminal illness, mood disorder, etc.).

In spite of difficulties that may arise during an interview, we strive to handle each situation with tact, diplomacy, and discretion. Follow the routine interviewing procedures, including good listening skills. Protect the dignity of each individual, regardless of the nature of the interview (e.g., treat each person with respect; listen to what he or she has to say, etc.). If you need help, seek additional assistance from management staff.

B. References for difficult interviewing situations

For dealing with difficult interviewing situations, refer to the following sections:

  • GN 00203.010B Interviewing People who are Terminally Ill

  • GN 00203.010C Interviewing people with contagious disease

  • GN 00203.010D Interviewing people with behavioral problems

  • GN 00203.011 Special Interviewing Situations - Limited English Proficiency (LEP) or When Language Assistance Required

  • GN 00203.012 Special Interviewing Situations — (Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Individual)

  • GN 00203.013 Interviewing Hostile People

  • GN 00203.014 Interviewing People who may Be Victims of Abuse

  • DI 11005.070 Field Office Title II or Title XVI Disability Provisions for Claimants who are Blind or Visually Impaired

  • DI 11005.075 Difficult Interviewing Situations

  • DI 11005.076 Interviewing People with a Mental Impairment(s)


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200203009
GN 00203.009 - Difficult Interviewing Situations - 09/18/2012
Batch run: 09/18/2012
Rev:09/18/2012