5 stages of microskills interview

The current blogspot will be based on the question “what are the 5 stages of a microskill interview?”. We will enlist the 5 stages of a microskills and elaborate each stage in detail with various necessary characteristics of each stage.

What are the 5 stages of a microskills interview?

A microskills interview is based on the following 5 stages :

  • Empathic relationship
  • Story and strengths
  • Goals
  • Restoring
  • Action

Empathic relationship

The first stage of the 5 stage micro skills interview is empathic relationship. It is the initiation of the interview and is based on rapport building, trust building and structuring the further stages of the interview. 

The first stage is based on using empathetic skills and communication skills to achieve the trust of the client.

Story and strengths

The second stage of the 5 stage microskills interview is story and strengths. It is based on collecting data. In this stage stories are gathered and the main concerns are highlighted with underlying problems and issues. 

The story and strengths phase of the 5 stages microskills interview uses active listening skills to listen to the client’s story, gather information about the client’s issues and problems  and determine the various strengths of the client to address the problems of the client.


This stage of a microskills interview is a goal. After collecting data and analyzing the problem, goal setting is done. While setting goals, the desired outcome is always kept in mind. Goals are meant to be smart, which means specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time based.

The goals stage is concerned with defining the explicit goals. The interviewer needs to keep in mind that the goals need to be mutually mapped and the goals should not be imposed upon the client. The goal achievement in this stage is based on the positive assets and strengths of the client. While setting goals, the nature of the client’s concern is kept in mind to set the goals accordingly.


The restoring phase in microskills is related to the main working. It is related to goal achievement. The restoring phase is concerned with exploring the alternatives for achieving the goals and desired goals. This phase is related to addressing the incongruities and conflicts in the client. 

The client in this stage of microskills interview is helped to consider the various options that lie close to the goals set by the client. The client tends to open up about the underlying insecurities, incongruities and disparities that he thinks could be a barrier in addressing the issue and achieving the goals.

The client enacts on the new available options to solve problems and the new stories are considered. 


The last stage in the microskills interview is action. The action stage is related to terminating and generalizing the desired outcomes of the whole interview process. It is related to acting on new life learnings.

In the last stage of microskills interview the new actions learned are generalized to be used in real life scenarios. The client is also terminated from the interview after reaching this stage by concluding the new skills attainment as the goal achievement.

The various strategies used in the action stage for generalizing and terminating are as follows :

  • Homework is based on assigning tasks to the clients on weekly basis
  • Role Playing is based on practicing new behaviors in mock situations
  • Imagery is based on imagining future events in life related to the problem area and responding to them differently
  • Behavioral records in the form of charts and journaling
  • Follow-up and support inorder to have checks on the new behavior

What is the structure of a microskills interview?

The main structure of a microskills interview is as follows :

  • To ensure purpose and direction
  • Defining the specific outcomes 
  • The interview is based on uniqueness 
  • It uses many theories related to human wellbeing
  • The structuring and rapport building of microskills are a prime competency of intentional interviewing related to going towards a specific direction to achieve a desired outcome. 

What are the main skills of a 5 stage micro skills interview?

The main skills of a 5 stage microskills interview are as follows :

  • Listening skills are used in microskills interviews to draw out the client’s underlying strengths, capacities and potentials through the use of probing techniques and clarification questions. Through the use of attending skills and listening skills, the interviewer conducts motivational questions in a  non threatening way. 
  • Empathy is a core skill of a 5 stage microskill interview. Empathy is described as experiencing the client’s world as the client himself does without judging or having biased views. The interviewer uses empathy to see the scenario of the client’s life through the client’s eyes and later analyse the situation in a way that helps in understanding the dynamics of the client’s problem
  • Additive empathy is the use of observation skills to gather the information beyond the client’s verbatim. Additive empathy in microskills interview is achieved by clarifying and adding meaning by concluding and summarizing the client’s words.
  • Positive regard is the interviewer’s ability to select the positive aspects of the client’s personality and focus on the positive strengths of the client to bring positive changes in the client.
  • Respect and warmth are related to attitudes of the interviewer towards the client in a microskills interview. The respect and warmth in a microskills interview is related to portraying non verbal gestures to appreciate, acknowledge and encourage the client irrespective of his problems and concerns.
  • Concreteness in a microskills interview is achieved by the use of basic and specific statements rather than the  use of vague and irrelevant statements.
  • Immediacy in a microskills interview session is related to the immediate “i-you” talk between the client and the interviewer. Immediacy demands being in the present moment and focusing on the happening of the interview by being in here and now.
  • Non Judgemental attitude demands the interviewer to be unbiased and form no perceptions based on any preconceived notions related to the client. The interviewer needs to suspend the views and opinions he already has in his mind and approach the client’s issues with a neutral mind.
  • Authenticity and congruence are the two opposites of inauthenticity and incongruence. The microskills interview demands the interviewer to form authentic and professional relations with the client. The interviewer needs to have a clear and unambiguous approach towards clients’ betterment.


The current blogspot was based on the question “what are the 5 stages of a microskills interview?”.  We listed, discussed and explored the dynamics and importance of each scale in detail. We also learned the various necessary skills used in microskills interviews.

Frequently asked questions : 5 stages of microskills interview

What are the 5 stages of the counseling process?

The 5 stages of a counseling process are:

  • relationship building
  • Assessment
  • goal setting
  • Intervention
  • termination form

What are the 5 micro skills in communication?

Five Counselling Microskills are as follows :

  • Microskill 1: Attending behaviour.
  • Microskill 2: Questioning.
  • Microskill 3: Confrontation.
  • Microskill 4: Focusing.
  • Microskill 5: Reflection of Meaning.

What is the Microskills approach?

Microskills are communication skill units of the interview that will help the interviewer to  develop a more intentional ability to interact with a client and reach the desired outcomes in a specific time. 




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