Unit of competency details

CUFAIR401A - Conduct interviews (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 11/Nov/2010

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUAAIR401 - Conduct interviewsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Performance criteria reworded for clarity. 14/Jan/2016

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100703 Journalism 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100703 Journalism 11/Nov/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to plan, prepare and conduct interviews for broadcast.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

Radio and television presenters responsible for conducting interviews on a wide range of topics apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit. Interviews can be conducted live-to-air or pre-recorded and range in complexity from short, single-issue pieces to moderately in-depth coverage of a topic.

Even though presenters at this level generally operate with a fair degree of autonomy, they are members of a production team and are expected to contribute to overall program planning and production.

More complex skills associated with in-depth exploration of issues through panel discussions and debates are covered in:

  • CUFAIR501A Explore issues on air.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Plan and prepare for interviews

1. Identify the main purpose  of an interview and factors  that may affect how the interview is conducted

2. Become familiar with topics and interviewees by reading and making notes from a range of information sources 

3. Develop, and organise in a logical sequence, questions  that elicit information relevant to the topic

4. Refine questions by anticipating answers interviewees may give

5. Seek expert advice on issues that could result in a breach of laws or regulations 

6. If necessary, develop confidence in the line of questioning by discussing issues with relevant personnel  and rehearsing interviews

7. Write short links to introduce topics and interviewees and to forward-promote interviews

8. Where appropriate, obtain prior agreement from interviewees to broadcast interviews and give advance notice of key line of questioning

9. If necessary, book facilities and equipment  required to conduct interviews according to enterprise procedures and production requirements 

Conduct interviews

10. Establish an atmosphere that elicits the best possible response from interviewees

11. Adopt an interview style  that is appropriate for the topic, interviewee and target audience

12. Introduce interviewees, follow prepared line of questioning and listen to answers to identify further questions that could be asked

13. Conduct unplanned lines of questioning, if necessary, to enhance the quality and content of interviews

14. Recover presentation errors and respond to equipment malfunction with minimum disruption to flow of interview

15. If necessary, bring interviewees back to the topic being discussed

16. If appropriate, provide a brief recap on the topic and interviewee for listeners who may not have heard the start of an interview

17. Wrap up interviews in the given time and thank interviewees for their contribution

Evaluate own performance

18. Listen back to interviews and note areas for improvement

19. Seek feedback from relevant personnel on the quality and content of interviews

20. Refine interviewing techniques to accommodate own performance assessment and feedback from colleagues and listeners

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication and teamwork skills sufficient to:
  • ask questions clearly and confidently of interviewees
  • listen critically to what interviewees say and respond creatively with further questions to elicit information/opinions from interviewees
  • project a positive and professional image on air
  • work collaboratively as a member of a production team
  • analytical and literacy skills sufficient to interpret and summarise information in the process of preparing interview questions
  • willingness to receive and act on feedback about own performance
  • in a radio context, technical skills sufficient to record interviews in a production studio, telephone recording booth or on location with portable recording equipment
  • self-management skills sufficient to work under pressure and meet deadlines

Required knowledge 

  • industry knowledge, including:
  • roles and responsibilities of production team members
  • broadcast language and terminology
  • issues and challenges that arise in the context of conducting interviews
  • effective communication techniques, including listening, questioning and non-verbal communication
  • understanding of relevant legislation and broadcasting codes of practice sufficient to identify and seek expert advice on and resolve issues that could lead to legal action
  • techniques for:
  • recording in variable weather conditions
  • minimising the effect of background location noise while recording
  • characteristics of commonly used microphones and audio recording equipment
  • OHS requirements as they relate to recording audio material on location

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • effective interviewing and communication techniques
  • understanding of the consequences of breaching laws and regulations that apply to broadcasting
  • ability to listen critically to what interviewees say and to conduct unplanned lines of questioning with confidence
  • interviews recorded over a period of time that demonstrate an ability to interview people on a range of topics
  • collaborative approach to work.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to audio and/or video recording equipment
  • access to audio and/or video playback equipment to enable evaluation of recorded interviews by the candidate and others
  • access to current information about, and personnel able to advise on, laws and regulations that apply to broadcasting
  • access to appropriate learning and assessment support when required
  • use of culturally appropriate processes and techniques appropriate to the language and literacy capacity of learners and the work being performed.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance
  • evaluation of recordings of interviews conducted by the candidate to assess candidate's ability to follow a logical line of questioning
  • observationof the candidate conducting an interview
  • written or verbal questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit and to discuss candidate's approach to preparing for interviews.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • CUFAIR402A Present a wide range of radio material
  • CUFRES401A Conduct research
  • CUFWRT301A Write content for a range of media
  • CUFWRT403A Write narration and current affairs material.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Purpose  of the interview may be to:

  • delve into a personality
  • elicit anecdotal information
  • justify, interpret or obtain an opinion/comment
  • obtain information/facts
  • promote a service or product
  • recount a personal experience
  • review books, films, plays or artistic works.

Factors  may include:

  • length
  • number of interviewees
  • personality/public profile of interviewee
  • station profile and listener expectations
  • style of program
  • target audience
  • time of day an interview is to be broadcast
  • whether an interview will be live to air
  • whether an interview will be pre-recorded and edited prior to broadcast.

Information sources  may include:

  • colleagues
  • commercial enterprises
  • enterprise policies and procedures
  • federal, state and local government departments
  • industry associations and organisations
  • industry practitioners and technical experts
  • media outlets and the internet
  • personal observations and experience
  • publications, e.g.:
  • reference books
  • newsletters and magazines
  • specialist technical journals
  • bulletins, press releases and letters
  • manufacturer handbooks, manuals, promotional material.

Types of questions  may include:

  • basic, e.g. what, who, where, why, how
  • clarifying
  • closed
  • hypothetical
  • leading
  • open-ended.

Laws and regulations  may include:

  • broadcasting codes of practice
  • contempt of court and parliament
  • copyright
  • defamation
  • obscenity
  • privacy legislation
  • racial vilification.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • content specialists
  • floor manager
  • interviewees
  • legal advisers
  • other broadcasters
  • producer
  • program manager
  • station manager
  • technical crew.

Facilities and equipment  may include:

  • portable audio recorder, microphone and accessories
  • production studio
  • telephone recording booth.

Production requirements  may include:

  • budget
  • completing documentation, e.g. release forms
  • copyright
  • deadlines
  • location
  • program schedule.

Interview styles  may include:

  • comic
  • conversational/casual
  • dramatic
  • objective
  • probing/challenging
  • psychological
  • serious
  • supportive.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Media and entertainment production - on-air presentation

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

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