TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
As an interviewer, I don't get much out of just reviewing the
manuals by themselves. They do, however, provide a good focus
for conversation. In general, I ask the applicant to show me
the best and the worst and explain how each piece got that "rating" --
what problems did you have during the project? what do you like
best about the piece? what do you like least about it? if you
had it to do over again, what would you change?
Conversing over individual samples helps me get a feeling of how
much involvment the applicant had with the piece. Without this
discussion, I'd find it difficult to determine what of the writer's
skills I was seeing in the samples.
As an applicant, I hesitate to let my portfolio off my lap and
usually lead the conversation myself, providing a guided tour
of my portfolio. As I show each piece, I describe my audience,
the project itself and the challenges/opportunities it presented,
and any feedback I recieved on the piece. I'll let you know if
I designed the book, what the editor was like to work with,
how bad the crunch at the end of the projet was, etc. Even though
I have description summaries for each piece in the portfolio, I feel
very uncomfortable letting it out of my sight.
susan-gallagher -at- vertel -dot- com
>... It is ...difficult to ...review manuals with the person
>sitting right there, as the impulse
>is not to ignore the person. I have ...
>asked questions about them, but otherwise
>we do not review in front of the writer.
>> In situations where my portfolio was reviewed, I make
>> it point that the review be done in my sight...