RE: portfolio again - clarification

Subject: RE: portfolio again - clarification
From: "Higgins, Lisa" <LHiggins -at- carrieraccess -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 15:32:46 -0700

> Probably I didn't do a good enough job of interviewing him.
> Certainly I've gotten better with my overall approach to hiring writers, >
but I question whether a portfolio really tells me anything about the
> person showing it to me. It seems to me to be too easy for someone to
> pass of work as theirs when they may not have done anything in the
> document.
> Has anyone else had this experience?

I know some of my stuff has gone into someone else's portfolio at least
once. Fortunately, the guy's resume (dripping with foul and ridiculous LIES,
I might add) ended up on my chair as well and the guy and the agency
representing him were pretty much blacklisted.

Based on that experience and hearsay of others, I like seeing some kind of
portfolio, although I would never hire someone based solely on portfolio
pieces. Always question what the interviewee's role was in their creation.
Did they write it? edit it? illustrate it? develop the template/style? Ask
specific questions about the project, the topic or technology--something to
get them talking.

People will still slip through from time to time. It's just plain hard to
suss someone out in such a short period of time. There are people out there
who are good liars; and there are bright, talented, and capable people who
hyperventilate and look like they're lying because interviews freak them
out. There are bright, talented, capable people who can do good work but are
too danged lazy to do it with any regularity. Inexplicably, there are people
out there who will put more effort into faking something than they would
have to to really do it. In a nutshell, people suck. But monkeys bite, so
the best you can do is get as many data points as you can in a reasonable
interview time, maybe slip them some sodium pentothal, and hope for the


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