RE: Hiring an entry-level writer

Subject: RE: Hiring an entry-level writer
From: Barb Einarsen <barb -dot- einarsen -at- nettest -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 09:59:15 -0500

I would suggest you ask specific questions about working style (secondary to
writing skills, but very telling). Even though the candidate may not have
worked as a technical writer, she/he must have worked somewhere.

For example, if 'Sally' worked at Second Cup, ask her to tell you about the
most difficult experience with a customer. How did she handle it? Was she
successful/what was the outcome? What would she do if she encountered a
similar situation in the future?

This kind of questioning gives you insight on how the person may deal with a
difficult co-worker/SME experience.

I also like process type questions. For example, if 'Bob' has some training
in technical writing (with some samples that you like), you can ask how he
researched his project. Ask about specific difficulties and how they were
overcome. Ask what he would do differently next time - it will help you see
if he learns from his mistakes.

DISCLAIMER: this is a huge simplification of the Behavioural Interviewing
technique. I am NOT any type of expert in this technique. My
company/co-workers are not affiliated with my comments on this list. Blah,
blah, blah.

Hope this helps,
Barb Einarsen
Manager of Product Information Development
barb -dot- einarsen -at- gnnettest -dot- com
v: 905 948 7527

GN Nettest
f: 905 475 6524

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