RE: Technical Writing Tests

Subject: RE: Technical Writing Tests
From: "Rock, Megan" <Megan -dot- Rock -at- fanucrobotics -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 07:43:54 -0500

Carey Jennifer (Cry) wrote:
When I interviewed tech writers here, I had them write a user guide about a
very small application we have here. I named myself and my interviewing
partner as SME's. I gave them a few hours to complete it. This allowed me
not only to see how they wrote, but how they worked.


When you give an candidate a writing test, do you just turn them loose with MS Word on one of your department's network computers or do you have a computer set aside specifically for the writing test? If you don't use Word at your company, do you expect them to know how to use your authoring tool or do you have them use Word for the purpose of the writing test?

Our company doesn't use Word, so whether or not a candidate is proficient with it is irrelevant. The authoring tools we do use are ones that are not yet commonplace in documentation departments, so it's not likely that a candidate would have enough experience with them to create much of anything without a few hours of training on the tools first.

That said, if you're only concerned with a writer's communication skills and research skills, I suppose they could write a user guide in Notepad and accomplish the goals.

Megan Rock
Technical Writer
FANUC Robotics America, Inc.

Views presented and opinions held are not necessarily those of my friends, family, or employer.


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