RE: Technical Writing Tests

Subject: RE: Technical Writing Tests
From: Bryan Zako <bryan -dot- zako -at- interfacing -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 10:01:49 -0500


Patricia wrote:

<snip>It was always called a writing sample. We supplied the raw content in
a variety of sources and asked our candidates to write a procedure. There
was no trick to it, such as the deliberate omission of key details, but did
provide a vehicle for proving research and writing skills. Plus, since it
was assigned before the interview, they could spend as much time as they
wanted on it - no pressure. </snip>

When I have been part of the hiring process I have always fought against
using writing tests for reasons that no doubt have been brought up by better
and more articulate writers than myself many times in the past. However your
idea is good. I like it and would recommend it both in place of a writing
test, as well as when a test is not even required. It is fair and forces a
writing sample on the material and processes you feel are important. It also
provides an opportunity for the writer who may not have written in that
particular field to strutt his stuff. It doesn't guarantee that the writer
will be the one that actually produces the work he shows you, but that's the
risk you always run with any sample anyway. Regardless, you do get a chance
to see what the writer considers "good" work and certainly the follow on
probationary period is all about seeing if the writer and the company likes
each other and if the guy really can write.

Anyway, kudos on that idea. I will recommend that process here.


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