Interviews & Red Flags

Subject: Interviews & Red Flags
From: "Sherry Michaels" <sherry -dot- michaels -at- docntrain -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 14:59:23 -0700

Hmmm, Dick's right, I'm wrong. Michele did make the point that the model
work was for another client. And the point of "what's wrong with flowers,
monuments, children" is a good point. By the way, Michele, those are
beautiful pictures. I can see where they'd "jar" in a technical interview,
though, regardless of biases.

I'd say as a hiring authority, I'd like to see selectivity of material in
the portfolio that fits my business needs. A typical technical communicator
position does not need graphics that include flowers, bathing suits,
monuments, children.

As a candidate, after hearing about the position, if I determined that these
things were appropriate, I'd have "art" or "possible to offend" pieces
safely tucked away, but available to present if the situation calls for it.
Otherwise, I'd have my technical professional pieces front and center.

The point is that samples are things that fall in the category of "beauty in
the eye of the beholder." Even though we have great training samples, I
don't show them to clients I know are only interested in documentation. I
wouldn't put "soft skills" samples in front of a client interested in API
training. I wouldn't put even our "award winning" documentation in front of
a client who is only interested in training. What "shortens the meeting" is
what could be perceived as a complete lack of interest on the part of the
candidate the position being offered. I literally have had candidates push
on me samples that were mediocre at best, and shouldn't be shown if I'm not
showing an interest. And those were meant to be technical!

On the issue of bias: Regardless of how a question (such as what religion
you are, say) is asked or why you'd ask it, it is illegal if it is
definitively asked (and it is difficult to prove it unless it is definitive,
although the EEOC will investigate just how definitive it was or was not).
If you choose to answer it and not take umbrage, that's fine. If you are
refused that job and you meet all the other measurable criteria, the hiring
authority who asked the question has just left the organization vulnerable
to sanction.

The point is well taken that the candidate can ask any question without
sanction other than "talking themselves out of a job." Discourse that
furthers the objective of the hiring authority (finding a well qualified
candidate) is the goal. So your plan for the meeting is how to meet that

The hiring authority who isn't planning the same way will throw you a curve,
and one for which you should be professionally prepared; they'll also be
throwing a curve for their organization.

Sherry Michaels
Michaels & Associates, LLC
11639 E. Wethersfield Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85259
480-614-8440 Local
877-614-8440 Toll free
480-614-2775 FAX


ROBOHELP X5: Featuring Word 2003 support, Content Management, Multi-Author
support, PDF and XML support and much more!

WEBWORKS FINALDRAFT: New! Document review system for Word and FrameMaker
authors. Automatic browser-based drafts with unlimited reviewers. Full
online discussions -- no Web server needed!

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Interviews & red flags
Next by Author: Re: Tech Comm Survey
Previous by Thread: Re: Interviews & red flags
Next by Thread: RE: Re: Interviews & red flags

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads