RE: Conducting Telephone Interviews

Subject: RE: Conducting Telephone Interviews
From: linda_sims -at- vanguard -dot- com
To: Stuart Burnfield <sburnf -at- au1 -dot- ibm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 08:12:57 -0400

Stuart Burnfield wrote on 05/17/2006 02:46:26 AM:

> Lin wrote:
> > I hate that question, too.
> >
> > I have no, none, ZILCH, interest in moving out of the tech
> > writing field or even out of being a tech writer with no
> > managerial/supervisory/project lead responsibilities. I'm
> > _happy_ as a tech writer. My only "ambition" or "desire for
> > growth" lays in learning more: learning more about the things
> > I'm documenting; learning more new things that I (may) then
> > document; and learning more new tools and new ways of doing
> > things (which I may or may not use to document something;
> > I have a strong tropism towards ooo! shiney!).
> If you said that to me at an interview it would be a _great_ answer.
> (That and slipping in a reference to Serenity would probably
> be enough to get you the job.)
> It amazes me how much people dislike this question.
> Why not just answer truthfully and see what happens?
> Stuart

Oddly enough, I've never seen either Firefly or Serenity--and I am a fan
of Joss Whedon. Gotta get around to it one of these days. Ooo! shiney! (or
references to Kipling's Elephant's Child) is how I've always described my
interest in anything new.

As for the answer to "where do you see yourself in 5 years" -- I've
actually said that at interviews a time or two, and not gotten the
associated job. Of course, that may be because I have a habit of telling
the truth in response to _any_ question I'm asked. I've learned how to do
a lot of things during my years as a tech writer, but for some reason I've
never been able to keep up with the latest naming fads. So if someone
asks, "have you ever worked with <insert acronym of latest fad>?" my usual
response is to blink and think--have I? Maybe under another name? Maybe
under no name at all, it was just part of the job?

The other day I saw an ad for a job that required experience in working
with knowledge trees. I didn't apply because I had no idea what they were
talking about; a friend tells me that yes, I do have experience with
knowledge trees--it's a fancy name for documenting multiple if decisions
(in programming class, it was If-Then(-maybe Else) or case statements).
Yeah, I've done that; it's how I work. But I'd never have known there was
a name for it, and I've certainly never been trained in it or done it
"formally". And interviewers look at you funny when you say, "I don't
know. Tell me what it is, I'll tell you if I've done it (or can do it)."

I've never found anything I didn't already know how to do that I couldn't
learn how to do very quickly to a high degree of competence. Sadly, that
doesn't seem to be the answer most of the interviewers I talk to want to
hear. It's a bit depressing, especially when you're job hunting.

Lin Sims
The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion
of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was

CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT. The information contained in this e-mail message, including attachments, is the confidential information of, and/or is the property of, Vanguard. The information is intended for use solely by the individual or entity named in the message. If you are not an intended recipient or you received this in error, then any review, printing, copying, or distribution of any such information is prohibited, and please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail and then delete this e-mail from your system.


WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content
delivery. Try it today!.

Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

RE: Conducting Telephone Interviews: From: Stuart Burnfield

Previous by Author: RE: Conducting Telephone Interviews
Next by Author: RE: Conducting Telephone Interviews
Previous by Thread: RE: Conducting Telephone Interviews
Next by Thread: RE: Conducting Telephone Interviews

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

Sponsored Ads