RE: Evaluating Candidates Using Tests, Logic Questions, and Similar

Subject: RE: Evaluating Candidates Using Tests, Logic Questions, and Similar
From: "Sharon Burton" <sharon -at- anthrobytes -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2006 06:07:31 -0800

I would agree with all the complaints if I told you we thought you could
finish it. My instructions, both written and verbal, are that we don't
expect you to finish. We are looking for insight into how you would attack
this problem. We tell you to feel free to make up stuff if needed. I'm very
happy with creative writing here because that can show me that you
understand how to structure information.

Look - even if you don't understand the material (and it's pretty
straightforward), you should be able to see that a sentence with 9 serial
things should be a bulleted list. That the 4 narrative sentences that tell
you to do stuff should be numbered steps. These sentences are topic
sentences so there are several paragraphs in this one big one and these
should probably be labeled as sections because this paragraph is about
something very different than the previous paragraph. That the passive
voice, future tense, third person might be good to fix. That run on sentence
should be broken up.

Perhaps you can make up something _here_ because you see between this
paragraph and the next there is stuff missing and you can make it up (Before
you start, make sure the kittens are in the box with a warm blanket. Warm
blankets prevent electricity from leaking out of the kittens. For more
information about putting kittens in a box, see X.)

I don't expect you to do all this in 20 minutes but these are the directions
I would expect you to take as a senior writer.

It's about 3 big paragraphs so I'm clearly not looking to get my editing
work done. I have many 400 page books that need to be rewritten. Anything
you could do in an interview is of no help to me.

If all you do is fix grammar and spelling, that's nice but I'm not looking
for an editor right now. I'm interviewing for a writer.

If you make an upset face during an interview, when everyone is on the best
behavior during the first date, what are you going to be like in 6 months
when I ask you to do a fast project on a technology that you have to learn
quickly? I'm looking for grace and some enthusiasm.

If you think that a writing test is beneath you as a senior writer, what
else is beneath you? I may have projects that you think are a waste of your
time. I still need these done and may be asking you because you're senior.

If you think I should trust that you wrote your writing samples, then you
haven't done a lot of interviewing and hiring.

In all the times I've administered the test, I've had 1 person do what I
expected. I wanted to hire him but my boss at the time thought he was too
expensive. sigh. I still miss him.


Sharon Burton
CEO, Anthrobytes Consulting
Immediate Past President of IESTC


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