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

Subject: RE: Evaluating Candidates Using Tests, Logic Questions, and Similar
From: "Jason A. Czekalski" <topsidefarm -at- mva -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2006 14:12:37 -0500

> "Sharon Burton" <sharon -at- anthrobytes -dot- com> in response to Gene Kim-Eng's statement "IMO, this is the most telling comment. No writing work is *that* unique." stated:
> Nope - it's a reflection of how unique what I'm looking for is.
> What I'm looking for I have in 2 writers right now. I personally know maybe
> another 10 writers who have these gifts (and these are gifts, not learned) -
> one of them, sadly, died last year and is not answering his phone as a
> result. The rest are buried in work because they are that talented. But I
> know there are more of these writers out there and that's who I want to
> find. I want those people because that's the level of ability I need right
> now.
> sharon
> Sharon Burton
> CEO, Anthrobytes Consulting
> 951-369-8590

I've looked at your web site and find the above to be more of the standard hyperBoleS that abound in business today. My first question is just how many TWs you have on staff, or on call? My calculation shows at least 42. This is based on the 21 areas of expertise that you list on your "We do..." page, multiplied by two because of your claim to be able to put out a 150 page manual in 10 days (which in my experience means at least two people working on it). If you have access to few writers than that, then please explain how your work is
so unique given that people generally cannot be "superstars" in more than two or three fields (and even those are rare)? I can't wait to hear the answer to this one.

As for testing, it DID actually come as s surprise to me. I have probably done 50 or 60 interviews over the last decade. I have only been asked to do a test one time. So yes, Sharon, a test is a surprise. The biggest problem I have with testing is that it requires a totally different mindset and pre-prep than does interviewing. For an interviewer to throw a surprise test at someone during an interview is morally and ethically the equivalent of a car salesman's bait-and-switch. I have to immediately question the morality and ethics of
the organization involved.

Now I'm not talking about a test where the person had advance warning. I have been in situations where I was told while setting up the interview that there would be a test. This is OK with me as there is advanced warning, and the interviewee can decide whether or not to go forward.

As for the one time I was ambushed with this, my response was quick. I immediately stood up, put my portfolio materials in my briefcase, and stated that it was time for me to be going. I wish I had a camera because the look on the interviewer's face was priceless. I then explained that I had come for an interview and was never told about a test. I also stated that I found such behavior reprehensible and would never work for a company with such low ethical standards. I finished by telling the interviewer not to bother calling me again,
and that I would be sure to inform all of my friends and professional acquaintances about this incident. I later sent them an invoice for my time and mileage.

I should also note that I was unemployed at the time and it was a really good position. However, ethics is a big issue for me. I don't play these silly "gotcha" games with people, so I won't tolerate them being played on me.

Jason A. Czekalski


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