RE: "Gaming" interviews (was Future Trends in Technical Writing)

Subject: RE: "Gaming" interviews (was Future Trends in Technical Writing)
From: "Poshedly, Ken" <PoshedlyK -at- polysius -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2006 13:44:39 -0500

Jeez-oh-man! Major corps all over the place cutting staff with not a
note of regret. Many of those being cut are tech writers, illustrators,
and the like.

If they were long-time employees at a company that chose to not
introduce new tools every so often, those long-timers will not have
every software skill there is. And others were cut for other trumped-up
office-politics reasons.

But for crying out loud, they're looking for work! And some - or even
many - of them are not perfect creatures and would give ANYTHING to be
re-employed in our profession and even LEARN those "new" tools before
they become "old" (perhaps a year or so from now).

And, guess what, some or many of them are human enough to please some
coworkers and irritate others. So what!? If an interviewee is obviously
ill-suited for an open position, don't hire him or her. But if the hair
is parted incorrectly, or he wears cuffed pants or whatever, but can
still produce good work, give the person a chance - even if he or she is
not right-on the money. Yep, folks DO grow into their jobs.

I find it interesting how interviewers love to hear what your
accomplishments are and how you excelled at your previous company and
"want someone with new ideas" etc. ad nausea, but once hired, the
oft-heard phrase is again brought out, "Sorry, but we don't do (that new
idea) here".

You've got a probation period where you can gauge how close a new-hire
is to what you want. Damn! Give 'em a chance. I've seen coworkers
absolutely BLOSSOM after faltering badly during probation. And I've seen
other coworkers come screaming through probation like champs, only to
turn into a real jerks sometime later.

Probably most of you out there had most of the skills needed for a job
you desperately wanted, but lost out but for one darn lacking "skill" -
and you KNEW the skill wasn't even oft used there! I've had good jobs
that needed a skill I didn't have. But thanks to insightful hiring
managers, I was hired, picked up on the so-called needed skill (that
wasn't really needed after all) and did great.

This discussion has moved from finding "A Good Capable Employee" to
"Making Life Hell for Those Who Really Want to Succeed".

As for "oh, it costs just too much to hire and fire and hire again," you
already know that's hooey. Companies blow more money on "discretionary"
junk than they'll ever admit to.

Gawd! I'll bet there are even some of you out there who wouldn't even
work for you. (Think about it, it makes sense.)

Bottom line: We're people, not robots, and we all have good and bad
points. And hiring an "Almost" is perfectly acceptable.

-- Ken in Atlanta
(Oh-boy, am I in for it now!)

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+poshedlyk=polysius -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+poshedlyk=polysius -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Gene Kim-Eng
Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 12:49 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: "Gaming" interviews (was Future Trends in Technical

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dick Margulis" <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
> Are you suggesting that there is ONE way to behave properly and that
> all other ways of behaving are improper? If so, this is consistent
> with your all-I-have-is-a-hammer approach to constructing technical
> documents. But it seems to me that different circumstances call for
> different modes of behavior.

Unfortunately, there will be those who adopt this "one proper answer"
approach to candidate evaluation. The chances are that someone who
doesn't know what questions to ask also doesn't know what answers to
look for. Companies that choose to adopt any canned interview technique
will be prone to adopting a "Stepford employee" approach to hiring
unless someone inside the organization is willing to aggressively resist
mangement's tendency to rely heavily on something they paid some outside
"expert" a lot of money for and which therefore must be "better" than a
home-grown methodology.



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Thank you.
Polysius Corp.
Atlanta, Ga. USA
Voice: 770-850-2000
Main Fax: 770-955-8789


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Re: "Gaming" interviews (was Future Trends in Technical Writing): From: Gene Kim-Eng

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