TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
From: James Barrow [mailto:vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net]
Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2006 12:26 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Interviewing Strategies
>Al Geist said:
>>I am a novice tech-writer and am interviewing tomorrow for a JUNIOR
>>writing position with a medical/pharm administration company. It is a
>>position and the req. didn't mention any of the advanced utilities,
>>RoboHelp or Framemaker, so I'm pretty comfortable with what I expect
>>environment to be. My question is, does anyone have any last minute
>I would like to add listen, listen, listen to what John said. A common
>trait I've encountered as a hiring authority is entry level applicants
>answering questions that were never asked and not answering the one's
>were asked. This tells me they weren't listening and if you're going
>TW position, listening is critical to quality documentation.
Hold onto yourselves folks, but I agree wholeheartedly with Al. I've
interviewed people who seemed to be answering a question that was never
asked, and I've also been known to get so enthusiastic answering a
that, halfway through my answer, I've forgotten what the question was.
Don't be afraid to ask an interviewer for clarification. Asking someone
restate a question won't mean that you'll be seen as unqualified.
I can't say I entirely agree.
A manager I had many years ago would practice interviewing people -- on
me. He would ask a rambling question, which I would attempt to clarify
or otherwise zero in on.
In his viewpoint, this was my failing to answer the question. When I
would try to clear up what he was asking, he thought I was avoiding the
question. The cool thing was, we got along well.