RE: assessing a lone-writer gig

Subject: RE: assessing a lone-writer gig
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, "Sydney Compson" <sydney -dot- compson -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 14:56:30 -0600

Gene Kim-Eng wrote:

> Based on my experience with multiple startups, my guess is
> that the company will not have answers for your questions 2,
> 3 and 4.

I'm with Gene. In fact, if I were interviewing you for a small startup*,
and you asked those questions, I'd tell my associates that you weren't
right for the job -- that we needed an experienced, confident
self-starter who'd analyze our doc needs and make smart decisions and
recommendations, not someone who seems to need training, direction, and
hand-holding. No offense, but that's the impression those questions

Put the focus on their needs, not on yours. Ask about their goals in
hiring a writer. Ask about their product development schedule. Tell them
how good you are at assessing doc needs and developing a doc plan. Tell
them you learn quickly, and if training is needed to bring you up to
speed on their technology/product, you'll recommend an effective plan
for that.

If you want the job, you need to convince them that you can _answer_ the
questions you're thinking of asking.

* BTW, is it really still a startup if they've "waited five years to
hire a writer"?


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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Re: assessing a lone-writer gig: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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