RE: Employer's Test, was Technical Writer Certification

Subject: RE: Employer's Test, was Technical Writer Certification
From: "Nicholas Russon" <nrusson -at- bluecatnetworks -dot- com>
To: "Stuart Burnfield" <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2007 11:23:15 -0400

Stuart Burnfield wrote:
> If I ignore the price tag hanging from the applicant's
> collar, it's not because I'm "focused more on personality
> than the job".

If I have a candidate who is solid gold on skill set, amazing on knowledge and ability to learn new material, and a real team player, then a price tag or having been late for the interview isn't going to prevent me from generating a job offer. But few if any candidates are as "slam-dunk" fantabulous as that (and if you are, please feel free to send me a resumé ;-)

> Putting myself in the shoes of the interviewer, I wouldn't
> be thinking "Gosh, how can I deal with this faux pas in a
> sensitive but proportionate way?" I'd be thinking it's
> irrelevant to the person's suitability for the job, therefore
> why mention it or give it a second's thought?

Because you need to look at as much of the data as you can gather . . . someone who doesn't present well during an interview might just be awkward in high pressure situations and not like talking to people. That wouldn't make any difference to his/her ability to pin down elusive, sometimes hostile engineers and forcibly extract the critical information to complete a document, would it?

Because they failed to notice a price tag sticking out of a shirt collar wouldn't in any way indicate whether they'd remember to turn off the "Comments" conditional text setting before shipping the PDF off to the printers, would it?

It's all data you need to look at when you're making the decision on that candidate. Nobody gets a perfect score . . . but the candidates who accumulate enough questions along the way are the ones you probably won't invite back for a second interview.

> But, so what? Can he write? Is he well organised? Does he meet
> deadlines? Does he get on with people?

Yes, I agree (even if it seems I'm not): but every hire is a bit of a crapshoot . . . the best-presented, eager, enthusiastic interviewee can turn out to be a sullen, unhygienic, passive-aggressive, deadline-ignoring slug on the job. Everyone who has the decision to hire eventually faces up to the fact that "this particular person" was the wrong person for the job. That's part of the "joy" of being the person in charge.


Nicholas Russon
Manager, Technical Writing
BlueCat Networks


Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Re: Employer's Test, was Technical Writer Certification: From: Stuart Burnfield
Re: Employer's Test, was Technical Writer Certification: From: Stuart Burnfield

Previous by Author: RE: Employer's Test, was Technical Writer Certification
Next by Author: RE: It's a "given"!
Previous by Thread: Re: Employer's Test, was Technical Writer Certification
Next by Thread: Using Frame 7 with Acrobat 8

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads