RE: Sample document creation for contract position

Subject: RE: Sample document creation for contract position
From: "Victoria Wroblewski" <victoria -dot- wroblewski -at- eagletest -dot- com>
To: "Melissa Lowery-Smith" <artsyreader -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 11:33:11 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: Melissa Lowery-Smith
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009 10:36 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Sample document creation for contract position

>I was recently asked to create a 10-15 page document (they referred to
it as a technical test) >based on a brief interview with an SME as part
of the interview process for a 3-6 month technical >writer contract.

A request for electronic samples isn't too out there. A lot of times,
they just want to distribute them to the people you will interview with
ahead of time. As an interviewer, you can come up with a more specific
list of questions than you can get when quickly flipping through
someone's paper portfolio.

But a "technical test" on that level is asking for a bit much. At my
last workplace, we did use a small test when we were trying to find a
new writer ("make a procedure out of this") but it a quick web search
would have revealed that it was for a product that was already released
with complete documentation - there was no way any of it would be used
for anything other than judging how the potential writer went about
putting together the procedure. And it was the same test for every
potential new writer.

My first stint at contacting was a paid 20 hours that produced a 15-page
document and resulted in a "we can take it from here" from the company,
so yeah, I'd take it that they were trying to get a free document.

I definitely would have gone back to the company and explained that they
were looking for too specific of a writing sample to be provided for
free. I'd give them the benefit of the doubt that they may not have
known how out of line their request was, and a chance to correct their
action. If they still didn't think they were out of line, then I'd have
your reaction.

- V

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Sample document creation for contract position: From: Melissa Lowery-Smith

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