Re: Sample document creation for contract position

Subject: Re: Sample document creation for contract position
From: "Jerry Kindall" <j -dot- kindall -at- tecplot -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 2009 15:40:00 -0700

This may be because I do more developer-oriented documentation, but I've
been asked to do substantial work for an interview on more than one
occasion. The first time, for a contract position at Microsoft, the
hiring manager actually asked me to develop a small application between
my first and second interviews. This seemed reasonable to me, as it was
a programmer writer position in which I would need to write code samples
in C#, and I'd never used that language before. I was very interested
in the position to begin with and looked at it as an opportunity to
learn something new. (Got the gig.)

During my most recent job search, I was asked to write an introduction
to an API I'd never seen before, while on-site for the interview. I'd
never been asked to do something like that, but it struck me as an
interesting challenge as well, so I did it. If nothing else, it made
the next day's interview at another company seem much more
straightforward by comparison! (Got an offer for that gig, too, but
didn't take it.)

It's a good experience to have under my belt, but in the future, I
probably would be reluctant to invest that much time again for a single
interview unless the position was _extremely_ desirable. (Or openings
were _extremely_ scarce.)

I have often been asked to send writing samples by e-mail ahead of an
interview. I don't think there's anything too unusual about that.

Jerry Kindall, SDK Technical Writer
Tecplot Inc. | Enjoy the View
Bellevue, Washington USA

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