RE: Original work [was RE: STC certification program: skeptical curmudgeonlyness, part II]

Subject: RE: Original work [was RE: STC certification program: skeptical curmudgeonlyness, part II]
From: Steven Jong <stevefjong -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2011 13:43:06 -0400

Lynne Wright extolled the virtues of "being able to discuss your work intelligently and coherently, off the cuff, in a person-to-person situation such as an interview." I agree. I know enough to ask a candidate about a sample's backstory. But lots of people who have interviewed me over the years do not. Everyone interviews differently, and I sense a lot of personal pride in hiring managers describing their individual techniques here. Interviewing is—dare I say it?—artisanal.

One of the strengths of the approach we are taking with certification is the requirement to provide commentaries on the samples provided. This directly forces applicants to discuss their work intelligently and coherently (if not off the cuff). In other fields such as education, this form of assessment is called "true assessment," because it requires an applicant to demonstrate not just the ability to do the work, but their understanding of the reasons for doing the work that way. And, by the way, it's a standard method we're applying equally to everyone.

I'm not trying to suggest to hiring managers that the certification process is better than, or can replace, a face-to-face interview by a skilled interviewer. But you're not asking as much as we are. And if you are engaging technical communicators indirectly, as through a third party, you're not interviewing at all.

-- Steve

Steven Jong, Chairman
STC Certification Commission

mailto:SteveFJong -at- comcast -dot- net

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
-- Margaret Mead


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