Re: Interviewing technical writers

Subject: Re: Interviewing technical writers
From: Jen Jobart <jenjobart -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Will Husa Documentation Solutions <will -dot- husa -at- 4techwriter -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 10:38:38 -0700

Samples are a must for tech writer hiring, and they should be requested
before an interview. Then, rather than just read a sample and move on, you
should use it as a basis for discussion in the interview.

Ask questions like:
What was your part in writing this sample? (Wrote from scratch? Started
with a draft? Copy-edited?)
What and who were your main information sources?
How much did you know about the subject area before you started writing?
If you had a lot to learn, how did you learn it?
How long did this take you to write?
How many review cycles were required to finalize it?
Did you run into any problems while writing it? If so, how did you solve
them?
You get the idea...

Those kinds of questions will certainly tell you whether the person
actually wrote the sample, because you can only BS for so long. But more
importantly, they'll give you a lot of information about how the candidate
approaches a tech writing project.

Jen

On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 10:28 AM, Will Husa Documentation Solutions <
will -dot- husa -at- 4techwriter -dot- com> wrote:

> Ask the candidate if they can write a procedure. Don't make it elaborate,
> just something that could be performed in five or six steps.
> During the selection process for a recent assignment, a client told me that
> they had rejected a couple of candidates because they could not write
> step-by-step instructions.
>
>
> =============================
> Will Husa
> Technical Writer
> Will Husa Documentation Solutions
> Phone: 708.927.3569
> Skype ID: william.husa
> will -dot- husa -at- 4techwriter -dot- com
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+will -dot- husa=4techwriter -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+will -dot- husa=4techwriter -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
> Behalf Of Kim Bieler
> Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 10:33 AM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Interviewing technical writers
>
> I'm evaluating resumes for a technical writing & content strategy position
> at our company. I'm pretty clear on what I would ask candidates in an
> interview, but I'm not sure how to decide based on their resume who I
> should
> follow up with.
>
> Is it appropriate to ask for writing samples before an interview? Are there
> particular assets or red flags I should be looking for in a resume? Any
> background research I should conduct?
>
> Thanks!
>
> Kim Bieler
>
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Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help. Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need.

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http://bit.ly/doc-to-help

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References:
Interviewing technical writers: From: Kim Bieler
RE: Interviewing technical writers: From: Will Husa Documentation Solutions

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