Re: Interviewing technical writers

Subject: Re: Interviewing technical writers
From: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: Kim Bieler <kimbieler -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 11:22:32 -0700

The questions I ask are generally based on my own experience with the
company. What I knew and didn't know when I started, what I had to learn
and how much time it took to learn it.

I've always considered samples without an accompanying discussion about
what they were for, how they were planned, researched, written, reviewed
and verified to be pretty much useless, and that includes my own. What I
prefer to do is talk to candidates (novel concept, yes, actually talking to
people) about the kind of work they've done and how they've done it, and
about the kind of work we need done and what resources and issues we have.
This gives candidates who are invited in for interviews some idea which
items from their portfolios are the best to bring and have to time refresh
their memories about work they might have done years earlier so they can
relate their samples to what we have discussed when they show them to me.

The idea of an interview is to try to determine how well a candidate will
be able to function in your organization, Give candidates the information
they need to do well in an interview, and the best ones will do something
with it.

Gene Kim-Eng

On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 8:32 AM, Kim Bieler <kimbieler -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> 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?

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