RE: Editing/Writing Test

Subject: RE: Editing/Writing Test
From: "Wroblewski, Victoria" <vwroblewski -at- NECsphere -dot- com>
To: Karen Felker <akaren -at- earthlink -dot- net>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2013 16:37:01 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: Karen Felker
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2013 2:23 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Editing/Writing Test

I suspect this has been discussed in the past, but I can't find it in the archives.
We're about to start looking for a mid-level writer and want to find someone with strong editing skills.
How else can we determine if a candidate has those skills but by giving them a test?
And if you are in agreement on that point, can someone recommend a source for an editing test?

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Most helpful one I was ever a part of (on both sides of the hiring process - had to take it to get the job, and then dealing with it when we were hiring additional writers) had a couple sections of how you may generally get information from SMEs - somewhat muddled and with some incomplete information, information given in the wrong order ("oh, and before you do step 1, you should have checked this and this" halfway thru a paragraph) - and to try and write a procedure based on that. Now, no one (during the time I was on the judging end) got dinged for not getting the information that was incomplete (but it would have scored you big bonus points if you had caught it) but it was interesting to see which applicants actually tried to do something with the information to write a usable procedure, and which just split up the paragraph into single lines and assigned numbers without doing anything but a spellcheck and called it a day.

Even the way applicants approached the test was a very telling sign - it does say something about you when you roll your eyes and act like it's beneath you to do it (yet still expect the job), and we even had one applicant who was given a week and several methods to contact us, and didn't complete the example "because I didn't understand the instructions".

And just to keep it so writers couldn't counter back that we were trying to get "free work" out of them for doing it, it was all old examples for released products.

- V
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References:
Editing/Writing Test: From: Karen Felker

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