RE: Hiring TW without a test

Subject: RE: Hiring TW without a test
From: "Robart, Kay" <Kay -dot- Robart -at- tea -dot- state -dot- tx -dot- us>
To: Jen <jennee -at- gmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 13:15:55 +0000

The most common method of ascertaining writing skills is to ask the candidate to bring samples. I know that some people are concerned about plagiarism, but if you have samples from several different positions at different companies, you can tell if the same people wrote them.

Even if the person doesn't have a lot of experience, if they are looking for a tech writer job, they probably have other types of samples they can bring in besides work samples. For my first position, once I explained that I didn't have any work experience, I was asked to bring in a paper from school. It is a different style of writing and won't help you know if the person will have other skills, but you will at least get some kind of idea of the person's writing skills.

Kay R.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+kay -dot- robart=tea -dot- state -dot- tx -dot- us -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kay -dot- robart=tea -dot- state -dot- tx -dot- us -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Jen
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 1:20 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Hiring TW without a test

Hi everyone! The discussion about the editing tests was great and I took
notes for the future... but I'm in the opposite situation now and I'd like
to pick your brains. My company is hiring a new tech writer, but we are
forbidden from giving any type of written test. (I think the policy I'd
stupid, but there's nothing we can do about it.) We are trying to figure
out what kind of questions to ask the candidates, but I don't see how a
verbal conversation can replace a test... maybe someone else has been
through this before.

A bit of background (important): we're in an European country, we write for
a global market in English as a second language, tech writing is a very new
profession here (so we would be hiring someone with little to no
experience) and the interview will be in English (we hope that if they can
speak English well, they can also write it...). The existing TW on the
team, me included, didn't have any prior TW experience and were hired based
on a grammar/spelling/editing test (+interviews).

Thanks a lot for any advice!
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EPUB Webinar: Join STC Vice President Nicky Bleiel as she discusses tips for creating EPUB, the file format used for e-readers, tablets, smartphones, and more.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/12LyN2z

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Hiring TW without a test: From: Jen

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