RE: Hiring TW without a test

Subject: RE: Hiring TW without a test
From: Debbie Hemstreet <D_Hemstreet -at- rambam -dot- health -dot- gov -dot- il>
To: Suzette Leeming <suzette -dot- leeming -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 14:00:48 +0000

Well actually, I had this happen to me in real life. The service manager gave me the instructions. Understanding them was hopeless so, after a lot of complaining, he finally showed me the procedure himself. That was fun, I added tons of steps between his, and he kept commenting, "but it's obvious!" And I would reply, "not to me…"

Then he insisted on working through the steps without me, after I'd written them. We found a few more missing steps.
Then I had to be able to do it myself!

When done, my boss complained, "We have proprietary hardware and now any idiot off the street and read the instructions and install our hardware!" My boss was upset but the service manager and I were happy… "You see," the service manager advised me in private, "we do hire any idiot off the street…"

Back to making creative original graphics for one of our doctors!...

Debbie
דבורה
_____________________
Deborah Hemstreet
English Editor
Rambam Health Care Campus
Ext. 1285
Tel. 04 854-1285
Mobile: 050.206.1273
Fax: 04 854-2657

From: Suzette Leeming [mailto:suzette -dot- leeming -at- gmail -dot- com]
Sent: Wednesday, 20 March, 2013 14:36 PM
To: Debbie Hemstreet
Cc: Jen; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Hiring TW without a test

Asking about which process works best for them is an excellent idea, but I can't help wondering if there's a preferred method. Depending on what I'm trying to document and my level of confidence/knowledge of the product, I often use a combination of each of the methods you described.

In the absence of previous work samples or a writing test, I would want to ensure that they had an appreciation of audience analysis and readability levels, an interest in being challenged and learning new things and constantly improve, a respect for deadlines, and that they were not easily frustrated.

You might consider asking them to describe a situation when they had to train someone or pass on knowledge to another person, and have them explain what approach they used.

Suzette Leeming

On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 4:25 AM, Debbie Hemstreet <D_Hemstreet -at- rambam -dot- health -dot- gov -dot- il<mailto:D_Hemstreet -at- rambam -dot- health -dot- gov -dot- il>> wrote:
Tell them they need to document the technician's installation of a device. How would they go about assuring they have the most accurate instructions? Would they prefer the service manager give them the instructions, would they prefer the service manager show them the device and install it while they watch, would they prefer to be left alone with the device and to then ask questions, or some other way of doing.

Then ask them to specify the steps they would go through to document installation and how would they avoid ambiguity and misunderstanding.

How would they recommend testing their instructions before sending them out to the field.

Finally, while you are talking, try to do something that you know how to do, but pretend you can't do, and ask them if they have any idea how to do it and see how they approach it...

Just a few thoughts, hope they help.

Deborah




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References:
Hiring TW without a test: From: Jen
RE: Hiring TW without a test: From: Debbie Hemstreet
Re: Hiring TW without a test: From: Suzette Leeming

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