Re: Hiring TW without a test

Subject: Re: Hiring TW without a test
From: Jen <jennee -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 21:31:31 +0200

I'll ask if it's possible to get writing samples. I don't know if that
falls under the company's "no written test" policy, but it's worth a
shot... even if it means getting school papers, it's still better than
nothing.

I would be extremely surprised if any of the candidates knew anything about
tech writing basics, style guides or anything like that. There are no tech
writing classes here and the profession is virtually unknown. (I only
applied for this job because a developer friend said it would fit me... and
luckily it did.) I'm hoping we get more resumes from people with
transferable skills, at least!

On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 8:38 PM, Lynne Wright
<Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com>wrote:

> Ask them a few questions to test their knowledge of tech writing basics.
> For example, ask them what the difference is between active and passive
> voice; when to spell out numbers rather than use digits; etc.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tiburoninc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com[mailto:
> techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tiburoninc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
> Behalf Of Bill Swallow
> Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 1:49 PM
> To: Jen
> Cc: TECHWR-L
> Subject: Re: Hiring TW without a test
>
> Can you get writing samples? If not, require a cover letter and judge
> their ability by that and organization of their resume. Also, with
> regard to the interview, ask questions around:
>
> * Data gathering and interviewing SMEs
> * Resources they use when writing (do they consult a style guide or
> other reference)
> * Have them in their own words describe the requirements of the role
> (not what you indicate in the job posting, but their expectations of
> how they will be working)
>
> It's also useful to see how they handle themselves in the interview.
> See how they tackle questions about the technology they'll be working
> with (writing tools and subject matter), how they react to specific
> job tasks you describe, etc.
>
> On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 2:19 AM, Jen <jennee -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> > 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!
> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > EPUB Webinar: Join STC Vice President Nicky Bleiel as she discusses tips
> for creating EPUB, the file format used for e-readers, tablets,
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> >
> > Learn more: http://bit.ly/12LyN2z
> >
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>
>
> --
> Bill Swallow
> Writing and Content Strategy Consultant
> http://www.linkedin.com/in/techcommdood
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> 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
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com -dot-
>
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>
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and
> info.
>
> Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online
> magazine at http://techwhirl.com
>
> Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public
> email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
>
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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
Re: Hiring TW without a test: From: Bill Swallow
RE: Hiring TW without a test: From: Lynne Wright

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