TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: An interview question From:Richard Hamilton <dick -at- rlhamilton -dot- net> To:Tech Writers <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Thu, 28 Mar 2013 16:29:06 -0700
Like many questions, I think the value of this one is in the way it is answered and the level of understanding shown by the interviewer, especially if the interviewer is a manager.
I agree with the folks on this thread who say there isn't a correct answer. What is important is what the answer reveals about the interviewer and the company. And, either answer could set up some follow-ups that could reveal even more.
Overall, I think it's a more useful question than those thought questions ("How many gas stations are there in the US?") that seem to be fashionable.
XML for Technical Communicators http://xmlpress.net
hamilton -at- xmlpress -dot- net
On Mar 28, 2013, at 3:59 PM, John Posada wrote:
> I dont think the answer to the question will tell you anything usefull and
> may give youisleading information. Example being where documentation is a
> regulatory requurement. Definately a cost but an unavoidable cost.
> Example...i work for a bank in AML (anti-money laundering). I do most of
> the compliance audit docs to regulatory. I get whatever i ask for. Your
> question seems to take the perspective that unless it is a profit youll be
> treated second class
> On Mar 28, 2013 4:53 PM, "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net> wrote:
>> Courtesy of Tech Republic I came across a question that one can ask when
>> interviewing for a position. They suggests it for IT interviews. I've
>> recast it for tech writing.
>> “Is the documentation effort seen as a revenue generator or a cost center
>> in this organization?”
>> The answer, or even the foot-dragging involved in speaking an answer, can
>> easily reveal more than anyone was prepared to tell you about how things
>> really happen.
>> Whether to place the question to one's >>current<< management is left as
>> an exercise for the reader.
>From our sponsor Doc-to-Help: Want to see a Doc-To-Help web-based Help sample with DISQUS for user commenting?