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Subject:RE: Test assignment for a tech.writer candidate? From:Rebecca Officer <Rebecca -dot- Officer -at- alliedtelesis -dot- co -dot- nz> To:TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Mon, 8 Dec 2014 21:59:05 +0000
We make highly technical networking products, so we need writers with a bit of a technical mindset. If I'm in doubt, I send the person to a local telecom's horrible website, tell them to imagine a particular scenario, and ask them to figure out what product to buy. Then I get them to write me a short report saying what product they'd buy, why, and their opinion of the website. And then I ask them more about it in the interview.
That gives me an idea of their technical thought patterns, relevant basic knowledge, usability analysis skills, design skills and ability to write. It's been a pretty effective test.
I don't find work samples that useful, because they often say more about the company's templates and peer review processes than about the individual writer.
And like others here, I've struck candidates who only did part of their work samples, who lied about qualifications, and who have great technical skills but wouldn't fit in at all. We talk to referees and do Google searches etc, so the test is a small part of the hiring process, but I do find it helpful.
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