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Subject:Re: Advice for interviewing new tech writers From:Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> To:"Robart, Kay" <Kay -dot- Robart -at- tea -dot- texas -dot- gov>, techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:40:55 -0800
I didn't say don't look at the candidate's samples, just to not make
them the most important aspect of your interview.
A candidate's samples are less important to me than what that candidate
has to say about them. That is, whether he or she can describe the
planning, processes, efforts and issues that played a part of creating a
given document. The reason for this is that there's a large percentage
of people in every occupation - not just in technical writing - who are
good "managed performers." That is, people who, with the direct
guidance and support of a good manager can perform well. But if you
don't have, or are not prepared to provide, that sort of guidance and
support, what you need is someone who is a bit harder to find, and you
won't find out whether the person you're interviewing is one of those
just by looking at samples, no matter how good those samples are.
BTW, my own portfolio contains quite a few documents that most
definitely do not look as if the same person wrote them. Because a tear
down manual for a turbojet engine really should not look a whole lot
like a quick start card for an all-in-one printer/scanner/fax console,
or an insert sheet for a pharmaceutical reagent.
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