Embarrassing Interviews Was: Who's the author?

Subject: Embarrassing Interviews Was: Who's the author?
From: RoseCrowe <ncrowe -at- PRIMENET -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 1995 12:07:50 -0700

On Tue, 14 Feb 1995, Gray,Gary P wrote:

> I started out doing occasional contract work. When it came time to interview
> for
> a real job, the interviewer opened one of my writing samples and picked
> something
> out, asking me to explain it.... Unfortunately for me, it was some
> programmer's reference manual and he picked an obscure detail for me to
> explain... besides, after 3 manuals
> in 5 months, I can't recall every detail of each one of them. Since this was
> a contract job, I didn't have my name on it... boy, did I look bad.

Suggestion: take pages of books rather than whole books. For instance,
how about the cover page, TOC, intro, samples of various types of
chapters (if they vary or one chapter if they are all similar), and
back matter if it is demonstrating a skill such as a glossary or
an index.

You can thus display the range of your writing and avoid such
an embarrassing scenario.

Was anyone ever asked to spell words in an interview? I used to be a
champion speller (in junior high) but years and spell checkers have taken
their toll. I have a few words I always draw a blank on -- for
instance, for me, "receive" is one of those words. One time in an
interview for a contracting agency the guy started grilling me with
spelling words. One of the words he asked me was one of my "draw a blank"
words and before I realized it I had misspelled it. It was quite
humilating. Nowadays of course I would probably explain to the guy that
an encyclopedic memory of spelling words is not a requirement for quality
technical writing, but in those days I was humbler, meek, and mild.

Any other embarrassing interview stories?

Rosie (NorthCrowe)
ncrowe -at- primenet -dot- com
rwilc -at- fast -dot- dot -dot- state -dot- az -dot- us
"Half an hour's meditation is essential except
when you are very busy. Then a full hour is needed."
-St. Francis De Sales

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