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>Vincent Reh summed up his writing 'test':
>I was completely put off by the whole experience. Perhaps my inexperience
>with documentation played a role, but I believe the ambiguous instructions
>were a big part of the problem. However, I think that was part of the
> Maybe they were looking for someone with the right kind of intuition and
>found an effective way to screen applicants (I didn't get an offer).
>Would the expectations be clearer for someone with documentation
I think you're intuition is right, Vincent - it may have been part of the
plan to give you incomplete instructions and see if you work without
supervision, etc. I distinctly remember one set of writing tests I received
where I was given three projects: 1) document how to tie a shoe; 2) proof
and rewrite a messy pair of paragraphs; and 3) write a user's guide from
some engineer's utterly indecipherable specification. I made a big show out
of test #1, including a cover page, TOC, and index, even though it was tough
to get eight pages out of tying a shoe. For test #2, I just about took out a
can of red spray paint, but I used the standard markup symbols; and for
test three, I came up with a list of 20 questions to grill the engineer
with. So I didn't really do third test -- I found 20 reasons why I couldn't.
I felt like it was a setup -- anything written from that spec was going to
I got invited back for a second interview, but by then I decided I wanted
something a little different.