Re: Testing: how long is too long?

Subject: Re: Testing: how long is too long?
From: Yvonne DeGraw <yvonne -at- SILCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 08:24:57 -0700

Kirstin Mercer <kirstin -at- INTERCON -dot- COM> wrote:
>> Geoff Hart wrote:
>> As a past test subject ("testy" if you prefer), and the
>> related fuss of travelling to interviews in distant cities,
>> I'd have to say "any test is too much".

> I have to completely disagree with you on this.
> The company I work for uses two tests for potential
> tech writers. Each is a half hour long. Then, the
> candidate meets with each member of the Pubs dept.
> for about 15 minutes (there are five of us at present).
> Total time invested: about three hours, plus lunch
> (usually).

Perhaps long tests help you avoid both extremes in hiring. You can avoid
hiring bad people, but the good people won't bother.

When I was looking for a job recently, one of the companies wanted me to
write a white paper about *their* product. They said they couldn't evaluate
me through writing samples about other products. I finally told them I had
other offers, and I don't write white papers for free.

Another company has standard tests for all their employees. I finished the
test earlier than they expected, then had to sit around for 30 minutes
waiting to be interviewed. That gave me time to think about how valuable my
time is -- and decide to start freelancing.

Yvonne DeGraw, Technical Services o Web Authoring
yvonne -at- silcom -dot- com o Technical Writing o Database Design and Publishing
Tel: 805/683-5784 o User-Interface Design

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