Suggested job interview questions

Subject: Suggested job interview questions
From: Melissa Hunter-Kilmer <mhunterk -at- BNA -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 1996 08:45:51 EST

On Tue, 4 Jun 1996, "Gravlin, Bob and Betty" <rbg -at- TETRANET -dot- NET> (we don't know
which one) wrote:

> My company's software may be bought . . . <snip> I will have
> to interview with this new company, since I would become
> their employee.

My sympathies. Doesn't sound like much fun to have to interview for one's own

> I want some suggestions about what questions I need to ask.
> For example, are technical writers respected as professionals
> on par with systems developers, or will I get shafted at
> raise time?

A good question, but you know you can't ask it that way. Hmm -- let's see --
how about "What is the usual career path for technical writers in X Corp.?"
Then follow up with "I'm considering making the shift to system developer.
What's their usual career path?"

Make sure you get timetables. For example, a tech writer might start out as a
junior tech writer. That might last anywhere from six months to three years, at
which time the title "tech writer" might be applied, and so on.

> If you have different standards, will I have to re-format
> 5000 pages of documentation and convert it to different DTP
> software?

"Is there one set of standards for the whole company, or does each department
set its own standards? How are standards decided on?"

You might want to ask about professional development -- does the company allow
you to take company time to attend professional courses, conferences, etc.; what
proportion of the cost does the company pay; tuition assistance; etc. This is a
good time to mention the courses you've taken in the last several years and what
they've done for your work.

I would be very interested in talking to at least one tech writer currently at X
Corp. Is there a way you can do this? Is there an X Corp. techwr-lr who will
write to Bob and/or Betty?

Good luck!

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
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