Re: Respect or no?

Subject: Re: Respect or no?
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 13:34:01 -0700

At 04:06 PM 9/10/96 EDT, Sharon Rosenthal/MANUGISTICS wrote:
>Question for Sue Gallagher (or anyone else who has a good suggestion):

>I agree that it is important for a techwriter to ask at an interview if the
>company and the team respect the technical writers. But, what is a respectful
>and non-offending way to ask that question and get a truthful answer?


I think that a straight-forward and candid approach is perfectly OK
when you're being interviewed by a doc manager or another writer.
I've had the question posed several ways...

How are these programmers to work with?

What is the company's attitude toward documentation?

Are technical writers respected in this organization?

What opportunities are there for technical writers to
advance within this organization?

All are good choices and will probably elicit a truthful answer from
another writer. In fact, the interviewer will probably be impressed
with your asking, figuring that you've been around the block a time
or two.

I also like Dan Martillotti's suggestion -- to ask about the review
process for documents.

If, however, you're being interviewed by a programmer or human
resources type, you probably need to be a bit more subtle --
altough "What opportunities are there for advancement?" is *always*
a safe bet, no matter what position you're applying for (and who
could possibly blame you for asking???).

And if you get a blank stare instead of a good answer, pack up the
old portfolio and exit gracefully. ;-)

Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com
-- The _Guide_ is definitive.
Reality is frequently inaccurate.

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