Interesting Interviewing Question (sidebar to Agency ...)

Subject: Interesting Interviewing Question (sidebar to Agency ...)
From: "Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 15:03:38 -0600

The recent discussion about interviewing questions, samples, and so
forth reminds me of some of the situations I've run into interviewing
for jobs.

At one interview, I was given a 30 minute IQ test. I then sat alone in
an office while they graded the test. The Personnel Manager then opened
the door and told me, "OK, you can proceed to the next step of the

At another interview, the Interviewer (the head of Accounting, for some
reason) had circled a word on my cover letter and had written down its
dictionary definitions. It seems that I had used the term prospective
instead of perspective. I told him that it was an oversight on my part.
He then says "Is this an example of the type of work you produce". I
replied "unfortunately, it sometimes is; however (as I placed a manual
in his lap), this is also an example of my work. " I then described the
design complications, deadlines, and so forth that went into the manual.
He said, "The job's yours if you want it. You have a thick skin.
You'll need it here. You also didn't try to snow me on the oversight
and you clearly explained how you solved some documentation problems
that you will face on this job".

At one of my last interviews, I was asked if I was a perfectionist. I
said no. The manager then seemed surprised and questioningly repeated
my answer. I then explained to her that "it takes about 20% of the time
to do 80% of the writing. The rest of the time is in solving sticky
problems, filling in missing data, and updating what has changed.
Eventually you reach a point where the effort and time exceed the
results and you risk compromising deadlines. That's the time to let it
go." She said that was the answer that she was looking for.

Mike Wing
| Michael Wing
| Principal Technical Writer
| Infrastructure Technical Information Development
| Intergraph Corporation
| Huntsville, Alabama
| (205) 730-7250
| mjwing -at- ingr -dot- com

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