Re: testing

Subject: Re: testing
From: Smokey Lynne L Bare <slbare -at- JUNO -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 10:10:47 -0400


Due to proprietary restrictions, my company won't release their HR
testing forms, but I can share a few tips that help me out when I go to
consult for a company.

1. The first thing I do is check out the local library for the
professional pubs and trade journals for the company's area of business
interest. I have three main libraries where I make sure I know the
business reference librarians, and shower them with cookies when they do
the 'extra' searches I need about the companies. Why you say....well,
let's put it this way, when I got a chance to review a few of the
interviewing company's prof. pubs and association newsletters, I was the
only one who had their 'buzz words' they used spelled correctly. Ah,
hah, you say. This might be an edge; in HR's eyes they would see someone
who took the time to learn their niche in the specific industry. Even
though you may have worked in the industry, each company has their own
individual drive toward something. Library searches usually pop up some
interesting tidbit here and there. I like looking at what they read, as
many times the smaller company likes to copy the big guys' styles.

2. Going into the interview, you could also ask the employer if he/she
had seen the recent article in 'XYZ' about so-and-so doing this or that.
What should impress them is that you have taken time to do your homework.
It also gives you an advantage over others applying, as it shows you are
familiar with the industry, current events affecting the industry, and
styles used in the industry.

3. If your library's business section has a quarterly report for the
company, make a mini-org chart and see where you might fall into the
chain of command or the division in which you are interviewing. More
fuel for your interview. Know a little history of the company.
Librarians are great sources for searches. (And they love cookies as
thank you gifts.)

4. Ask about their community interactivity with the HR rep setting up
your appointment for testing. You may wish to bring along some work you
might have done in the field of the community project in which the
company participates. This way you could ask HR to send you the
company's last newsletter to see what is happening, spelling calls, style
layouts, and most importantly to give you a feel and tone for the area in
which you are applying.

5. My rule of thumb I tell classes and conferences when I speak on
sourcing information for your home reference library is that I use the
following: Chicago Manual, Webster's Dictionary of Computer Terms (not
general business or collegiate), 'WIRED Style', Style Manuals for various
professions (easily purchased at library Friend's Club book table sales),
and most importantly, 'PRINT' magazine's books of yearly awards in ALL
areas of communications. Concept and design and usability are reflected
yearly through these wonderful series of winners. From these I glean
wonderful concepts to 'lighten' up tech docs for a better usability
ratio. So far, so good. Knock on a forest tree trunk.

All in all, I would say, first thing in getting organized for one of
those tests is to check out the journals in the field for spelling calls.
Like anything, if you do your homework you should pass the test - no
matter what grade level or job level you are in - it does work. Wishing
you success. It's time to crawl back into the den......


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