Re: What might a writing test be?

Subject: Re: What might a writing test be?
From: Denise Fritch <dfritch -at- INTELLICORP -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 08:59:44 -0800


>I'm interviewing for a position soon and, like many have
>stated here, have no portfolio because all my work has been
>proprietary. The company has a standard writing test for
>such applicants. Without debating the merits of it, can
>anyone who's taken one of these tests tell me what they
>might be planning for me? They asked whether I minded
>staying for a few hours to do this, so it seems a bit

I received a similar request last fall for a "writing test". Only I was
informed of the test when I arrived for the interview. After a 10 to 15
minute interview with the new docs manager, I started the test.

The writing test was a one hour, timed exercise. For the test, the employer
provided a notebook computer with Word. I was given a one page printed set
of instructions.

The writing test consisted of producing an instruction manual describing
entering, starting, and driving a car. The audience was assumed to have
never seen any motor vehicle and have no knowledge of their operation. The
test examined both the writing instruction and the design and layout of
what I would write.

To make matters worse, three-quarters of an hour into the exercise, the
senior manager (the docs manager's boss) entered the room where I was
working and sat and watched me. He had a 20 minute interview block in which
to interview me following the writing test.


Denise L. Fritch

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