Re: What Might a Writing Test Be?

Subject: Re: What Might a Writing Test Be?
From: Tom Johnson <johnsont -at- FREEWAY -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 13:10:16 -0500

All the talk about writing tests reminds me of a company I used to work
for. When the president of the company wanted to hire a marketing manager,
he asked all of the candidates to present a marketing plan. He got good
ideas from all of them. He hired one and told him to put all the bits and
pieces together for the grand daddy of all plans. In light of that, I would
be leery about taking any kind of a writing test where a prospective
employer might be pulling such a shenanigan. If they are willing to steal a
few hours of your work before you are hired, how are they going to treat
you in the long run?

On the other hand, if a prospective employer asks you to take a test, it is
one more way you can evaluate the company to see if it is a place where you
want to work. Maybe taking a revealing five hour test could be better than
getting into a bad situation. If they ask you to write about their product,
maybe something will tip you off that you don't want to write about manure
spreaders or MicroSheister 98 for the next several years.

I interviewed one place where the owner of the company picked me up at the
airport. We talked in the car, interviewed until lunch time, interviewed
through lunch, through the afternoon, through supper and into the evening.
I was released about 8:00 that evening. He suggested I take a rental car
and look around the locale for a while. I was so exhausted from ten hours
of interviewing that I drove to my hotel room, called my fiance (only to
leave a message on an answering machine) and went to sleep. I never did
finish the writing test he gave me to take home. It wasn't the kind of test
where I would have been doing his work for him, but it finally drove home
the point that this probably wasn't the company I needed to work for.

Tom Johnson

business johnsont -at- starcutter -dot- com
personal tjohnson -at- grandtraverse -dot- com

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