TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Constructive Criticism (WAS:Should I Say Something?)
Subject:Constructive Criticism (WAS:Should I Say Something?) From:"Comeau, Lisa" <Lisa -dot- Comeau -at- MOH -dot- GOV -dot- ON -dot- CA> Date:Mon, 17 May 1999 13:55:49 -0400
There have been many good points brought up on whether to give unsolicited
advice during/after an interview. I want to add a few things, and then
expand the topic.
First of all, you are the interviewEE. What do YOU think is the "right"
thing to do here? If you asked to see samples, and then you tell the
interviewER how crappy they are, and that YOU, the documentation godsend can
fix this crud, you'll probably go home with no job. BUT, if they show it to
you, and you either get ASKED or get the FEELING you're to comment, do it.
Second of all, make sure that any "unsolicited comments" actually have to DO
with the job you're applying for. I'm reminded of an applicant for a
training position who wanted to impress interviewers by visiting their
website. During the interview, she was asked "What can you do for our
company?" She replied "Well, I can fix that terrible website you guys have.
I don't know where you got it, but you obviously just put it up - it's
a) the website was designed for this company by a BIG promotions firm and
they spent TONS on it
b) she was being interviewed for a MS Office training position
c) they hired ME instead! ;-)
So now, how to expand this thread...
How can we, as writers, editors, reviewers, etc., foster a more
"constructive criticism oriented" workplace? If we are not asked for our
opinions, should we give them anyway for "the good of the company"? Should
we wait until our opinion is sought? (I know in some places, we'd be waiting
until Hell freezes over) How do you personally handle "constructive
criticism" - both dishing it out and taking it?
Just some thoughts for the day...
Still cranky, but not as bad...
Accounts Representative, Client Services Group
Y2K/Exchange Project, Ontario Ministry of Health
Office: (416) 327 1112
Pager: (416) 715 9198
mailto: Lisa -dot- Comeau -at- moh -dot- gov -dot- on -dot- ca