Re: Samples from *employers* (was: should I say something)

Subject: Re: Samples from *employers* (was: should I say something)
From: Rowena Hart <rhart -at- XCERT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 08:45:09 -0700

>Chris Hamilton posed a good question:
>>>How many people ask to see a sample of the employer's work to see if they
>fit in? And if you do, how do you react when you see substandard work?
(After
>all, if it were good, they might not be looking for someone.)

During interviews, my coworker and I have voluntarily
shown interviewees the documentation produced by
our company and actively discussed the challenges
ahead. As someone else said earlier in the thread,
even if a document is good there is still room for
improvement. When I have searched for jobs in the
past I have not asked to see samples; I have certainly
asked about what kind of documentation is available,
what kind of new documentation needs to be created,
and how the existing documentation needs to be
maintained.

I don't know about other employers, but I think it is useful
to discuss what an interviewee (if they're good and you
are already thinking you would like to hire them) would
be doing for the first few months. It takes no more than
a few minutes to outline a few tasks that the new person
would be responsible for. This is partially a sales tool (get
them interested in the job) but it is also a good way to
assess how interested the interviewee really is in the
position. If they are intrigued and ask questions, then
you know you have a good match. If the interest drains
from their eyes and they do not show enthusiasm for
the assignments, then ... they may not take the position.

I am also curious how many interviewees ask to be
taken on a tour of a company's office space and meet
the other staff? I realize that many initial interviews are
too short to allow this, but at the same time I think that
touring an office can reveal many interesting things
about a potential employer.

For example, in touring an office, I would look at:

- Are the employees packed in like rats?
- Do the employees have adequate tools?
- Do any employees have ergonomic workspaces?
- What is the mood/culture of the office?

Overall, it is very important for an interviewee to assess
an employer, either by asking for a sample of existing
documents, discussing potential work assignments,
or conducting an on-site visit. Interviewees need to
know if they are going to thrive at a company, and the
only way to find that out is to ask questions and observe.
Too often people take jobs out of desperation, without
asking themselves whether the employer is a good
match for THEM.

Just a few thoughts,

Rowena

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Rowena Hart Technical Writer

Xcert International Inc.
1001-701 West Georgia Street Phone: 1 (604) 640-6210
Vancouver, BC, Canada V7Y 1C6 Fax: 1 (604) 640-6220
Web: http://www.xcert.com E-mail: rhart -at- xcert -dot- com

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