Re: Interview from Hell

Subject: Re: Interview from Hell
From: Brad <kiwi -at- BEST -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 20:07:03 -0700

I had a similar experience, but it wasn't really an interview from hell.

I applied for a job at a company whose product I was already a subject
matter expert in. What a combination, so I thought. We all know how
difficult it is to find someone who is both a subject matter expert and a
technical writer. (In my prior life, I was a laser printer technician; I
knew the technology inside and out from theories and concepts to operation
to the nuts and bolts. This company that I had applied at developed color
laser printer technology.)

I met with a director, a manager, and finally a staff writer. The staff
writer was on the verge of being promoted to the vacant supervisor position.
The director and manager seemed really positive and impressed with my
qualifications. The staff writer (my would be supervisor) wasn't positive at
all. In fact the staff writer downplayed my subject matter expertise and
said it wasn't all that necessary. She said she didn't have any subject
matter expertise.

A week or two later, the HR department called me to inform me that they were
not going to hire me. The position remained open for several more months.

I can speculate why I did not get the job:

- The staff writer didn't appreciate the value and rarity of having a
co-worker who was both a subject matter expert AND a technical writer. (Both
her manager and director did.)

- The staff writer would-be supervisor was very young and inexperienced and
yet would be my supervisor.

- I was probably about 10-15 years older than she. I think it was a classic
age issue.


-----Original Message-----
From: Technical Writers List; for all Technical Communication issues
[mailto:TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU]On Behalf Of Renze, Janet L
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 1999 6:18 PM
Subject: FW: Interview from Hell

> Sonja said:
> >>>Okay, if we are talking about nightmare interviews...
and Cheryle W. replied:
> I saw a job posting on a local software company's web site that
> I was perfect for, or so I thought. Every qualification they listed, I
> The guy seemed *so* positive about my qualifications, even so far as to
> practically guarantee a second interview, so I was completely puzzled by
> complete lack of response. I had a friend of mine email and casually ask
> the position was still open, and it was.
> To this day I have no idea what went wrong.
I TOTALLY AGREE! have had this identical experience, right down to
the darn job still being posted. And this from a company that is trying
to hire hundreds of techies this year! They certainly didn't earn any
points in my book...

This "no response" is so frustrating--employment communication
needs to go both ways! Just as we candidates/job seekers need
to put a best foot forward (cover letter, tailored resume, portfolio, etc)
I believe companies need to have their position description clearly
articulated, be in a position to hire (not just "fishing"), and follow
up with all respondents (post card to resumes that were flushed,
call/letter to interviewees who weren't hired). It's only common


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