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.
Subject:Re: Interview from hell - another question From:Rebecca Merck <Rebecca -dot- Merck -at- ONESOFT -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 2 Jun 1999 16:31:10 -0400
Obviously there are two levels of qualification for a job at stake here:
1. Can this applicant perform the tasks I will be assigning? Am I certain
of their professional skills and credentials?
2. Will adding this person to our team improve, not affect, or have a
negative impact on our ability to get our work done, because of qualities
that are difficult to quantify -- are they difficult to communicate with?
Do they seem bored? Do I believe they will work well with other team
members, or can I tell that there will be personality conflicts that will
make it hard for team members to work together?
This last part is that "gut feeling." And it doesn't imply that the
applicant is WRONG for being that way -- just that they're not a good fit in
I have interviewed some people recently who were interesting, had
fascinating backgrounds, and who would have been poor additions to our team
because of the existing personalities.
No one wants to intentionally add friction to a group, am I right?
Challenge is one thing, but the clear anticipation that there will be
conflict is the big problem. And if my job is to ensure that we are
productive and efficient, then part of my job is when hiring, to make sure
that I don't add members to the team that will reduce our productivity and
Richard Braden makes a good point about how "creepiness" is not maybe a
quantifiable reason not to hire -- and yet, I bet a dollar that if Richard
had joined that group, both the rest of the group and he would have been
unhappy because of the personalities involved.
As the Marx Brothers once parodied: I wouldn't want to be a member of a
club that wouldn't have me as a member.