RE: On-the-spot writing test during a job interview?

Subject: RE: On-the-spot writing test during a job interview?
From: salatas <salatas -at- micron -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 10:43:25 -0700

Keith Cronin wrote:

What do you think of giving the applicant a writing test during the job
interview?

<snip>a well-respected colleague has suggested that for
people who "don't test well," it would apply unfair pressure (in addition to
the pressure inherent to any job interview), and could produce deceptive
and/or potentially damning results.

I tend to feel that EVERY pro writing job is a test of one's ability to
write under pressure; for me such a test was a chance to "put my word
processor where my mouth was." <snip>

Salette Latas responds:

Do you ask applicants for writing samples? Writing samples should show how
well the applicant writes when not under pressure, so they should provide a
balance to the writing test.

The ability to write under pressure is an important skill for any writer who
expects to receive a regular paycheck. The subject of the assignment should
relate to the job: if it's a marketing communications job, ask the applicant
to write a couple of paragraphs describing the benefits of the stapler.

I felt a lot of pressure during a job interview when I was asked to produce
a writing sample using only a pen and paper. I felt much less pressure when
I was asked to sit down with a word processor. (For what it's worth, I got
the job that asked for the pen-and-paper test. Good thing I brought extra
paper!)

Salette Latas
Technical Writer
Micron Technology, Inc.





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