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

Subject: Re: On-the-spot writing test during a job interview?
From: Tobbin_Bruss -at- wed -dot- dresser -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 16:22:31 -0600

Please respond to "Kathi Jan Knill" <Kathi -dot- Knill -at- template -dot- com>

To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
cc: (bcc: Tobbin Bruss/WED)
Subject: Re: On-the-spot writing test during a job interview?

Kathi wrote:

There is a BIG difference between being able to work under the pressure of
a deadline and to perform at your best on a test. If you think about it,
the pressure is doubled because the candidate is already under pressure.
But sometimes it is just a matter of a person not being able to test well,
no matter how much they know...But I do feel very strongly about the matter and
would go so far as to say
that I will never take a test for an interview again -- there are plenty of
jobs out there, so I don't think I'd be doing myself a disservice by my

Tobbin responds:

I think that as a Senior Tech Writer, you would be justified and capable of
refusing such a test. However for the recent grad with no portfolio, a test can
be a boon. I perform well on tests for the most part. Once I get started, the
pressure simply fades away. So it may sound a little cold blooded, but I will
take any advantage I can get when trying to get a job worth getting. At the
same time, it should be said that most likely this test is not lone factor in
the selection. You still have to win the potential employer over in the
interview. Most likely the test will say that test-taker has at least the
minimum skill set to do the job. An employer wants a little something to back
up what he saw in the interview. I may be stretching it a little, but most
people who have trouble with tests will have similar pressure issues with the
interview itself, which is essentially a test.

Also, as an employer with all other things considered equal, if you had the
selections narrowed down to two, and you gave them the test, wouldn't you prefer
to take the person who performed well under pressure? Again, I think these
tests, tell a lot more about people who have little to offer in the way of
experience or portfolio.

Humble (if a bit cold) opinions from Tobbin

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