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If I were asking for a writing sample, I would expect that the person who is
confident of their work would provide it. In addition, if I were the
interviewer and the interviewee refused to send a writing sample, I would
automatically assume that the interviewee was not a good writer.
As far as leaving portfolios unattended, I think that paranoia should be
left out of it. It is common practice for interviewers to ask writers for
samples. And, in my experience (limited it may be) I have never had nor
heard of someone stealing technology based on a writing sample they
received. And, note that I assume it is the technology, not your words, that
you are worried about. Because after all, don't we all borrow phrases from
If you are currently working and have something in your portfoloio that is
from your current place of employment, I would not send that. I think that
is just a courtesy, although I could be wrong on that one.
Anyway, I have often sent writing samples and asked that they be sent back
to me when the interviewer has finished with them. 100% of the time, if I
did not get the job, the samples were sent back. (If I did get the job, the
samples were given back on my first day of employment.)
So, my opinion, go ahead and send the samples.
Again, my $.02,
Kathi Jan Knill
Sr. Technical Writer
Kathi -dot- Knill -at- Template -dot- com
"A day without sunshine is like, night."