Re: The writer who didn't work out

Subject: Re: The writer who didn't work out
From: "Jeanne A. E. DeVoto" <jaed -at- jaedworks -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 1999 15:33:10 -0800

At 8:32 AM -0800 12/5/99, Henry Vandelinde wrote:
>In our phone conversations, however, it came up that they had a writer 'who
>didn't work out.'
>Nothing more was said about it, but I would like to know more before I move
>my family, cats, and stuff half way across the province.

The only thing I would add to Brad's comments earlier about this is the
suggestion to start with an open-ended, nonspecific question. "I heard that
the last writer didn't work out. Can you tell me more about that?" Then sit
back and listen to the answer. The direction they go in - do they start
talking about personality clashes? about management problems? about lack of
skills or knowledge? - will tell you more, I think, than you're likely to
learn if you ask them more specific leading questions.

If the problem sounds like something that might conceivably apply to you,
the next set of questions should cover "Do you have any thoughts on how we
might avoid any similar problem? I'd like this to work out well." If the
answer you gleaned was "the last writer embezzled from the company", you
probably don't need to ask this...but if it was something like "the writer
turned out not to have the skill level we needed", then you may well decide
to get as much information as you can about exactly what skills they need.
If they speak of a personality clash with a coworker, you might ask whether
others have had trouble with this coworker.

jeanne a. e. devoto ~ jaed -at- jaedworks -dot- com

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