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: Advice for interviewing new tech writers From:"Elisa R. Sawyer" <elisawyer -at- gmail -dot- com> To:techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Thu, 22 Jan 2015 14:01:57 -0800
I'm in Gene's camp in that I have voiced my writing differently for
different projects. Sometimes I have documented inventions and I have
voiced the documentation to reflect something about the inventor.
Also, for some projects, I have been the only person with the title of
writer on the project, but there have been numerous contributors. If I run
out of time, I might not be able to get the voice consistent throughout.
Over the years, I think that my habits have changed and the writing voice
to which I habitually turn has changed.
When I interview writers, I look at their samples first and then discuss
their process. People have different needs and will thrive in different
environments. I once realized mid-interview that one excellent writer would
not be a good fit for the position he thought he wanted, and when I
described what was needed, he realized that was true. I have been on the
other end of that kind of equation. It's not always about skills and
abilities, sometimes it's also about fit.
On Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 1:40 PM, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:
> I didn't say don't look at the candidate's samples, just to not make them
> the most important aspect of your interview.
> A candidate's samples are less important to me than what that candidate
> has to say about them. That is, whether he or she can describe the
> planning, processes, efforts and issues that played a part of creating a
> given document. The reason for this is that there's a large percentage of
> people in every occupation - not just in technical writing - who are good
> "managed performers." That is, people who, with the direct guidance and
> support of a good manager can perform well. But if you don't have, or are
> not prepared to provide, that sort of guidance and support, what you need
> is someone who is a bit harder to find, and you won't find out whether the
> person you're interviewing is one of those just by looking at samples, no
> matter how good those samples are.
> BTW, my own portfolio contains quite a few documents that most definitely
> do not look as if the same person wrote them. Because a tear down manual
> for a turbojet engine really should not look a whole lot like a quick start
> card for an all-in-one printer/scanner/fax console, or an insert sheet for
> a pharmaceutical reagent.
> Gene Kim-Eng
> Doc-To-Help: The Quickest Way to Author and Publish Online Help, Policy &
> Procedure Guides, eBooks, and more using Microsoft Word |
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as elisawyer -at- gmail -dot- com -dot-
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
>http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and
> Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online
> magazine at http://techwhirl.com
> Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public
> email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
Elisa Rood Sawyer
Technical and Creative Writer
"Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today." Mark Twain
Doc-To-Help: The Quickest Way to Author and Publish Online Help, Policy & Procedure Guides, eBooks, and more using Microsoft Word | http://bit.ly/doctohelp2015