Agency and interviewing questions

Subject: Agency and interviewing questions
From: Melissa Hunter-Kilmer <mhunterk -at- BNA -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 6 Dec 1996 09:29:08 EST

We are working on hiring a consultant for a short-term writing and DTP
project. I've been told that I have to work through an agency that has
placed people with us before now. (I would have liked to post to the
list, too, but they shot me down on that one.)

I've asked the agency for writing samples as well as resumes. When I see a
resume, it tells me something about the candidate, but the writing sample
really brings things into focus. Once I have seen both resumes and writing
samples, then I can decide whom to interview.

The agency does what we ask, but it takes them some time to dig up samples.
Why is this? Am I asking for something non-standard or unreasonable? Are
writing samples usually brought only to the interview? If so, how the heck
can you tell in advance if the person is worth interviewing?

Also, we really need to hire somebody with excellent PageMaker skills. (I
know, this has been a hot topic in the past. Hold your fire for now.) The
reason is that we are going to be under the gun soon and we need a PageMaker
guru immediately, not somebody who can learn PM eventually. We just don't
have time to train, and I certainly don't have time to clean up anybody
else's documents. Does anybody have some hot tips on how to tell if an
applicant has such high-level skills?

Replies to the list would educate us all, but please also reply to me
off-list. I get the list in digest form, which delays it a bit, and I need
answers to my questions *now*! Thanks very much, guys.

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
(standard disclaimer)

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