Re: Agency and interviewing questions

Subject: Re: Agency and interviewing questions
From: Krista van Laan <vanlaan -at- BILBO -dot- NTC -dot- NOKIA -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 8 Dec 1996 17:43:02 +0200

Nancy Baum Delain wrote:

> One way to tell if someone is worth interviewing without a writing sample
> is to ask for the writing sample and wait for the response. If the
> contractor says something like, "I'm sorry, but I have signed a
> confidentiality agreement," you can bet that contractor will have just as
> much respect for your stuff as for any former clients'. If, however, they
> produce writing samples, you may want to think twice about hiring them.

Maybe. I knew a guy who had never written a word and used that line.
He got the job, too. Yes, the employer could have called his references,
but in my experience, they rarely do. There are so many legal issues
regarding past personnel that the references don't usually have much
to say beyond the dates a person worked.

Even if you have signed a nondisclosure agreement, does that still
apply to manuals that have been published and are for sale to the
customer through the customer service center? What about published
manuals that were written for products that are out of date? I show these
kinds of samples all the time and have never even dreamed there
would be a problem with something like that.

I would think that most applicants are able to produce real samples.
And when I am hiring, I expect to see some. I can understand
respecting someone's confidentiality agreement, but the idea
that an interviewer should think twice about hiring someone
who does show samples is really interesting!

However, I _would_ be hesitant to give a sample to an agency for one
reason. I like to show complete manuals that I have written from
beginning to end. I think this presentation is much nicer and
gives a more accurate picture than do a few photocopied pages.
But whenever I give these manuals to anyone, I never see them
again. So now I save them for the interviews.

Krista Van Laan
Nokia Telecommunications Phone: 358 9 5112 3684
P.O. Box 33 Fax: 358 9 5112 3876
02601 Espoo Finland Email: krista -dot- vanlaan -at- ntc -dot- nokia -dot- com

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