Re: Agency and Interviewing Questions

Subject: Re: Agency and Interviewing Questions
From: Lisa Higgins <lisa -at- DRDDO1 -dot- EI -dot- LUCENT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 13:08:36 +0000

> An earlier comment regarding writing samples, or the lack of same:

> > If a writer has *no* samples to show, that is a
> >definite red flag. It's analogous to someone
> >interviewing for a job as a webmaster with no
> >homepage (printed or online) to show someone.

> And some very good writers have found themselves in that situation
> for some very good reasons.

I can attest to this. I've never been completely without writing
samples, but I have had to keep some of my more recent and more
technical projects out of my portfolio because of confidentiality.

Another problem, as some have pointed out, is that often, writing
samples are stolen (I had a brief encounter with karma not so long ago
when I received a resume from a stupid compulsive liar I worked with
many years ago. Not only did he lie about his title and his
responsibilities on his resume, but on investigation, I discovered
that, indeed, he was using my stuff as his writing samples!
Probably still is.)

I'm also a little disturbed by someone saying that they checked
writing samples for things such as font choice, as precious few
companies do not dictate such things for their writers.

I know some people hate this, and I don't mean to start a flamewar,
but a well-designed writing test can really go a long way toward
determining ability. Have your candidates rework a poorly worded and
designed technical document (no more than a page long), have them
describe, in writing, how they approach a new writing project, or
something else that can help them show you all of their abilities (of
course, have them do this in the DTP or WP of your choice, so that
they can do a little design and formatting).

Lisa Higgins
lisa -at- drddo1 -dot- lucent -dot- com

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