Re: Agency and interviewing questions

Subject: Re: Agency and interviewing questions
From: John Gough <gough -at- AUSTIN -dot- ASC -dot- SLB -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 10:33:52 -0600

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer wrote:
> 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?

I replied personally to Melissa with the opinion that yes, it
is nonstandard. I get samples upon interviewing when I hire.

She later said:
>Several posters have said that they don't want to give their precious
>one-of-a-kind samples to an agency and some have said that agencies have lost
>their stuff. I understand these concerns, but can't one give a copy to the
>agent? Then it won't matter if the stuff is lost.

I'm not interested in making mass photocopies for
the fun of it--I have one 1700-page sample (2 volumes,
perfect bound) and several other bound books. Even selective
copying takes a fair amount of time, and I'm reluctant
to do it unless I'm pretty sure that the employer is someone
I want to work for (it has happened, but usually with
out-of-state employers, when a personal interview is
hard to arrange). I can't decide that without talking
to someone about the position.

It might be worth someone's while to assemble a marketing
package of samples (the topic of how to put one together was covered
thoroughly on this list). Or it might not be.

You know, samples are probably beside the point.
I think Melissa would be better off by

(a) prioritizing resumes (cuts list by 90%)
(b) using short phone interviews (cuts remaining 10% by 2/3)
(c) examining samples in the interview

I have found a 5 to 30 minute phone interview to be effective
and efficient. You have to put some time into preparing the
questions, but it pays off nicely.

John Gough gough -at- austin -dot- asc -dot- slb -dot- com
Technical Consultant johngough -at- aol -dot- com
Schlumberger -- Austin Product Center C1.147 -- (512) 331-3656

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