A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Technical writers have no formal professional certification to demonstrate their expertise. If you need a position as a documentation specialist, how do you present yourself as a qualified, quality applicant? Here are a few articles that should help you.



Hiring Right: Road to Success

Running a translation business is not easy. As small as the industry may be, we as business owners face a full set of business challenges: personnel management, sales and marketing, client relations, and the list goes on. Everyday, we go into work hoping to improve the business, to make it more successful. Sometimes we wonder, what is the killer factor? What makes some companies more successful than others?

Iler, Huiping. WTB Language Group (2005). Careers>Management>Interviewing


Hiring Writers: How To Get Results That Make You Look Good

Like many of you, each of us has played on both sides of the fence: We've worked as editors in the position of hiring freelance writers, and as writers on constant prowl for new markets and ways to make editors happy. Even if you've not strayed between camps, we're all communication professionals-so why does mutual disappointment or even frustration characterize the editor/writer relationship so often?

Canavor, Natalie and Claire Meirowitz. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Careers>Interviewing>Writing


How to Control Interviews Even When Outranked

Expect anyone you're interviewing to try to control the interview, says writer/trainer Thomas Hunter. Anticipate special difficulties if that person outranks you. You must make on-the-spot judgments during every interview, but Hunter suggests steps to take beforehand, alternative approaches to consider during interviews and techniques to use after unsatisfactory ones.

Writing that Works (2003). Articles>Writing>Interviewing


How to Get a Job in Academia

The process leading up to your first faculty job is almost guaranteed to be a nerve-racking ordeal. Many applicants don't know how to make a good first impression. It is common--and reasonable--to question whether you have the right set of skills and credentials for a particular faculty job. Whether at a large research-intensive university on the West Coast or a small teaching college in New England, the recruitment process is much the same all across the country.

Fazekas, Andrew. Science (2006). Careers>Interviewing>Academic


How to Implement Single Sourcing: Interview with Neil Perlin

Neil Perlin, a renowned trainer, consulter, and developer, talks about how to implement single sourcing. He includes a discussion of tools, pitfalls to avoid, and practical steps to take.

Johnson, Tom H. and Neil E. Perlin. I'd Rather Be Writing (2006). Articles>Interviewing>Single Sourcing>Audio


How to Interview and Hire People

Before you worry about interviewing, consider this: good interviewing does not make a good candidate out of a bad one. The higher the quality of the people coming in to your interviewing process, the higher the quality of those that will come out of it. Do not rely on HR or some other person to decide who enters the process. The more energy you, as a hiring manager, invest in recruiting, the better your results will be.

Berkun, Scott. ScottBerkun.com (2006). Careers>Interviewing>Management


How to Interview Tech Writers

Jane R. in Texas asks for some tips on interviewing tech writers, especially when using assessment tests. Her company is about to hire their first full-time writer and they have not done this before. I’ve worked on both sides on the fence in the past, (i.e. interviewed and been interviewed) and picked up a few tings in the process. Hopefully, these will be of some help.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2007). Careers>Management>Interviewing>Technical Writing


How To Nail an Interview

What is it that certain people say or do during a job interview that makes them stand out? Why do some people struggle to find work, while others land a job in no time?

How To Nail an Interview (2008). Careers>Interviewing


Indi Young on Non-Directed Interviews

Jeff Parks talks with Indi Young about non-directed interviews. Indi shares the hallmarks of a non-directed interview and how to guide these conversations accordingly. She also shares the importance of understanding the difference between a screener and an interview; and the necessity to encourage interviewees to avoid statements of fact by focusing on verbs rather than nouns when sharing experiences.

Parks, Jeff and Indi Young. Johnny Holland (2010). Articles>Interviewing>Audio>Podcasts


Information Gathering for Policies and Procedures   (PDF)

Information gathering can be one of the most timeconsuming and potentially frustrating experiences when writing policies and procedures. Policy and procedure writers sometimes start from scratch and must investigate and research policies and procedures before the first word is ever written. Although there are many obstacles to obtaining accurate and timely information, there are also many avenues the policy and procedure writer can take to gather, utilize, and maintain information.

Dodwell, Christine. STC Proceedings (1996). Articles>Interviewing>Documentation>Policies and Procedures


Informational Interviews

Informational interviewing, a.k.a. networking, is a very effective way to learn and make contacts, in not just technical writing, but any field you are considering as a career option.

Blair, Jennifer. STC West Coast Canada. Careers>Interviewing


Interview Any User About Any Subject

To invite users to provide knowledge that informs your readers, you can try different approaches. In a small company, meeting with users is more informal: you can stop by and casually ask a few questions, rather than hold a more extended interview. When you’re speaking with an expert, tailor your conversation to that person. To establish rapport with a reluctant or skeptical source, try asking a specific question about a certain computer function. Or ask a general question on a broad function. Once the expert is talking, then you can pose more specific questions.

Strickland, Charlene J. TC-FORUM (1997). Articles>Interviewing


Interview Basics

There are four parts to any interview: Opening (small talk), information giving, information taking, and conclusion. Before you go into an interview, know your: job strengths (writing, media contacts); managerial strengths (organized); personal strengths (energetic); weaknesses.

Raperto, Marie. IABC (2006). Careers>Interviewing


Interview Checklist

When you sit down with the hiring manager, that's the point where you see if this is really what you want and they see if you are what they want. If you prepare yourself ahead of time, you'll do well. You can find a wealth of information on the Internet about interviewing. The following is a checklist of items to consider in preparing yourself, during the interview and follow up after the interview.

Young, Rich. IABC (2006). Careers>Interviewing


The Interview Process for Technical Communicators   (PDF)

Making a hiring decision can be one of the most important decisions made by a manager. You have a technical job to fill that requires high level skills. You also have a group dynamic and corporate culture to consider. The interview process is a set of tools and techniques for gaining information about a potential hire and making an informed decision. This workshop provides a supportive forum for learning from each other’s hiring and job hunting experiences. We also have a wealth of resources to draw upon throughout the interview process. A bibliography will be available for all participants.

Johnson, Jennifer Ramirez and Lee Anne Fernandez. STC Proceedings (1998). Careers>Interviewing


The Interview Question You Should Always Ask

After you have narrowed the pool of applicants down to those with the skills, experience, and knowledge to do the job, ask each candidate one question: What do you do in your spare time?

Bregman, Peter. Harvard University (2009). Careers>Management>Interviewing


Interview Techniques for Users

I had a great talk the other night with a classmate of mine from graduate school, who focused on usability and now works on a web application development team as their user experience designer. He’s Tim Keirnan, and I asked him to explain some of his interview techniques that he uses for his Design Critique podcast. I also got great snippets about his user interviews.

Gentle, Anne. Just Write Click (2010). Articles>User Centered Design>Podcasting>Interviewing


Interview with Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville

An O'Reilly interview with Peter Morville and Lou Rosenfeld about their book, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, their work, and the field of information architecture.

Hill, Scott. O'Reilly and Associates (2000). Articles>Information Design>Interviewing


Interviewing Basics Help You Focus on Content

Interviewing is an excellent primary source of information for any research project. Interviews with subject-matter experts can expose the most up-to-date information and introduce new material that may shatter your originally held ideas about a subject.

Goldberger, Dalya. Writer's Block (1997). Careers>Interviewing


Interviewing Candidates for UX Jobs

In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our experts discuss how to interview and evaluate the work of a potential UX team member.

Six, Janet M. UXmatters (2011). Careers>Interviewing>User Experience


Interviewing for a Job   (PDF)

Effective interviewing begins with knowing where interviewing fits within the process of finding a job.

Lund, Arnold M. HFES (1995). Careers>Interviewing


Interviewing for Performance   (PDF)

The author discusses how managers can best prepare for an interview to ensure that the perfect candidate for the job is selected. The article also includes charts that can be used to assess a candidateï¿ï¿ï¿s performance in key areas such as tool skill level, knowledge of online help, and analytical ability.

Bailey, Elizabeth. Intercom (2006). Careers>Management>Interviewing


Interviewing for the Job and On the Job: Part I

This article is based on a presentation I gave at the STC Career Day, held at Seneca@York, September 22, 2003. It describes the six basic principles to follow for job interviews and informational interviewing, including asking and answering the right questions, of the right people, at the right time.

Tech Writer's World, A (2008). Careers>Interviewing


Interviewing for the Job and on the Job: Part II

This article is the second of three in a series. It’s describes the six basic principles to follow for both job interviewing and informational interviewing.

Brooke, Andrew. Tech Writer's World, A (2008). Careers>Interviewing


Interviewing for the Job and on the Job: Part III

This article is the last of three in a series. It’s based on my presentation at the STC Career Day and describes the six basic principles to follow for both job interviewing and informational interviewing.

Brooke, Andrew. Tech Writer's World, A (2008). Careers>Interviewing



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