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.



Interviewing Kids

Interviewing school-aged children isn't too different from interviewing adults. But as I learned, there are a few do's and don'ts you might do well to keep in mind.

McCoy, Tim. Cooper Journal (2009). Articles>Interviewing>Ethnographies>Children


Interviewing skills for technical writers – Things to remember | RightMix Technologies

Although most of the objective information such as what interface elements mean and the sequence of steps can be gathered from the development documentation, conceptual information comes from interviews with experts and other team members. So how do you ask the right questions? What skills and knowledge do technical writers need to ask the right questions? If the technical writer is not from the same domain, what can she fall back on to define the right questions? Or, how do we train technical writers to ask the right questions?

Bidkar, Prasanna. RightMix Technologies LLP (2011). Articles>Interviewing


Interviewing Technical Writers

Surprisingly, my first experience as an interviewer was as uneasy as my first job interview. I then realized that being on the other side of the table is not as easy as it is made out to be, especially if conducting an interview is unfamiliar territory. Later on, as I matured into this role, I created a style of my own and soon found it to be an interesting and inspiring proposition, though challenging.

Bhanu, Sindhu. Indus (2008). Careers>Interviewing>Management>Technical Writing


Interviewing Techniques: An Art You Need to Practice

Although some communicators have a background in journalism, interviewing may not be the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of business communication. Of course, many of us interview managers and employees for our company's newsletter articles, annual reports, promotional materials, white papers, advertorials, speeches and more. But the need for good interview techniques goes a lot further even than that.

Canavor, Natalie and Claire Meirowitz. Communication World Bulletin (2007). Articles>Interviewing>Business Communication


Interviewing Tips for Podcasters

Some advice from one podcaster to others on how to do interviews.

DMN Communications (2008). Articles>Interviewing>Audio>Podcasting


Interviewing Users

Despite many weaknesses, interviews are a valuable method for exploratory user research.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2010). Articles>Usability>Interviewing>Methods


Interviewing: How a Willie Nelson Concert Taught Me How to Listen

The best interviewing is conversational and nothing else. It's not over complimentary, gushing or just about impressing your interviewee with your knowledge.

Hartsock, Nettie. WhitePaperSource (2006). Articles>Interviewing


Interviewing: We Ask Some Tough Questions and Present Some Answers

Interviewing brings up some thorny issues. In this edition of "Working Words," we want to follow up on the basics covered in our last column and give you some opinions that may be helpful. To supplement our own experience, we've brought in some heavy guns—several seasoned business writers and a newspaper reporter, all of whom handle tough subjects.

Canavor, Natalie and Claire Meirowitz. Communication World Bulletin (2007). Articles>Writing>Interviewing


Interviewing: What Questions Are Illegal?

Discrimination in hiring is illegal. But how do you know when an interviewer is discriminating? Our FAQ on illegal interview questions prepares you before you're in the hot seat.

iVillage.com (2001). Careers>Interviewing>Discrimination


Job Descriptions and Job Details

Job-descriptions.org is a free resource for job descriptions and job details. Our website currently contains over 13,000 job descriptions. These jobs are divided into categories, then divisions, then groups and finally the job descriptions themselves.

Job-descriptions.org. Careers>Management>Interviewing


The Job Hunt: Rich Uncle vs. Monster.com

I'm now going to tell you the #1, surefire way to land a job with a great salary and benefits whenever you're ready to start working.

Berkowitz, David. WebWord (2000). Careers>Interviewing


Job Hunting in 140 Characters

Within hours of Tweeting “Who do I have to schmooze to get a job in this joint?” Chelsea Winkel received three direct messages, a much better (and as it would turn out, more substantial) turnout than anything else she’d tried so far. The key to making Twitter work for you is being proactive.

Duo Consulting (2009). Careers>Interviewing>Business Communication>Social Networking


Job Hunting in an Economic Downturn   (PDF)

Offers tips for technical writers looking for work in a lean economy.

Thomstatter, John H. Intercom (2002). Careers>Interviewing


Job Hunting, Web Style

As with many things on the Web, job-hunting on the Internet has brought new meaning to the phrase "level playing field." Currently, there are literally thousands of "jobs boards," or Web sites tracking new job openings, in cyberspace these days, which together represent a potential career jumpstart that is far ahead of the traditional newspaper advertisements

Dysart, Joe. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Careers>Interviewing


The Job Interview: Job Interview Techniques Revealed!

The interview is where jobs are generally won and lost and the job interview techniques you employ will determine your success or lack thereof. During the interview process, the hiring manager gets to meet you face to face and decide whether or not you are someone they want to look at everyday should they hire you.

Find Your Dream Career. Careers>Interviewing


Job Interviewing   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

One of the most challenging modules in my business communication course is the job search. Why? Because it seems that everyone has a strong opinion and a list of "do's and dont's" or "best and worst" for job seekers. In my class, students who would normally be text-messaging, doing homework for another class, or puzzled by the "you-perspective" become excited when we start discussing job search topics—the wrong and right style for the résumé and cover letter, appropriate interview attire, legal and illegal interview questions. By the end of the module, we have discussed so many different views and exceptions to the rules that some students roll their eyes and ask, "So, what are we supposed to do, Dr. Muir?" And then we have another round at it! For those reasons, I refused to teach any aspect of the job search for several semesters. Instead I would send students to my university's Career Services office (because they actually handle recruitment and placement and have their own set of guidelines), or I would invite guest speakers from industry to talk with students on a variety of topics relevant to the job search. (Note: It is particularly rewarding and empowering when the guest speaker agrees with you on just about everything you try to teach students.)

Muir, Clive. Business Communication Quarterly (2008). Careers>Interviewing


Job Searching on the Internet   (PDF)

Many people look for jobs today by logging on to the Internet; after all, there are well over 100,000 companies on the Web today, and many of these companies post job listings on the Internet. Many other organizations that don't have Web sites use online services to publicize their job openings. This is particularly true in computer-related fields, but, increasingly, companies in other fields are using the Internet to find potential employees.

Burnett, Rebecca E. Thomson (2001). Academic>Course Materials>Interviewing


Killer Interviewing Tactics: Get The Most from Your Guests

Covers the basics of good interviewing technique: making sure the show is not about you but about your guest; listening to the answers you get; sticking to a script; and, above all, preparation, preparation, preparation.

Murphy, Gayl. Podcast Academy (2006). Articles>Interviewing>Audio>Podcasting


Learning From Museums: Kate Talks with the SFMOMA Interactive Educational Technologies Team

What can the User Experience field learn from the world of museums? Peter Samis and Tana Johnson of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) Interactive Technologies Team can help answer the question. The issues that they grapple with (and solve through inventive design) are firmly grounded in the goal of providing exceptional and inspiring museum experiences.

Rutter, Kate. Adaptive Path (2008). Articles>Interviewing>User Experience>Interaction Design


Learning How to Read an Interviewer's Mind

Have you ever wondered what was going on in the mind of someone interviewing you for a job? Did you wish you could have had a 'cheat sheet' to prepare for the kinds of questions she might ask? Thanks to Lori Lathrop, a freelance indexer of technical manuals, we have a 'Cliffs’ Notes' for job interviews. Lori Lathrop is the principal of Lathrop Media Services. Her experience includes more than sixteen years as a technical writer, editor, and professional indexer.

Davis, Julie. Carolina Communique (1997). Careers>Interviewing


Linguistic Bias in Personnel Selection   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The present research examines how hiring committees strategically use language abstraction to collectively account for their decision to hire a job applicant over the others. In addition, the authors investigate how work interdependence between single members of hiring committees and applicants and common affiliation to the same work organization affect the language used to write individual reports on job candidates. Results of the first study show that selected applicants were described with positive terms at a higher level of abstraction and negative terms at a lower level of abstraction. The second study supports the selection linguistic bias in individually written reports and demonstrates that members of hiring committees describe interdependent applicants and those belonging to their group with negative terms at a lower level of abstraction than other applicants. The implications of the findings for the wider personnel selection context are discussed.

Rubini, Monica and Michela Menegatti. Journal of Language and Social Psychology (2008). Careers>Interviewing>Reports>Language


Looking for a New Job - Discreetly

Most people change jobs more than they change mates. But no matter how many times you do it, looking for a new position can be tricky.

DeZube, Dona. Dice (2007). Careers>Interviewing>Professionalism>Ethics


A Manager's Toolkit for Hiring the Right Writer-Or How to Avoid Throwing a Wrench into the Works   (PDF)

Economic concerns require hiring writers (contract, freelance, and permanent) quickly and surely. Employers can make better use of the resume and interview processes to hire the right writer. In this workshop, managers will analyze resume and participate in a mock-interview process. Further, they will learn how to assess job candidates using four screening tools developed by the presenters in a three-step process designed to provide a means of consistently making the most appropriate selections for job openings.

Sopensky, Emily A. and Laurie Modrey. STC Proceedings (1993). Careers>Management>Interviewing


Managing a Successful Employment Information Committee   (PDF)

A successful STC Employment Information Committee provides many rewards for job seekers, employers, and committee members. The Society’s Employment Information Manager and members from the Employment Information Committees of the Silicon Valley Chapter and the Lone Star Chapter discuss techniques for operating a successful employment information chapters.

Murphy, Katherine B., Terry N. Turner and Roger E. Masse. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>Management>Interviewing>STC


Mastering the Phone Interview

Many companies use phone interviews as an initial employment screening technique for a variety of reasons. Because they're generally brief, phone interviews save companies time. They also serve as a more realistic screening alternative for cases in which companies are considering out-of-town (or out-of-state and foreign) candidates. So the chances are pretty good that, at some point in your job hunt, you'll be asked to participate in a 20- to 30-minute phone interview with either one person or several people on the other end of the line.

Vogt, Peter. Monster.com (2007). Careers>Interviewing



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