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Difficult Interview

Senior Technical Writer Interview

Senior Technical Writer
San Francisco, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at in August 2008.

Interview Details – Requested questionnaire and samples, then phone, then in person interviews with six different people from several different functional areas. They each asked mostly different questions. They probe as far as they can to find out just how much you know. Hard to "fake it." Interviewers were well prepared.

Interview Question – "Tell me about a specific time when...." cut through the Miss America answers and forced me to be honest about what I really had contributed, beyond just showing up and doing your duties, at my old position. Also, asking me about my samples--shocked me that they'd actually reviewed them in depth and had questions! Every answer I gave them prompted another question, like explaining "why" to a 3-year old, only these guys knew what they were asking about!   View Answer

Negotiation Details – One round of me insisting on a salary that was higher than current position (I was being slightly underpaid). Had the impression they would have walked if they hadn't really wanted my particular skill set. No negotiation possible on vacation allotment, though there was some "we aren't promising this," hints at being willing to talk about informal days off after initial probation. 1-2 days WFH but only after establishing ability to deliver.

1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Senior Technical Writer Interview

Senior Technical Writer
San Francisco, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at in November 2011.

Interview Details – Started with phone interview, which went very well.
In person interview was a different story:
- Interviewed with at least 4 different members of the group.
- Some individuals were clearly unprepared
- The ONE individual I expected to be prepared was Sr Manager. She was late, asked no questions that related to my skills or experience. Her most poignent question: "Tell me about a time you encountered difficulty in your life." Deep. Dished out a ridiculous HTML coding test and left.

Interview Question – Tell me about a time you encountered difficulty in your life.   View Answer

2 people found this helpful

Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Senior Technical Writer Interview

Senior Technical Writer
San Francisco, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at in January 2010.

Interview Details – After I applied online, a recruiter sent me a questionnaire to fill out. The questions were broad, so I included a fair amount of detail about my work philosophy and included links to work samples.

A few days later, the recruiter set up an appointment for a phone interview, but the caller was a no-show. I set up another appointment and had a 30-minute phone interview with the hiring manager. She said she hadn't read my questionnaire, so the conversation was at a shallow level. At the end of the call, she told that there wasn't actually an opening; that it's their practice to interview people in advance of an opening actually becoming available. I was warned that there might not be any actual openings for several months.

But about two weeks later, the recruiter contacted me again to set up an in-person interview. I came into the office, but was told that there still wasn't an actual opening. I was given a one-page copy-editing test, which included a simple HTML code review. Then I spoke with about six people who would be peers and superiors. No actual job, but good interviewing practice, I guess.

A few days later, I was offered a 3-month contract, but turned it down.

Interview Question – Pretend that I'm a product manager and interview me about a new product to figure out how to structure the help content for the product.   View Answers (2)

Reason for Declining – I still have a fulltime job (although it is in jeopardy), so I don't want to leave it for a contract.

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