Technical Writer Interview Questions

Technical Writer Interview Questions

"Employers hiring technical writers want candidates with the technical knowledge and written communication skills to simplify complex concepts. In an interview, be prepared to discuss your writing experience and provide an example of a time you explained a difficult idea to a group or classroom. Your interviewer may also quiz you on technical concepts or ask you to engage in a written exercise."

14,151 Technical Writer interview questions shared by candidates

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Content Writer and Editor was asked...April 2, 2015

How do you prioritize topics that need to be written?

2 Answers

I try to get a sense of the need for the topics by asking subject matter experts and other interested parties; then I prioritize based on whether this is a new topic, a revision, a requirement to address changed circumstances, or a "nice to have." Emergency topics take first priority; then topics that can be completed quickly; then topics that are needed, but which will require more time to investigate. Less

You would have to draw up an outline that included variables with respect to deadline and value. Once that was accomplished, you should develop an analysis of each item with respect to profit, qty available, vs realistic completion of the project deadline expectation. Say we have 100 widgets that are slow sellers, with a low margin and time consuming to write, and 1000 widgets with the same amount of work, yet are far more profitable, you would outline them in a multi-fold hierarchical format. Equal work and deadline, unequal values. If the next four items were also fast sellers with high quantities and significant profit margins, and took as much work as the 100 widgets, decisions would need to be made. Rush jobs are better served by making compromises. It's better to exclude weaker profit items, in order to ensure all high profit items are included and the quality of the finished product does not read as slap-dash, and that pesky deadline is met. Over-reaching is the hobgoblin of lost accounts. Less

Pure Storage

I was given a writing test. The test included three poorly organized technical writing passages that I was instructed to rewrite. Great idea to add this and something I have never seen in a technical writing interview. Typically you're just asked for samples and those are used to evaluate your ability as a writer.

1 Answers

I rewrote each of the passages, reorganizing the content and attempting to apply a minimalist style. Less


How do you plan to ensure that your focus is always on improving the customer experience?

1 Answers

The first piece of information a good technical writer needs, when presented with a new documentation task, is who the audience will be for this document. It's helpful to get as much detailed data about the audience as possible, preferably before even beginning the task of writing. The better you know your audience, or customers, the better you can serve them. The more you understand them, and their needs, the better you can dazzle them. Less

Abt Associates

How would you deal with people freaking out to meet the deadline for a USAID proposal?

1 Answers

I said that I am generally an easy-going person, used to deadlines, treat colleagues with respect--but also believe there would be less freaking out if a standard procedure and timelines were developed to ensure a smooth proposal development process and minimize last-minute panic. Less

Student Experts

What's your experience with online content creation?

2 Answers

I create online content constantly on Instagram, TikTok, Wattpad, and Snapchat. I’m currently the web editorial intern for Tinfish Press. We’re working on improving their Instagram page to make it easier for writers from the Pacific region to find them and submit work. Less

Minimal honestly. But in school I did contribute sparingly to a newsletter that covered local restaurants in the area. It was a small, college town so it gave me a chance to work pretty closely with the business owners. Less

Sanctuary for Families

What is your plan when you have to conduct research for a school paper?

1 Answers

Begin by finding a mix of expert primary and secondary sources on the topic and then read, digest, and synthesize the sources extensively Less

How do you decide which grants to apply for and which ones not to?

1 Answers

I've always been very lucky in that at each of my jobs I've had the lattitude to make those decisions. I've been able to make those decisions - relatively on my own - because I maintain excellent communications with program and other staff so that I always know organizational needs and wants. As I'm doing research or as opportunities arise, I'm generally able to take advantage of them because I'm always abreast of what's going on funding-wise and organizationally. Less


What's an API?

1 Answers

Application Program Interface (or Programming). The interface that an application uses to access the operating system and other services. Less

Polaris Project

What transferable skills do you have from your current position to the grant writing position?

1 Answers

At college I performed extensive research under the supervision of one of my professors, and I took an advanced writing class where I mastered my grammar and syntax and learned how to write clearly and concisely. Less


How do you measure the success of content?

1 Answers

How often is the content accessed? How effective are the keywords in finding content? For those systems with the option, how many times has the content been marked as resolving the question/problem? Less

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