Senior writer Interview Questions

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Unisys
Senior Technical Writer was asked...30 April 2012

How many words are in a good sentence? This was asked by an absolute idiot who was rude. This is also incorrect and she insisted this was correct, despite having never been a writer professionally in her life (her admission). Oh well, just remember the answer I guess.

6 Answers

The interviewer was probably trying to ask about readability, but could only go so far as to ask about word count. I'd bring some info about Flesch-Kincaid to the interview table. Less

What a stupid question. It all depends on your audience and the type of material you are writing. Stating 12 words as an absolute is laughable. There are other more important things to ask a tech writer. I should know, 25 years in the business. Less

As many as it takes for the client/customer to understand the application.

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Google

When did you graduate from college?

3 Answers

Please note that this question is legal (high school greaduation date is not). Date isn't relevant, however, unless you need to know about training versus education. One hopes the "name" colleges Google likes to hire from provides its alumni with educations, not how-to classes. Less

Interview questions that could be used to infer a candidate's age are generally considered inappropriate and off-limits by most companies. Sounds like Google needs to do a better job of training interviewers. Less

This could imply age discrimination though some managers ask innocently but it's still wrong. If a company truly wants to know my grad date than I probably wouldn't want to work there anyways. I've been on interviews where the employer never asked for my grad dates. Less

Practice Fusion

Give me an example where you documented an API.

3 Answers

Not all technical writing jobs require knowledge of or use APIs. My current technical writing job does not use them or mention them at all. I certainly was not aware of them until that interview. Technical writing is a broad field. Less

Not know knowing what API even stood for, I asked for an example. When they gave me one, I gave my best answer. The interview ended promptly after that. Less

How can you apply for Technical Writer and you don't know what am API is.

Amazon

Tell me about a time when you go above and beyond the customer?

2 Answers

While not looking for any positions at Amazon, an HR person reached out to me via linkedIn and sent me a position which she says a suitable match for me, and requested me to apply. Then, I applied for the position which was Senior Technical Writer. Then, I had 2 phone interviews with both hiring manager and HR person. They requested me to send a writing sample as well, and I did. After this, I had 6 hours of full loop with interviewers. While I was waiting for a final decision, HR person called me and said the hiring manager thought that I am much more a perfect fit for another position that he is supposed to open in 3 months, but he thought that I am a good fit, so he wanted to offer me this new position which is a Content PM role. I asked that if there is any other loop or not, and HR person said there will be only an informational call. We all talked about the salary and the details during this time and I was expecting an official offer after this. A few days later, when I asked in an email that what is the next step, HR person replied that they are planning a mini loop for me (3 interviewers- 3 hours). I was extremely surprised but she claimed that they need to assess my PM skills. During these mini loop, the 3 interviewers was the same 3 in the first loop. They asked a very general questions nothing specific with the PM skills, they are broadly asked "case base" questions which I replied like the same way I did previously. Total experience was very time consuming and without and feedback at the end. I will never ever apply any positions at Amazon again. I requested them to remove my resume from their database and find new graduates who have time to watch all the "how Amazon hires" videos on youtube and who pays for consultants to get a job from Amazon. I am totally busy with my existing tasks as a Senior Technical Writer in Telecom Industry. Less

As an Amazon employee who interviewed and hired a lot of people here, I've created a guide that has all the questions and winning answers from an Amazonian recruiter perspective. Please check it out at interviewjoy.com/services/interview-process-details/amazon-senior-manager-interview-questions/ . Pls also check the positive feedback at the bottom of that page! Thanks. Less

Netsolace

Will you sit late in case there is a work load?

1 Answers

I said, yes i will.

Marlyn Nutraceuticals

Unexpected: Brought into an impromptu meeting with the owner and a couple of engineers. Owner directed one of the engineers to get a manufacturing SOP he had recently created. Since that was one of the tasks I was going to be hired to do (and it was currently being done by the engineers), the owner asked me to look at the SOP and "judge" how good it was. (Oh, with the engineers sitting right there.) Needless to say, this was a very uncomfortable situation, without an easy "win." ~ If I decided it was "crap," I would immediately alienate/undermine/embarrass the very engineers that I would potentially be collaborating with if I was hired for the job. If I decided it was "great," I would potentially be eliminating ME!

2 Answers

In truth the SOP wasn't bad (for an engineer that's not a technical writer). And in that split moment I had to process, I decided I'd much rather minimize my potentiality than bring down a staff engineer! My answer was something to the effect of, "Actually, I think this is really well done. You have the right components here. It's well written. You did a nice job. Sure, as a technical writer, there are things I might add or tweak in the document, but overall I think it's really well done." Less

"Seriously?"

Salesforce

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.

2 Answers

For some reason, I got a little flustered and didn't handle this role-playing exercise very well. I didn't go into any depth, didn't ask for supporting documents, and didn't come up with a realistic recommendation. The situation was just too artificial. Less

What business tasks will the user will complete with this product and which UI screens will they need to touch to complete the tasks? Less

Google

What was your grade point average?

2 Answers

In spite of many studies (and lots of examples of well-known public figures), Google believes that GPA is a good indicator of performance. Less

Though my GPA was extremely good, I have to ask you, is this is for a SENIOR position? I did not bring my college transcripts or even my ACE certificate. I brought a portfolio of work, recommendations, and awards. Less

write about the wrist-band.com

1 Answers

Wrote 800 words content on that

How to I get info from developers.

1 Answers

I told them that I had great communication skills and that I could diplomatically approach a developer and politely but firmly get information from them. Less

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