Wednesday, July 09, 2008

But Pappu can’t write saala!

As a documentation manager, I have had enough opportunities to interview people for technical writing positions. And to me, each of these candidates are interesting in their own ways – some are smug like a Cheshire cat, some oh so docile, and then there are others who would start interviewing you back.

Last week I interviewed this dude, yes, I call him dude with a purpose. He was dressed to kill (impress?), got this Yankee twang, and his attitude was contagious. The interview process started with a telephonic round and I must say he impressed the hell out of the HR lady. She passed him on to me. After my call with him, I was sure that we could move him to the next round where we meet candidates in person.

I asked one of my peers to have a chat with the dude and let me know what she thinks. After 15 minutes, she comes back all mighty impressed but with a rejoinder, “if this guy does well in the written test, you will never have to worry about low visibility of the tech pubs team. This guy can be an ambassador for the team and his communications skills are excellent”.

Music to my ears? Definitely! Personally, I like vivacious types and dude seemed to fit the bill in all respect. He had a great attitude, knew the nuances of tech writing, and replied positively to all the typical yada yada you ask a prospective tech writer.

So, armed with my conviction that we have a good candidate, I fixed a date and asked dude to take a writing test. Dude was a little hesitant about the test but accepted to take it anyway.

I sent out the test to our in-house editor, a person with immense experience in her job, and I had also added a foreword about how we all liked this guy. After evaluating his test papers, she sent back a detailed feedback and ended her message with the note, “whatever you say, Joy, but this Pappu can’t write saala!”

I am extremely sad because I kind of liked Pappu!

5 comments:

sreeramshenoy said...

Brilliant write up...powerful usage of words Joy!! :)
The ending by the in-house editor was awesome...influenced by the pappu wala song I guess!! ;)
Thanks for visiting my blog!! Its an honour to know that i've been an inspiration of sorts!! :D

Kavita Lad said...

Fantastic!! Absolutely visual writing...good one, Joy!

Achilles said...

lol ... good one :)

Estel said...

how very true!
even i realise that i ll be a pappu - minus the dude.
can you refer to good material on a tech writer's skills - expected?
thanks.

Joydeep said...

Hello Estel!

Thanks for asking! Sometime this week, I will come up with a post on good technical writing skills and where to go looking for them.

You might already possess some of those skills like good communication and a hold over the language. Most technical writers in India learn on the job. And to get past that first interview, proclaim yourself a fresher.
Chances are that you will be tested on your language skills as opposed to your technical writing skill - as a fresher you are expected to have none.

Did you read my most recent post? If not, here you go:

http://joydeepdey.blogspot.com/2008/07/technical-writing-introduction.html

Best,

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Watch this space for more!

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