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Interview questions: Technical writer

Originally Published:
Jul 2016

This set of questions will help you identify candidates who have the right mix of skills to create topnotch technical manuals for your company. The questions are designed to give you a view of candidates’ experience, their work priorities, and their grasp of what it takes to produce effective, user-friendly material.

Poorly written instructions are a major roadblock to adoption and productivity. It’s difficult enough to attract customers or convince internal users to give unfamiliar products a try.

A good technical writer can help your organization deliver products that people want to use. With functionality and features described in plain, unintimidating language, users can get up to speed quickly on your software, hardware, or services.

Easy-to-understand explanations—written with technical insight and product knowledge (but presented from the user’s perspective)—can make a huge difference in building customer loyalty and helping users get the maximum benefit from your offerings.

The questions on this list include those pertaining to candidates’ previous projects (both successful and problematic), how they apply user feedback to the writing process, their take on the value of technical writing, and a think-on-your-feet challenge to assess their explanation prowess.

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