Working with an author to ensure that the text clearly communicates their intended meaning, while respecting both the author's need to communicate in their own voice and the audience's need to understand.
Take the time to get into specifics about the tools that are vital to your projects. Pointed questions about software programs, for example, will give your candidate the chance to show their expertise or demonstrate areas where they are less familiar. Refer back to your job description to make sure you're drilling your candidate on the most important tools for the position.
I like to write and I have been a technical writer for 7 years. I enjoy working in an environment where I can learn new tools, work on many different types of products and interact with different teams.
Learning new technology and new software and businesses.
I love to learn new stuff every now and then for which I interact with people and document it. I simply love my job.
Relaying information that is understood by many in short passages.
All writers make mistakes, but good writers should know how to catch them. Great candidates should have a proofreading strategy, whether it's reading a printed copy, reading their piece aloud, or even reading the piece backwards.
In some organizations, technical writers are not respected as much as developers or QA. The management sees technical writing as just a chore and not as an asset to the team. I have had to work with managers who do not know how technical writers function and expect us to provide good quality documentation in highly impossible timelines.
People don't understand what exactly is a technical writers job and wants to finish highly sensitive work in impossible deadlines.
This is a question about judgment. Does the professional understand the difference between drawing on legitimate, thoroughly vetted sources like The New York Times or peer-reviewed journals, compared with unverified sources such as personal blogs?
Clarity and attention to detail.
I am very good listener, writer and creative too.
I pride in that I listen and try hard to achieve the goals set by the enduser.
I once warned an author that something he planned to do was unacceptable according to standard conventions in the scientific publishing business, and that he would inevitably be caught by his peers and lose considerable face as a result. He ignored my advice, and when my predictions proved to be correct, his anger (redirected at me) poisoned our relationship for many years afterwards.
Good candidates won't just be great writers; they'll also know the best practices for SEO, like using the right keywords in the right quantity, and adding hyperlinks to other pieces of content on your site as well as outside sources.
Great candidates should at least be familiar with a major style guide like the AP Stylebook or Chicago Manual of Style. Consider it a flag if this question elicits no response or an “I play it by ear” response.