As a follow-up to the article highlighting interviews with the QA Department, I have some additional information for those applying for writing positions with our company. The folks over in QA generously shared with me the extent of work involved in processing applications and dealing with new applicants.
“Yes, the test assignment, and how applicants treat it, is definitely top of the list!” – That’s how Nina Richmond from QA responded to my question about their most frustrating challenges.
As an applicant you have to complete a qualifying test assignment. Once this is turned in, the stuff “hits the fan”. That is a mildly phrased description of the way things happen, from a QA staffer. (I’m trying to keep it family-friendly here, folks!) =)
E-mails, chat requests, and, sometimes, phone calls, start pouring in, inquiring about the submitted assignment materials. The Support Department gets overloaded, so QA must take up the slack. None of these folks are loafers, by the way!
It just consumes masses of time to reassure applicants that their papers have not been checked yet. When your materials have completed the evaluation process, you will receive an email, notifying you of our decision. This process can take up to three days, so be patient, please!
Another frustrating question which consumes a great deal of time is, “Why I was not accepted?”
There can be many reasons affecting our decision. Grammar, writing style, possible plagiarism (which may reflect an over-use of clichés or tired tropes, so don’t get defensive), inability to follow formatting directions, etc., all may contribute. “And the list goes on endlessly, so we prefer not to answer that question!” said Alice Buckster, QA Dpt.
So I am telling all who were not accepted: your application/test assignment was not approved because your writing skills/expertise did not meet our qualifying criteria. That is the nub of it. Now, you should keep reading and working on your writing, and perhaps eventually we may be able to reconsider you for a position.
But hold your horses!
This brings us to the other frequent question/request to QA.
A lot of rejected writers ask whether they can resubmit an application. We have to ask a question in return: why would you want to do that? After all, you failed to meet our standards the first time. This means that you did not demonstrate the easy facility with words and ideas, and attention to detail, which our customers look for.
Perhaps you have not fully developed these attributes yet, or you did not put enough serious effort into your test assignment. In any case, we need folks with (as the young people put it) ‘mad skills’, as well as a mature professional attitude towards every order.
Logically, we should not be allowing re-applications at all!
However, we understand that people evolve, and grow, and invest personal effort into improving their writing techniques and vocabulary, their depth of exposure to one or more subject areas, and their research skills.
So, in five or six months, you may give re-application a try. But keep in mind that QA has the final right of refusal of such a second application. Please don’t cite this article as proof that you definitely and without question have the right to submit a new application – you will get me in trouble =). Thank you!
Have a good one!