Thursday, May 13, 2004

post-mortem
So... The interview went well I think. The interviewer was a nice woman about my age and I think we bonded as much as you can in a short interview. It was clear though that she wasn't the decision maker, in fact she was only in London to hold the fort until the position is filled - next week the senior managers and members of the editorial team are coming over from the States and will conduct further interviews. Whether I get put forward for stage 3 (bloody hell, just how many stages can an interview process have?) will depend on how well I tested.
The test. No matter that my confidence was dented yesterday, this test was about as different as can be. It was not exactly a traditional subbing test, although there were elements of that; it was not exactly a PR test, although there were elements of that; it wasn't a test to see if I was aware of US/UK English differences, although - you've guessed it - there were elements of that. The test came in three sections, each section had very detailed instructions (all edits were to be tracked, editorial queries were to be colour coded as were factual references). Section 1 was a press release, it needed to be subbed to AP style (I've never worked with AP style before), however, once a first sweep had been made it became very difficult to see what was happening to the text because it was littered with tracked changes and highlighted notes and queries. Section 2 was a fact-checking exercise, ensure that all proper nouns are correctly spelt and 'show workings out' by inserting a link to your source document, highlighted in turquoise, between square brackets. Google showed me where others had clicked before. I tried to better substantiate my claims (yes I'm that competitive) by finding additional source material, or better - previous candidates had only visited (ie referenced) a news story that quoted from the very same press release we were checking; that's not good enough! Finally, there were 20 or so sentences to correct, standard grammar textbook fayre. Unfortunately, it said if the sentence is correct write C next to it. Talk about fuelling paranoia! Some of them are correct??? The interviewer said there were no time limits, again fuelling paranoia. I left after about an hour and a half - I'm exhausted!

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