Testy Copy Editors

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Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 9 posts ] 
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 Post subject: Found on Craigslist
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:48 am
Posts: 523
Location: Charlestown, RI
Temporary Onsite Placement for Contract Copyeditor:
• Long-term position, 5 days a week onsite in Herndon, VA
• Two openings immediately available; positions will probably last for several months
[...]

Qualifications:
• ALL candidates must successfully complete a 3-hour-long battery of tests of English-language, copyediting, and proofreading skills.
• If tests scores are acceptable, candidate will then be interviewed by our client.

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/wri/746899287.html

If you heard a noise, it was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor... a 3-hour test just to get an *interview* for a temporary contract job???


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 3557
Location: Cusp of retirement, grave or both
"Long-term position" "will last for several months." WTF is up with that?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 887
Location: U.S.A.
I can't for the life of me understand why the hiring company would want to waste so much time reviewing a myriad of three-hour tests from job prospects, some of whom no doubt wouldn't last five minutes in an interview.

Oh, yeah, and then there's the inconvenience imposed on the test-takers as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:48 am
Posts: 523
Location: Charlestown, RI
I've certainly had my share of people who come off great in an interview only to bomb the test, so I can *almost* see their point in requiring the testing prior to interview (though 3 hours is overkill, you can get a decent sense of someone's skills in far less time, or at any rate I always have). Though my solution to the great interview/lousy test problem is to give the test first and skim it over before we sit down to talk about the job; then I can cut the discussion short if the person's test isn't up to snuff.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 5:33 pm
Posts: 1225
Location: Texas
If the client wants the applicants thoroughly tested, then you can bet it's paying the recruiter to do it. It's not wasted time from the recruiter's perspective if it's billable.

And I suspect that the recruiter may have computerized tests where they can just sit each applicant down and check in on them every hour or so. It's probably not labor-intensive.

The job itself, I'd bet, is with a private information company that caters to businesses with far-flung operations that need detailed, accurate info; a similar one is based in my town, and it pays its copy editors better than most newspapers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:48 am
Posts: 523
Location: Charlestown, RI
Actually, according to the ad, the job is editing textbooks--and not even college textbooks at that, just elementary, middle school, and high school.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:20 pm
Posts: 431
Location: Far removed from a former career
I went to what I thought was an interview a few years back with a financial advice Web site operation. They gave me a test that had 52 errors in it, and if I didn't catch at least 47 of them, I was summarily dismissed. I caught 45 of the errors, and was told I didn't make the cut for an interview. This, of course, was for a full-time job, but still.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:48 am
Posts: 523
Location: Charlestown, RI
But an editing test isn't a math test, and not all infelicities in writing are flat-out errors. Seems to me you're going to end up with people with tunnel vision using that approach.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 8:31 pm
Posts: 552
Location: Pennsylvania
If the job involves editing textbooks for "English" classes, maybe they want people with tunnel vision.


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