Technical Writer qualifications to look for
Technical writers are skilled wordsmiths who develop manuals, guides, website content, journal articles and other content that communicates technical information about your company’s products or services.
Your top technical writers will have a solid foundation in their subject matter (science, medicine, engineering, software, manufacturing, or some other technical area). They are wizards at breaking down complexities so their readership—developers, project workgroups, engineers, consumers—and can understand sophisticated subject matters.
To find your next top hire, be very specific with your job description, noting the exact industry and background you want your writer to have. It’s also important to list the types of materials you need to be written.
Keep an eye out for candidates who can:
- Handle feedback well
- Write concisely
- Communicate effectively
- Disseminate complex information in an easy-to-read way
- Solve problems effectively
It’s a good idea to test your candidates’ skills to better evaluate how they would handle their role in your company.
Top tip: Hire candidates willing to grow by making sure their personal career goals align with your company's mission.
Technical Writer interview questions
- Why did you become a technical writer for our industry?
- Can you describe our target audience?
- How do you stay updated on industry news?
- Have you worked on a technical writing project with a cross-functional team? What is it like?
- Describe one of your more successful pieces. What was the workflow? Who did you work with? Why did it work well?
- What guidelines or materials do you require to begin a project like [this work sample]?
- Tell me how you developed this [this work sample]?
- What was the collaborative effort on this [work sample]?
- Walk me through the timeline for [this work sample]?
- What software tools do you use on a daily basis? What are their best features?
- How quickly can you learn to use a new tool? What is the latest tool you learned to use?
- Have you ever conducted field visits to learn more about the product? If so, how do you feel about this process?
- Tell me about your experience interviewing subject matter experts. How do you source them?
- What tools do you bring when you interview subject matter experts? Is there anything you’d like from us to help with this process?
- How do you handle negative feedback from your editor?
- How do you respond to constructive feedback from your editor? How does it help you grow as a writer?