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You asked for coaching, so I have the following suggestions...
DON'T LIMIT YOURSELF to people who are members of X or have Y degree.
There are plenty of highly competent people out there with neither.
Instead, look at their resumes for the kind of employment history that
demands competence and success. Make the following two of your standard
"Describe your most successful project."
"Describe your least successful project."
DO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION what the prospects wear, their attitude,
their body language, etc. Sorry, but it's just human nature to be
affected by these things. You're building a company culture and these
things can indicate woeful misfits (for *your* preferred culture). Your
company culture will make the company stand out (or not), and determines
much of how you do business. You will succeed or fail on your culture
as much as on the pooled talent in your group.
DO SCREEN your prospects. Ask for writing samples *before* the
interview. Or ask for written answers to the above standard questions.
Screen on the phone. Send a few emails back and forth... There are
plenty of ways to get a feel for the person before setting aside the
time for an interview. Then your interviews can be fewer and more to
the point... "I believe I would like to work with you, so let's talk
about what that would be like."
DON'T BE OFFENDED by a person who asks about your company. You are
interviewing a writer - the writer is also interviewing you. The days
of Scrooge and Cratchett have not completely returned (yet) - you want a
professional writer and the writer wants a professional company. It's a
two-way street. Even if the questions are clumsy, they show an interest
in what you're doing. (If you don't want to hire people who ask clumsy
questions, that's a culture thing...)
DO KEEP ME IN MIND if you need a telecommuting writer, or if you want to
offer FrameMaker automation to your clients. (I hope that's legal on
this list... I couldn't resist!)