Test translations
Thread poster: JnnS

JnnS  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:18
+ ...
Sep 19, 2007

I have recent experience of applying for permanent in-house jobs advertised by agencies in Germany on well-known recruitment sites. Quite reasonably, the agencies ask you to undertake test translations to tight deadlines, usually demanding that the tests be returned rapidly in order to simulate the real job routine. They know that applicants will give of their best in order to be selected. The next step is usually a word or two of appreciation of the quality of your work and would you like to be added to their list of freelancers, thus having misrepresented their requirement as "in-house" with permanent employment contract, as advertised.

This has happened to me 3 times this summer and therefore I, quite reasonably, begin to wonder whether other translators may suspect that they have given away their work in a similar manner?


Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:18
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Inhouse usually has a house Sep 19, 2007

Humphrey wrote:
I have recent experience of applying for permanent in-house jobs advertised by agencies in Germany on well-known recruitment sites.

Inhouse means that there is a house. If there is a house, and if they want to see how you perform in a house environment, why not get you tested at the house (so to speak)?

I worked in a translation office of a newspaper and we always let candidates do their tests at our offices. They had 3 hours to translate documents that would normally take us 2 hours... but the work that we did was usually not the kind of stuff people would be used to before they stepped into our house anyway.


Tina Vonhof
Local time: 07:18
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Agree with Samuel Sep 19, 2007

I agree with Samuel. For an in-house job, you would expect to get an interview and do any tests on location. You don't hire someone for an in-house job on-line.


JnnS  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:18
+ ...
Precautionary phone call? Sep 19, 2007

I have been invited for interview by many genuine employers, large concerns of world repute and not agencies, on the basis of a preliminary test carried out at home. Then would follow an in-house test with an interview.

Perhaps the logical conclusion is to beware of any agency asking for further tests on-line.

However, on 2 of the 3 recent occasions (all three were agencies) the "offers" of freelance work contary to the stated requirement for in-house full-time, were made after only one translation - both rather long for tests, both involving current affairs.
Perhaps the answer is to get an idea of with whom one is dealing with a precautionary phone call before starting.


RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:18
German to English
In-house really does mean in-house Sep 19, 2007

to echo what Samuel wrote.

And permanent means permanent, too. So when we advertise a position like this:


we mean:

1) in-house
2) permanent
3) full-time

and nothing else. Our first response to applicants who submit a literate application and CV and otherwise meet the job criteria is to send them standardised test pieces. If these are satisfactory, we'll then invite the applicant for an interview, which includes a second test translation under more realistic conditions.

We don't advertise in-house positions to recruit freelances!



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