How to Ace a Job Interview in China


More and more individuals choose Mandarin speaking jobs because it’s high paying. It may be in their own hometown or in China itself. If one plans to find a job and work in China, it would be very helpful to understand their business customs. Some may be familiar and simple to follow, while some of the ethics may be new to the ears. Professionalism can be seen across easily by being more aware of the cultural differences and perspectives to maximize growth potential in the company. Here are some tips to ace that job interview one is planning to have in China.

First and foremost is being knowledgeable with basic Mandarin language. One should express interest in learning more Chinese words as well as the culture itself. It is best if one learns and knows who to speak Mandarin in a business-proficiency level as this is considered a strong point for candidacy. Human resource recruiters are concerned on the willingness of the applicant to stay in China for a couple of years. That’s why being able to express that strong interest and stating facts to support such are welcome in the interview process. Saying a brief introduction about one’s personal life could help the recruiter know you better and this is also a good way to practice one’s Mandarin speaking ability. Words should also be enunciated clearly and speaking pace should be at a slower pace to establish understanding on both ends.

Humility is an important virtue in the Chinese culture. In any interview, stating too much about oneself and one’s accomplishments may backfire. Instead of sounding thrilled about one’s milestones, this may come off as boasting. This, in turn, may harm the formation of a good relationship and connection with the interviewer. During an interview, it’s vital to be aware of the interviewer’s gestures and body language in order to assess one’s answers. If the interviewer seems to have heard enough of a particular topic and answer, it’s best to move on to the next question. Chinese companies would rather hire people who have the right amount of attitude and one that exudes modesty. One of the tips that can be considered is that instead of raving about your qualifications for the position, it’s much better to show excitement and enthusiasm on taking that new job. Expressing interest can be shown by asking questions about the company, the tasks involved with the position, and their culture. This shows that you’re serious about being part of the team and you’re optimistic on how you can help the company grow.

Time is gold and it is considered precious especially in China. Not only are you advised to be on time, but to show up 10-15 minutes before the actual interview. This gives the impression that the person is punctual and promotes a positive impression that allows one to be two steps ahead. Traffic is notorious in China and this shouldn’t be an excuse for being late. It is best to research about the vicinity where the interview will take place and add additional time period for the travel time. Being late is a sign of disrespect in the Chinese culture which could make or break the deal. More so, it is best to arrive earlier because this will eliminates stress levels and will help project a more relaxed aura that is beneficial for the interview.

These are just some of the tips that could help any individual who plans to work in China. It’s also important to keep in mind to avoid topics that are sensitive such as political tensions like the current issue about the Nanking Massacre. This may affect the result of one’s results. That’s why being wary of what we say should always be our topmost priority in any interview we’re planning to take.

Jack Logan

The author Jack Logan