Congratulations! After a long wait, you finally received an invitation letter from a Chinese company. But another crucial step still between delivering your resume and getting a job offer: the interview. Even though some Western interview standards still apply to interviews in Chinese, you need to adjust your interview strategy according to cultural differences.
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Here are some suggestions.
Prepare the bilingual business card
Chinese businessmen attach great importance to social skills, and they usually expand their relationship circle ("guan xi" in Chinese) by exchanging business cards. Therefore, you should have your own business card if you decide to work and live in China. You can write your own information on different sides of the business card in English and Chinese instead of making two business cards. Also, remember to hand out and accept business cards with both hands.
Research the company
One of the main criteria for Chinese companies to hire foreign candidates is: Can expats integrate into the company culture and how? A simple and effective way is to talk to the employer about the company’s specific projects, how your capabilities will help the company achieve its goals, and even the current status and future development of the industry. If you are applying for a local company rather than a multinational company like Apple, searching for relevant information in Chinese is a better choice for many Chinese companies are lack of English websites.
Try to speak in Chinese
The business relationship in China often lasts for a long period of time, try to speak Chinese helps to demonstrate that you are more likely to stay in China. You do not have to speak Mandarin very fast but make sure to speak a bit more fluently. Besides, it’s important for you to learn some Chinese vocabulary related to the specific business and industries. Too much colloquial expression will make you look like an “amateur player”.
Don’t talk about salary in the first interview
Influenced by an indirect culture, Chinese always think that building trust needs time so that talking salary and benefits in the first interview is considered as an impolite behavior. What you need to do is to be patient, and if you are selected as a proper candidate, someone will discuss the details with you in the final round of interview.
Don’t use too much exaggerated expressions
Belonging to high-context culture, nonverbal communication plays a great role in China. In the first meeting with other people, you should not be too emotional and make too many gestures. Instead, keep a good posture and speak calmly will leave a good impression to the employers. Dramatic performances are not welcome in Chinese workplace.
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