thoughts: awkward interview questions in China

Recently, I have had the privilege to be interviewed by some relatively small private Chinese company for a position in sales and marketing. It was my first time to be interviewed by a Chinese in China, no less. We had the interview in English. I don’t know if there were many things just lost in translation, as I speak moderately little of the language and my interviewer speaks fairly little of English, too. But it went weirder than expected. Here are some of the weirdest questions:

1. What is your family’s economic status?

(Why does it matter? If I come from a poor family, will that mean that I am a hard worker because I understand the value of money and industry?)

2. What is your dad’s salary? Your mom’s salary?

(Will my salary be dependent on my mom and dad’s salary? Do I need to give you their ITR as well?)

3. Did you get your braces done in China or in your country? Do you think China has good dentists?

(So if I have braces, would that mean I would work less as I will be caring more about how my teeth hurt? When did China having good dentists have anything to do with how I will be working for your company?)

4. Do you have a boyfriend?

(So if I would have a boyfriend would that mean I would be focusing less on my work and more on my boyfriend? Or are you scared that I might get pregnant accidentally that you might have to ask for leave and pay for my welfare?)

5. Would you be willing to marry a Chinese? Would your parents allow you to marry a Chinese?

(Would working for your company entail that I marry a Chinese guy? Is this some kind of indirect proposal from your part sir? Don’t you think you’re a little too fast?)

Now, I somehow understand that some of these questions might just be a way to ease up the conversation between me and my immediate boss (read: the Chinese way of beating around the bush). But during that time I was completely taken aback by how informal and privy the questions were instead of trying to assess my abilities and qualifications. Now, after living for more than a year in China, I would probably not even notice how weird these questions are and just think that they are part of daily conversation.

Any thoughts or same experiences?


Share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s