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?