After a long search, after sending hundreds of CVs and a lot of frustration you finally get asked for an interview. The interview is your doorway into the company and the job you’ve spent all this time and energy on finding. So you better be prepared. Here are a few general tips to remember when prepping for that all important interview as well as few for preparing for a job interview in China.
Putting your game face on.
Source: USM MS photos
1) Arrival time
When you have an interview scheduled for a certain time, make sure you arrive early, but not too early. An appropriate time to arrive would be about 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time. Arriving too early might inconvenience your interviewer as they are fitting you into their busy schedule. A good idea might be to arrive in the vicinity of your interview an hour before your interview, thus you can make certain you know where the office is and then you can find a coffee shop nearby and go through your preparation one last time. This way you won’t be in a rush when you arrive and can feel more composed and confident. If you do arrive early, make sure you mention that you are early, and don’t mind waiting until it is convenient for your interviewer to begin the interview.
The most important part of interview preparation is having done the necessary research about the company and the position you are applying for. Go onto the company website and read it ‘cover-to-cover’ in order to know everything you can about the company. A good place to start is the ‘About us’ section where you can learn more about the philosophy and direction of a company; using this knowledge you can convince the interviewer how you fit into this philosophy and how you can help the company reach their goals. Mentioning a small detail which can only be found through thorough research will also impress the interviewer; for example: applying for a finance job and you quote that the company had a growth rate of x percent over the last three years as well.
You should always prepare questions to ask the interviewer. Having questions to ask shows that you have prepared well and want to know more about the company. Some interviewers will start the interview by asking if you have any questions, so be prepared from the get-go.
4) Re-read your cover letter
If you have an interview then you obviously applied for the job and most likely wrote a cover letter. Make sure you re-read your cover letter to remind yourself exactly why you wanted the job and why you would be a good fit. Quoting your cover letter will also impress the interviewer who most likely read it just before the interview as well.
It is important to make sure you know what language the interview will be conducted in. If the job requires a certain level of Chinese, expect the interviewer to at least conduct some part of the interview in Chinese. Prepare for this by revising words which might come up in the specific interview; i.e.: look up words related to the job and to topics you think might come up.
Prepare the necessary documents you might need. These include, but are not limited to, your CV, cover letter and research notes on the job/company. Most times the interviewer will have a printed copy of your CV in front of them, but if they don’t then it will look good if you do. You can also prepare samples of your work to hand over during the interview. Printing shops in China are plentiful and cheap so there are no excuses. Look out for a sign that says 打印 (dă yìn).
7) Pen and paper
Always take a pen and some paper with you to make notes during the interview. If you are very nervous, making notes will help you remember questions you may want to ask at the end of the interview. Even if you don’t use them it will look professional.
8) Dress code
The dress code for interviews in China will depend on the type of job you are interviewing for. Try and assess the level of formalness you would need to achieve. For interviews for creative positions, such as designers, the dress code might be more relaxed than an interview for, say, a job in a bank. Over dressing is slightly better than under dressing but not by much. For the average job in China, male employees don’t wear ties, but make sure you are neat and that your shoes are clean.
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Keywords: Prepartions Preparing for a job interview how to prepare
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