Don’t Do This in an Interview!

Posted by Yourcareerchina on 18. Jun 2012

Interviews can determine whether you get the job or you don't. A lot of people are nervous for their interviews because they don't know exactly what they should do and how they should act. 'What should I say? What shouldn't I say?'

Preparing for an interview in a whole different country where different culture and etiquette apply can amplify the nerves. The most important thing in an interview across the globe is to be yourself and be confident in your abilities.

Here are some tips of things NOT to do in an interview:

  1. Don't be late! This is the most important because it shows how serious you are about the position. Most interviewees who are late won't even get invited in for an interview. It's better to be 30 minutes than 5 minutes late.

  2. Don't Dress Too Casual. You should always dress professionally for an interview, even if the company tells you beforehand that the company is casual. It is better to overdress for an interview than to under dress. When you dress professionally it shows how much you want a position and how serious you take the interview. Dressing casually gives the impression that you do not take the company seriously.

  3. Do not lie about your past experiences. Make sure whatever you put on your resume is something you can elaborate on in the interview. It is important to highlight your strengths and your skills in your resume, but do not exaggerate and make false statements. An interviewer may ask you to talk more about those false experiences and if you are unable to give them any details, the interviewer will know that you fabricated your resume. A company cannot hire someone they don't trust.

  4. No questions. Always have questions to ask during the interview. They are looking for the right candidate for their company and you are looking for the right company for your career. You must ask questions to make sure that the company will be the right fit for you. An interviewee with no questions gives the impression of a lack of interest. You should ask questions about the work environment, Research the company before the interview and prepare 3-5 questions, about the company future, new products, etc.

  5. Don't Use Profanity. This should be an obvious one. You should never use profanity in an interview whether or not the interviewer uses profanity. This includes 'Damn', 'Hell', etc.

  6. Don't Talk Negatively. If you hated your previous boss, or didn't get along with your previous coworkers, do not mention it in the interview. Companies see this as a sign that you will do this to them in the future. Instead say how

  7. Don't tell Jokes. It is important to be relaxed and have a sense of humor, but do not tell jokes. Jokes have the potential to offend someone and you do not know what kind of sense of humor your interview might have. It is better to play it safe and not offend anyone.

  8. Don't Show Up Empty Handed. Bring extra copies of your resume and your business card. If your level of Chinese is advanced, bring a Chinese copy of your resume for the employer. Make sure your business card is in Chinese as well as English. HR managers conducting the interview are busy people too, with meetings throughout the day. They have more than one candidate to interview for one position, so if you are able to hand them your resume and a business card, it will be easier for them to remember you.

  9. Don't Leave Your Cell Phone On. It is rude to receive a call in the middle of an interview. Even if the phone is on vibrate, it is very distracting in an interview. Turn your phone off before meeting with the interviewer.

  10. Don't Follow Up. ALWAYS follow up after an interview. Most Chinese businesses will give you a contact number and email during the interview. Make sure to give them a call AND send an email to all persons you interviewed with and thank them for their time. It shows them your interest in the position, and also helps them remember you when making a hiring decision.

In China, it is customary for the initial interview to be conducted by the HR manager. Then if you are invited for a second interview, it will be with the head of the department. After interviewing with the head, a hiring decision will be made so it is important to impress both the HR manager as well as the head.

If you are given a business card, you must accept it with both hands and study it for a moment as a sign of respect. When giving your business card, give it with two hands as well.

Maintain a positive attitude in your interview and don't forget to smile!


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