Job Interviews Tips

Interviews are a play of strategy. Employer and potential-hire rally questions and answers trying to best the other with the element of surprise. It’s the interviewer designing the question to test the interviewee’s spontaneous critical thinking and personality under stress.  It’s the interviewee practicing the most creative answer of where he or she will be in 10 years.  But at the end of the day, it comes down to more than what either party says, it’s the flow of the conversation.

In a candid style, Jeff Harden of Inc. Magazine outlines ‘9 Things Every Interviewer Wishes You Knew’

  1. I want you to be likeable.
  2. I don’t want you to immediately say you want the job.
  3. I want you to stand out…
  4. …but not for being negative.
  5. I want you to ask a lot of questions about what really matters to you…
  6. …but only if the majority of those questions relate to real work.
  7. I love when you bring a ‘project.’
  8. At the end I want you to ask for the job…and I want to know why.
  9. I want you to follow up…especially if it’s genuine.

Sounds intense…but don’t let it scare you. Our job at IntuuChina is to interview clients for the purpose of getting them interviews, so we’re quite used to this beast. 

We really enjoyed his piece and wanted to share it with you (find the full text here http://linkd.in/1lmZKVC).  Two things that resonated most with us was the need to have made the job application personal and difference between being the ‘impressive’ and the ‘polite’ candidate.

For the first, Harden repeats that applicants should be knowledgeable of the company to the extent that they could ask specific questions about the role and company.  He specifies that these questions are not about benefits or hours but rather, company goals, manager expectations and how you will be evaluated.  Additionally, he says the best candidates will be able to suggest a new company project that utilizes their past work skills. Also, he notes that interviewees should not immediately state that they want the job—he says eagerness can be mistaken for flippancy.  Hardin suggests asserting your desire for the job at the end of the interview and in the follow-up

Second, Harden details that candidates who have unique personalities will come to be known by those traits during the interview process.  He says that an interviewee’s impression lasts longer than a CV and candidates should be personable.  Additionally, the post-interview follow-up is also critically important but the generic ‘Please advise if you need more information’ message is not going to cut it.  Referencing conversation points from the interview shows your engagement in the process and commitment ability.  

New Year

It’s always seemed a little peculiar that the letting go of 365 days and buckling down into new resolutions only required the strike of Midnight.  With blasts of fireworks and pops of champagne, the Western hemisphere progresses through the solar calendar in as much time as the peck of a New Years Kiss.

Ringing in the Lunar New Year, however, is quite a bit more dramatic.  Over the course of 15 days, China goes into holiday mode: a majority of stores, restaurants and offices close, families travel together, and fireworks are lit all day long.  The new icon of the year, the Horse for 2014, becomes the most popular cartoon, adorning everything from red envelopes stuffed with money (hongbao) to special edition baijiu containers.  Train stations, airports and highways experience record traffic as 3.62 billion passenger trips happened throughout China this year.

Concealing the holiday cheer this year, however, was a thick layer of concern about smog.  It is no secret that China’s air quality has worsened, or at least become a bigger worry, in recent months.  With Shanghai and Beijing consistently posting AQI (air quality index) numbers above the healthy limits, government officials and environmental organizations encouraged people to cut back on the pyrotechnics.  In fact, the LATimes.com reported that there was general support behind the extinguishment, with 81% of Shanghai respondents saying they supported a total ban.  Exact figures on the number of booms aren’t expected but we can say for certain that it’s a Happy New Year.

Sending wishes for the best Year of the Horse from us at IntuuChina!!

Golden Week China

 

Mid-Autumn Festival earlier this September has left everyone stuffed with mooncakes. For those not currently in China, it is around this time when people are bombarded with pictures, news articles and adverts of scrumptious mooncake. This public holiday involves family gatherings and outdoor activities such as floating sky lanterns and giving offerings to the full moon. Before heading home for the holidays people at the office normally give each other a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth pastry layer enfolding a sweet, dense filling that may sometimes contain a salted egg yolk in their center (the symbol of the full moon).

Just as we reminisce of this public holiday though, October starts with a national week-long holiday known as Golden Week. Golden Week in China normally falls on the first of October where millions of Chinese travel domestically for family reunions, vacations or shopping malls. Alternatively (and probably wisely) some go abroad as this week is when everyone recommends you to avoid travel at all costs.

Claustrophobics prepare yourselves: see here and here. Golden Week was originally set in place to allow workers to make long-distance trips to visit family which would in turn expand the domestic tourism market. Whether it’s a good thing for the economy or not, it at least means you’ll be out of the office for a week and that’s something everyone can look forward to. In any case, for those unlucky (or lucky) ones that will stay put during this National Week in China can enjoy your Golden Week in China by relaxing in bed. Watch a marathon rerun of all your favorite sitcoms or films, thankful that you’re not queuing for hours on end. If you’re still disappointed at the lack of sightseeing you’ll actually be doing this week in China, experience virtual China from the comfort of your bed! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCRZcg665zM Golden Week in China is upon us and for those of you thinking of traveling around China, think again. Enjoy your week long holidays in Shanghai.

Enjoy national holidays in China by going abroad, outside of China, or staying put as Golden Week in China is one of the worst weeks to travel.

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Chinese Taste Delights

When it comes to smells and tastes, China has a lot of extraordinary experiences to offer. There are certainly some interesting aromas to inhale when walking around in Shanghai. But today, we want to introduce you to the Chinese world of food. Starting from instant noodles, over dumplings to street food and century eggs, China has everything (but cheese). You might think that instant noodles are not that extraordinary but let me show you in how many different variations instant noodles come in China:

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Apparently,all of these have different flavors and seasonings but somehow they all taste the same. A great alternative to these somewhat weird noodles are dumplings. Dumplings come in different sizes, different tastes, with or without soup, fried orsteamed, spicy or not and they are just amazing. In their essence, dumplings are the Chinese version of Italian tortellini, Russian pelmeni, Austrian kasnudeln and Spanish/ South American empanadas. Obviously, all of these other versions taste differently than Chinese dumplings but the principle is the same: dough on the outside, meat or vegetables or seafood on the inside.

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Another food that one cannot miss out on when in Shanghai is street food and especially street barbecue. One can get a lot of different foods on the street but fried rice or fried noodles together with some barbecued chicken and some veggies is an impeccable dinner and/or late night snack! Another thing that is impeccable about street food is the price! It is very hard to spend more than 2 euros (for one person) on it. Just one general piece of advice: Unless you fancy sausages that taste a little sweet, you might want to keep your hands off of the sausage. They might look like real sausages but they are most likely not! And don’t forget to tell your ayi or your shifu to make it yi dian dian laa (to tell the person that is making the barbecue that you want your food a little bit spicy). Of course you can also have fried dumplings off the street!

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A ‘specialty’ of the Chinese cuisine is definitely the century eggs. Century eggs are preserved eggs that depending on the way of processing are already a few weeks or months old. To my very own surprise, I had one of these eggs a few days back and it didn’t taste all that horribly. It might not have been my favorite food so far but it was definitely edible! I’ll spare you the pictures of this one; it truly does not look very appetizing.

In China, things do easily get lost in translation, so if you see ‘Bang Bang chicken’ on the menu, don’t be afraid. Chances are that it is just regular chicken with sauce.

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All in all, China has definitely more ‘extraordinary’ foods to offer than one blog entry could possibly cover. Most of it is worth trying though!

Summer 2017 Internship in China

April fool’s day is round the corner and will also mark the 3 months countdown to Summer. You are probably coming to terms with the first semester of University and sooner than later, the few last months at University will be filled with final assignments and revisions for the final exams.

Have you thought about what is coming up next?

Obviously, it is crucial to rest a little bit after an intense year at University. However, as the employment market gets more and more competitive, it is also important to capitalise on the time you have left. We believe you can both maximise your employability whilst still having fun. How? You ask… Simply by considering an internship abroad. As Lao-Tzu famously said, ‘The Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. It is not too late to consider an internship abroad for this Summer 2017 and IntuuChina can help you make it happen. Simply reflect on these 3 facts:

1 – Working abroad is a real mind-opener

‘Travelling shapes the youth.’, says the French. Going abroad will not only expose yourself to new cultures but it will also help you explore yourself. What you will discover is unique to your own individual self but the outcome is definitely worth experiencing. Living in another culture is so much fun and rewarding and if you are ever scared of experiencing ‘homesickness’, rest assured that a summer internship abroad does not allow enough time to experience this dreaded feeling.

2 – A real CV-booster

Being exposed to the world and its people help you develop well sought after skills of resilience, patience and ultimately, it will allow you to step back, see the bigger picture and develop your ability to think outside the box. All of the above is really appreciated by potential employers and will definitely make you stand out on the job market.

3 - China is the place to be

There is no doubt that China is currently one of the hottest places to learn from at the present moment. Its economy is booming, attracting thousands of multinational firms. An internship in China can lead you beyond what you originally expected. Indeed, networking opportunities within your company, your circle of new friends and even party revellers when you’ll go out can prove to be useful contacts for your future career.

IntuuChina can help you land into an internship in China and take the hassle out off job hunting, house hunting and travelling abroad whilst you are still studying at University.  Send us your CV and let us help you experience China first-hand and create life-long opportunities for the rest of your career.