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microrobert
09-15-2014, 11:02 AM
The awkward personal questions asked in Korean job interviews

Google was once infamous for giving job applicants brain teasers (though those were later discontinued (http://www.businessinsider.com/15-banned-google-interview-questions-that-will-make-you-feel-stupid-2011-11) and Google even admitted these questions (http://qz.com/96206/google-admits-those-infamous-brainteasers-were-completely-useless-for-hiring/) didn’t help to find good employees). In South Korea, job applicants have traditionally faced a slew of baffling questions. And like Google, employers are starting to doubt their value.

Tistory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tistory), a South Korean blog, compiled a list of questions (http://speakcare.tistory.com/m/post/513) (link in Korean) from various job search sites that seek to prepare job applicants for the “personality section” of the job interview. They included some standard interview questions such as “Why do you want to work for this company?” or “Do you think you have leadership qualities?” but some of them (http://speakcare.tistory.com/m/post/362) (link in Korean) delved into areas that seem far afield from normal job responsibilities. They include:


What do your parents do for a living?
How much alcohol can you handle?
What will you do if you don’t get hired by our company?
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt you were in despair?
How long do you plan on working for our company?
What do you plan on spending your first paycheck on?
How many close friends do you have?
How does it feel like to live far away from your parents?


And women in South Korea—which was ranked 111th (lower than China, India, and Japan) in gender equality according to a 2013 gender report (http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GenderGap_Report_2013.pdf) (pdf) by the World Economic Forum—have an additional set of questions to worry about:


As a woman, do you want to be an executive?
How many years do you think you’ll be working?
What will you do with your job if you get married?
Are you dating anyone?
What do you think of male-female interactions?
How long does it take you to do your makeup?


Times are changing, and now many companies are sticking to business-related questions in interviews, said Sungsik Ahn, a career counselor at Korea University. “Nowadays most companies do not ask such personal questions to interviewees,” said Ahn.

In the past, the reasoning behind asking these questions was to determine whether the person would fit the company’s culture, Ahn said. In Korea, he said, these questions also weren’t considered paticularly personal. Questions about things like drinking capacity were also asked to those in certain fields, such as construction or sales, where drinking is more or less part of the job (http://travel.cnn.com/seoul/drink/business-travelers-guide-drinking-korea-213012).

Nowadays, however, stricter privacy laws (http://koreanlii.or.kr/w/images/0/0e/KoreanDPAct2011.pdf) (pdf), the fear of annoyed interviewees taking their frustrations to the internet, and more objective competency measurements, have made companies less inclined to ask those questions.

http://qz.com/264182/if-you-want-to-get-a-job-in-south-korea-prepare-to-answer-some-pretty-personal-questions/

Kale
09-16-2014, 03:10 AM
Damn...better than interviews in America. At least those questions are straight to the point.

Interviewer: "What have you done in the past when you've seen a coworker steal at work"
Me: "I've never seen that."
Interviewer: "Wrong."

War Chief
09-16-2014, 03:30 AM
What do your parents do for a living?

If parents have a good work ethic they will assume you do too. Answer: "My father is a __(insert prestigious title here)__ and mother is a __(same)__"......


How much alcohol can you handle?

Trying to see how much endurance you have. Lie and tell them "I don't normally drink vodka, but the most I drank was 12 shots of vodka and I was fine though a bit disoriented". You don't want to come off as a heavy drinker here, also.


What will you do if you don’t get hired by our company?

Seeing if you're the type to spazz out, answer with: "Be patient, collect myself and find next opportunity/similar job."


Have you ever been in a situation where you felt you were in despair?

Trying to see how mentally stable you are. Answer "NO!"


How long do you plan on working for our company?

"3 years minimum."


What do you plan on spending your first paycheck on?

Hard question. I would either gain their sympathy by saying A. "to feed my kids", or look stable by saying B. "I will save all of it"


How many close friends do you have?

Trying to see if you are a people person and can work in his/her environment and interact smoothly. Lie and say "50+".


How does it feel like to live far away from your parents?

Trying to evaluate your level of independence. Tell them "It feels great".


As a woman, do you want to be an executive?

Seeing how ambitious you are. Tell them, "I wouldn't mind if there was an opportunity." so while you show some ambition, you also don't come off as some bossy cunt who will step all over other people.


How many years do you think you’ll be working?

"3 years minimum."


What will you do with your job if you get married?

"I don't plan to marry, but if I do nothing will change, I see marriage as just some ceremony followed by some legal document you have to sign."


Are you dating anyone?

They are trying to see if you will be flirtatious (and hence disruptive) in the work environment. Tell them "Yes, I'm already seeing someone."


What do you think of male-female interactions?

Same as above. Tell them "My interactions will be very straightforward" as you're already seeing someone.


How long does it take you to do your makeup?

South Korean computer nerds would stop what they're doing and have a heart attack at the sight of a pretty woman, so tell them "I spend only 5 minutes in front of the mirror, mostly just fixing my hair" so as to show you won't let the South Korean men jizz their pants at the sight of you.