Hiring Practices In China

Last week, we wrote on preparing for a Chinese interview. Now you're in a panic room. Here are some Chinese interview etiquette recommendations to help you get hired.


"Face" ( miànzi) is important in Chinese culture. Face-to-face interviews are the most crucial component of the employment process. How well you fit into the company culture and Chinese working environment is a major concern for Chinese employers when hiring foreigners. You'll be ahead of the competition if you can demonstrate cultural awareness in the interview.

Right Dress

Younger generations in China are starting to experiment with work clothes, but it's best to be conservative for an interview. Here's how to dress for an interview in China.


In any country, being late to an interview is disrespectful, but in China it's especially rude. Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early and appear calm and relaxed.

Use Titles

The Chinese don't use first names, so find out your interviewer's family name (Xng ) and address them by their family name + job title, or family name + "Mr" or "Mrs."

Don't Shake

As a Westerner, you may shake hands automatically upon meeting someone. China doesn't do this, so resist the urge. If your host offers a handshake, shake it. They'll likely bow slightly with the right hand within the left palm. Sit when they do.

Business cards matter

In China, business card etiquette is crucial, and many individuals take pleasure in both their own card and their ability to network and acquire others'. Even if you're jobless, print some business cards to participate in this tradition. Print one side in English and one in Chinese, and add your WeChat ID.

Always use both hands and a small bow while exchanging business cards in China. Then, gently place the business card on the table. Never write on or carry the card. Instead, get a card case.

Don't Discuss Money on a First Date

China's business operations are gradual and delicate. When prospective business partners meet for the first time, they frequently postpone business conversation until late in the encounter. Interviews should follow the same relationship-based (Gunx) concepts as Chinese business.

Don't mention pay or perks until the employer does. First interviews are like first dates. You just met. Go to the next base to discuss important matters.

Maintain Self-Control

While some Western employers value charisma and excitement in interviews, it's inappropriate to be overly outgoing in China. Chinese people don't gesture much, so keep yours modest. Instead of a finger, point with your palm in an interview.

Instead of showing off your individuality, practice good posture and deliberate, clear speech. Chinese people find it repulsive when Westerners touch their mouths.

Add Some Chinese employers want to see long-term investments in China and efforts to integrate. Sprinkle in Chinese words to demonstrate you're on board. Highlight your goals to keep studying the language to persuade them you're committed.


Western job interviews focus on self-promotion. China values modesty. Talk about your expertise and what you can provide, but avoid bragging. Instead, concentrate on the firm and why you want to work for them.

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