Monday, November 22, 2004

Job Interview

Yesterday I went down town and had lunch with Irram, the Pakistani girl that works for the company that I went to an interview for today. It turned out that it was a pretty good move since she was pretty much conducting the interview. She openly criticized the company and described all the difficulties she had with her Chinese colleagues and supervisors. If she is one minute late for work three days, they will deduct one day of salary. They can't drink coffee at their desks, not even eat crackers. Everyday they have to report in a meeting what they did the previous day. The supervisor doesn't listen to her suggestions. Etc etc. Sounds great.

After lunch I went to shop for interview gear. Bought a pair of shoes, pair of pants, a belt and a shirt. Luckily I found a floor full of this formal clothing that had a sale. When buying something they gave you a card with the equivalent value of the prize you paid to buy next item. Pretty much 50% off. If you didn't want to use this scheme you could choose other discount methods, the discounts didn't apply to all products and shops, etc... Pretty complicated, but I figured it out. My shopping Chinese has improved. Hurray!

During the interview they did exactly as Irram had described. We chatted a little about the company, they asked me "do you know anything about international trade?", they asked me to do some corrections of their product pamphlet, and then Irram left and the supervisor asked what kind of salary I wanted. Irram said they did the same think when she got hired. Nobody ever tried to look at the corrections she made. I guess this time maybe she would be able to look at my corrections. Weird.

Concerning the salary I said 9-10 thousand, and she looked very shocked and asked "Is that for a year?". He he. No. So I will have to do some pretty touch negotiations here to get what someone driving the bus back home will get. She said it was impossible, but admitted that they had asked around and come to the conclusions that foreigners are usually paid 7000 upwards. I talked about previous salaries, about friends salaries, and additional costs of being a foreigner in China and bla bla bla. In the end it seemed like she was very interested in hiring me and that she would try to convince her boss that I was a good choice. She would of course not make the decision, and the boss who would just quickly by chance passed by and shook my hand, he will. Maybe I can get 7000 in the end. They probably had 4000 in mind.

I will be the first foreigner that I know that work for a completely Chinese firm if I take this job. My hope is that it will be better for my Chinese than it is for my economy.

1 comment:

I love Beijing said...

The boss probably wants to hire a foreigner to make his company looks different from other local ones, but truely only wants to pay you as you were one of his chinese staff.