Interview experience: Daewoo International in Seoul, Korea

On April 29, 2010 I interviewed for my dream job at Daewoo International. Now that I’m working somewhere else, the interview remains a painful memory but I can’t deny that it was a learning experience.

I had to arrive at Daewoo Headquarters at 7:30 am. I arrived on time but nearly everyone else was early. There was coffee and Dunkin Donuts there for us. No one touched the donuts; we were all too nervous. We just sat there sipping coffee.

Thanks to alphabetical order I was one of the first to interview. There were five interviewers. First they asked me of my opinion of the Cheonan sinking in English. Then next questions were in Korean: Do I speak better Spanish or Arabic? How was my life in Sudan? When do I plan to get married?

Then I was guided to a computer lab to start preparing for the presentation part of the interview. Unfortunately, the topic I received was something for which I had not prepared: In the age when direct business between vendor and buyer is becoming more common, how can Daewoo as an agent maximize its role to seek profitability?

I had 50 minutes. I spent 20 on research, 10 on PowerPoint, and 20 on the script. They guided me to another waiting room where I had 30 minutes to stew. I presented to 5 interviewers who asked some questions regarding the presentation and about me after I’d finished.

The last step was a Spanish conversation test and it was fairly simple – What was the best trip you’ve ever taken? Compare life between Korea and Guatemala. What did you do to prepare for this interview?

It took about 4 hours in total so I was too exhausted for my afternoon class. The result wasn’t favorable and the process was stressful, but it became a useful experience for future interviews.

Filed Under: Interview experiences

About the Author

James Trotta began teaching public speaking in 2002 and interview skills in 2008. Somewhere in between he began teaching intercultural communication, public speaking, and resume / cover letter writing.

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