Monday, November 18, 2013

Choe Kyungyo/Oral History 2nd Draft/Tue 3,4

Interview with a job applicant


According to the OECD, Korea has the largest percentage of university students among OECD members. 84% of Korean high school students enter college in Korea on average.


Consequently, more and more people who graduated from colleges find and want good jobs. Due to technological advances, however, manpower is getting unnecessary. Many jobs that used to require a great number of workers are now rapidly being replaced by machines.


Today, it is very common to see articles on the Internet that say "Companies have decided to reduce the size of employment". Even some companies often announce that they are not hiring this year.


As a typical university student who must be going to face up to this harsh realities in a few years, this current situations worry me a lot. I am deeply interested in this unemployment crisis so I chose it as a topic for my interview.


Fortunately, I have one person who is exactly fit for this interview. She is my roommate, Hye-jin. Simply introducing her, she is at Yon-sei university and majoring in politics and international studies. She is attending one of the most reputational universities (so called, 'SKY' in Korea), also having a very good GPA, a high TOEIC score and other different certificates, thought she has not gotten a job yet.


For this reason, it was difficult to ask her this interview. She, however, gladly accepted my interview. It took about 30 minutes to interview her and I hung on every word she said throughout the interview.


She gave me a lot of practical, valuable information and even advice about the overall recruitment.


At first, according to her, basic hiring process generally consists of the following three steps-the document screening, personality & aptitude tests and interviewing.


Of the whole steps, she particularly felt difficult in the second step, because most applicants prepare personality and aptitude tests after passing the document screening process. But the problem is that the given time between the two steps is very short.


When I asked her "What do you think is your weakness as a job applicant?" She selected two without any hesitation. "My sex and major" She said. "I believe most companies prefer who majored in business administration or at least economics to who did the humanities. If I could go back to two years ago, I would major in business administration." She sincerely advised me not to give up double majoring in B.A no matter how difficult it is.


And she added her sex is another barrier that hinders her from being hired. I asked her to elaborate on that. She said, hiring women costs companies much more money, because women need more welfare than men. For example, maternity leave, menstrual leave make companies to hesitate about women applicants. When she was telling it, it looked like her face was saying "It is unfair! I can't select my sex"


She pointed out that one of the biggest factors that increases fierce competition is the huge gap between the large and mid-sized companies. In all aspects, such as the salary, welfare, large companies are too much better to the mid-sized ones. It causes more and more applicants to avoid mid or small sized companies.


She mentioned not knowing the exact date for the announcement of the result is another painful part. She described it as a "torture". She said "Waiting vacantly is just like a torture. All I can do is just enter the website and check over and over again."


At the end of the interview, she added her expectation about future job market. "For 10 years from now, it will be getting harder to get a job. In about 20 or 30 years, however, it is going to be relatively easier because of rapidly shrinking population"

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