A Former Videgame Developer's view on Tech + Media + Fine Arts

Job Search Chinese Style!

on December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and holidays from yours truly! After taking in a truly sumptuous meal cooked by chef Mom, I am presently and pleasantly recovering in front of the TV watching a reality television series called – 非你莫属 (translated as “Only You”)

But don’t let the English translation deceive you, 非你莫属 is not a dating show but rather a similar one on job search (which admittedly is like dating). It is also one of the most popular shows in China, along with its sister show 非诚勿扰 (actual dating show)

The concept of the show is simple – bring job searchers from all walks of life and put them on a stage in front of a panel of 8 prominent Chinese CEOs, allow them to present their qualification, answer interview questions, and get a job.

There are three rounds for each contestant – 1) An initial career walk-through by the contestant and first round questions by the CEOs, 2) additional questions by CEOs and 3) job offer and salary negotiations. The CEOs are all seated on individually lit tiles, and at the end of the each round have the option of staying for the next round, or reject the contestant by pressing a button to turn off the light on their tile.

Survive 3 rounds on a game show and get a job in this economy? Seem pretty straight forward. Except the CEOs questions are often biting, invasive and often downright obnoxious towards unprepared contestants or ones with ambiguous work experiences. One contest was accused of lying on his resume because some of the sales figures don’t seem to match up with other metrics he described, and another contestant, an aspiring accountant (yes you heard me right) had to explain why he did not make it into one of the top four accounting firms (KPMG, PWC, EY and Deloitte) after college.

In other words, enough vitriol and negative energy to send all but the most resolute job seeker scrambling for the hills. But have no fear, the show is hosted by veteran CCTV presenter 张绍刚, who lightens the mood with his trademark one-liners and commentaries, deflects unreasonable questions/comments from the CEOs and generally moves the show along.

As of June 2011, 非你莫属 has a 1.14% viewership during its time slot and a 3% market share. This compares with 非诚勿扰, which has a 3.42% viewership and 10% market share. For April to June 2011,  非你莫属 grew 21% in viewership and 17% in market share. During the same period, 非诚勿扰 declined in both metrics.


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