(Who is Don? Don – MBA and International Communications Manager seeking Manager of Corporate Communications role)
Terry: We’re going to talk about a specific instance now, so tell me about a time when you had to address cultural differences on a global basis in terms of the message.
Don: Well, one of the thing’s that is dealing with countries that are close to each other, but have extremely different cultures. It’s very easy to assume by folks that the Japanese and the Chinese cultures are similar and their values and so forth, which is very different.
The Japanese culture has a very detailed culture where they’re willing to express themselves to their management or their leaders vocally. Whereas, the Chinese culture is a bit more reliant on looking up to their leaders as providing for them almost everything as far as guidance and decision making and so forth.
So, when I did speak on behalf of or write something for the CEO, I had to be careful not to insult either culture by saying part of your behavior, 360 degree communication and other exercises that drive and develop openness in an organization.
That way they didn’t feel comfortable that their leader was telling them something to do that would be uncomfortable or very difficult for them, to a point, because we are trying to get everybody to grow and expand the way that they do things and communicate, but I had to be very careful.
It’s also the same the French with the English. You’ve got different ways of presenting yourself and you have to find the common thread that you can communicate. At various times you can create custom communications for one region over another, but that doesn’t happen as often.
Here’s how I would rate this answer . . .
Q7. Tell me about a time when you . . . – DON QUICK RATING – D
Suggest instead to follow story format, you didn’t talk about a specific
instance, tell just one time, tell what was situation, what I did was this, this, this, and this is how it turned out and how company benefited.