Interview Question

Interview(Student Candidate) Chicago, IL

what do you anticipate will be your greatest challenge

  while abroad and how do you plan to minimize its impact?
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Interview Answer

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While visiting China in March of this past year, I noticed that my perception of time was different than the locals. Our culture avoids wasting time, and it is very typical to multitask. While we think this makes us more efficient, other cultures may see our polychronic culture as splitting focus between tasks and overall rushed efforts. It is more common to find monochronism abroad, meaning individuals focus on one thing at a time. These cultures do not value interruptions and appreciate order. Others may find it offensive if I am interrupted by phone calls, meetings, or am trying to do more than one thing at a time. This cultural difference will be a challenge for me to adapt to because I feel that being polychronic makes me more flexible to change and new arising tasks. While I see this as a strength, I am afraid abroad this characteristic may be seen as my weakness. I need to be wary of multitasking and be sure that my time and attention is focused on one task at a time. I need to be wary of this mindset and make an effort to manage my time similarly to those around me.

Interview Candidate on Nov 12, 2013

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