A self-intro video or ziwo jieshao 自我介绍视频 in Chinese, is a way for you to sell yourself to prospective employers in China. It has become increasingly popular these days amongst Chinese recruiters due to the rise of smart phones and the fact pretty much everyone is walking around with a 4k video recorder in their pocket. You pretty much cannot get a job from outside of China in 2020 without having first recorded a self-intro video. Even before you go for a face-to-face interview in China, you may get asked for this video – that’s how important it has become!
What are they looking for?
Well, it depends on the position. Most kindergartens are looking for enthusiastic, fun teachers who can entertain kids for long periods of time.
High school and adult education centres will be looking for people that are more serious and can communicate well. You need to speak clearly and with a paced flow.
You need to remember that your audience is a Chinese person who has learned all their English in and within China and had most probably never been abroad before. Their English will be limited, so this is not the opportunity to start reciting Macbeth or translations of Homer. The key is to keep it simple and speak in easy sentences which they can understand.
Chinese employers get lots of videos of potential teachers every week, so you want to try and stand out. So long as you come across as likeable and out-going, chances are they will be interested.
As soon as you have prepared your teaching CV and I mean “teaching CV” with heavy emphasis on your teaching experience and why you would make a great teacher – not just generic stuff about which bar or coffee shop you worked in while at uni, you really want to get a great video nailed. There are plenty of examples on youtube where people have uploaded their videos for potential employers to view.
Side note. Youtube is not a great place to put your video due to the infamous Great Firewall of China which renders it pretty much impractical unless you are prepared to get lots of different obscure VPN subscriptions. The best way is to submit it to a Chinese website such as youku or tudou but you may have a few problems finding your way around if your Chinese is not very good, plus their servers are not very responsive outside of China. You can use other services such as wetransfer.com or upload your video with your application via this site.
Which formats should you use?
Depending on whether you’re running ios on an iPhone or Android just about anything else, will generally determine which file format your video is saved in. Most Android phones will save videos in MP4 whereas iOS is likely to use h.264 or MOV. All these file formats can be submitted via this site. If you are having trouble then you can convert your video into a few formats so potential employers can take a look at them.
The most important points are that you speak clearly and enunciate your sounds so that the Chinese recruiter can understand most of what you’re saying. Also, don’t forget to present yourself well with a neutral background if possible. Last point, don’t forget to smile and keep smiling – that will be half the battle won. Good luck!