‘Good looks should not count’: Chinese firm gains online plaudits after it insists job applicants wear a costume mask in interviews

‘Good looks should not count’: Chinese firm gains online plaudits after it insists job applicants wear a costume mask in interviews
  • Strange video posted online shows a room of fully masked-up jobseekers listening to an interviewer who is also wearing a mask
  • While many on social media praise the Chinese company for its ‘good looks don’t matter’ policy, others speculate that the video is a publicity stunt

A Chinese company has won online praise for requiring job applicants to wear full face masks to avoid choosing candidates based on their appearance.

A viral video shows the weird interview scene, where several interviewees, all wearing full face masks, sit quietly in an office listening to the interviewer who is also masked.

The woman, surnamed Zeng, who filmed the video on February 3 in Chengdu, southwestern China’s Sichuan province, and posted it on her Douyin account, said she found the whole scenario weird but said “it could benefit people with a social phobia.”

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Zeng said the company asked them to take a blank mask and draw freely on it.

What added to the weirdness, she said, was that the company also arranged for a member of staff to cut and distribute sugar cane to job applicants.

The company, Chengdu Ant Logistics, acknowledged that the video was taken during its biannual recruitment fair, during which positions including new media operator, live-stream broadcaster and data analyst are recruited.

It claimed that it values the individual abilities of people over their appearance, and that they aimed to reduce the stress felt by interviewees.

The company won widespread acclaim online with many praising it for “helping eliminate employment discrimination”.

“This is equality, good looks should not count,” said one online observer.

“As a person with social phobia, I would really enjoy such a job interview,” said another.

Some people also took the opportunity to hit out at China Railway No.3 Engineering Group, which triggered controversy after it published a recruitment advertisement looking for female employees with a “nice face” and a “good body shape” in December last year.

Chengdu Ant Logistics is known for its innovative job interviews.

Previously, applicants were asked to hoe the lawn of the company’s logistics park to test their executive capacities and adaptability to hardship.

However, as the company once again made headlines for its weird job interview, some also wondered if it was simply a publicity stunt.

One such observer said in a comment to Zeng’s post that the company was actually afraid of being sued for showing the applicants’ faces on a live broadcast of the recruitment fair.

Zeng said the person had a point: “They were live broadcasting throughout the interview.”

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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

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