Korean Job-seekers Protest Inappropriate Interview Questions

Article from the Hankyung:

“And what does your father do…?” Still being Asked in Bank Recruitment


This summer Hana Bank has caused controversy by asking internship applicants to write down their family’s information, including educational records and employment positions. People are upset as it might lead to social-class discrimination. Internships are regarded as an important stepping stone to permanent employment within Hana Bank.

Hana Bank started recruiting last month; Interns will work for six weeks and get additional points when they apply for permanent jobs at the bank. Every year 25~45% of new employees consist of those that completed internships at the company.

Hana Bank has requested the educational records of family members, not only parents, but also siblings, grandparents, and other relatives.

Applicants fear their family backgrounds will decide whether they are hired or not, which has made some furious. One said “I’ve been preparing for a career in this industry, but I feel suffocated by the situation.” Another applicant criticized them saying, “There’s no progress from when the popular Korean movie, ‘Friend’ was filmed.” In the movie, a teacher scolded and ridiculed his student by asking “what does your father do?”.

On the other hand, Hana Bank has refuted the claims, saying, “It is not a mandatory part. We will delete that section as well as all family information we have already received. If there’s further misunderstanding, we will respond and correct it immediately.”

Comments from Daum:


Definitely applicants’ backgrounds determine if you will be hired! If you’re born poor, you’ll be poor till you die!


They should hire people based on their capabilities, not their family backgrounds. Every part of Korea is related to ‘blood ties, school relations, and regionalism’. What an uncivilized country!


If you’re Christian, you won’t get a job. Believe me.


My father is a politician, (he debates with the other old people in the community center). My mother is a financial consultant, (she manages our family’s income as well as cooks perfectly for us). Am I qualified enough?


That’s because they can attract potential deposit clients..


“Not a mandatory section”? They should’ve said that it was a mistake. We’re not idiots.


From what I’ve seen, the applicants with the best family are the most useless ones when they actually start working.


They are total gangsters. Did they ask for educational records to threaten applicants? tut tut, what are they thinking?


Tellers should be honest more than anyone else. To write down the information of family is totally necessary.


Banks are important and so are tellers; what if they have cheaters in their families?


If people are hired based on specs they have, not who they know in high places, recruitment will be fair. Hiring people with ‘no spec’ will result in new situations like ‘Gwanpia’(bureaucrat+Mafia) or ‘Haepia(Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries+Mafia)’, which shows an exclusive and rotten working society. Young people have been fighting against the widening gap between rich and poor. When they take their first steps toward the working world, I hope they won’t be discriminated against for something beyond their control.


When I said my father was a high ranking official in a bank, I got a job straight away! On the next day, people kept asking about my father; I ran away after lunch.


But if a new hire embezzles, that bank will be brutally criticized by the media. In this case, being too sensitive to criticsm may lead the bank to pay big later on.


More than 95% of companies ask about applicants’ family backgrounds. Furthermore, there’s a company asking about how big their houses are, or even how they pay for the houses..


Only a few tellers can be hired for their real ‘spec’. Most employees are sons and daughters from socially high-ranking families. Before the IMF crisis broke out, anyone who graduated from a high school could easily work at banks. Nowadays, on the other hand, too high spec applicants are applying for banks due to high salaries and the decent benefits. However, their destinies are already determined according to their backgrounds.


Ask an interviewer the same question; what does your father do?


Isn’t it supposed to be asked?


what a bunch of gangsters!


Kumho Asiana asked not only about your family’s educational backgrounds but also their assets.


In developed countries, applicants are not even asked to write down their genders.. the interviewer can’t even find out if the applicant has a girls’ or a guys’ name until he/she actually shows up. But in Korea, there’s a long way to go…

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