Wing Chun at a job interview

jimbo123

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I have a job interview coming up where for 5 minutes I have to talk/demonstrate something I am passionate about.

My wing chun is not brilliant but I wanted to talk about it. Could someone give me tips?

I was going to talk about:
- Some types of punches/kicks and why they're effective for close quarter combat
- Tan/sau punch, attack/defense

Not sure what else to do in short space of time. Any tips?
 
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jimbo123

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Customer service

it's not really a sales role but sometimes I'd have to sway customers to becoming a member
 

OzPaul

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Sounds good, do the SLT quickly for them and as you said some punches, kicks etc
 
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jimbo123

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Honestly, I was hoping to avoid SLT. I know how important it is but think it's boring to outsiders.
 

jezr74

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I'd work out what you like or passionate about more in line with the nature of the job. Work out the qualities they are looking for, and what you enjoy that can reflect and enforce those qualities.

Sent from my Surface Pro 2 using Tapatalk
 

wingchun100

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Interviewers have asked me what I was passionate about outside of work and I would talk about wing chun and how it could relate to a job. I focused on how it taught me to be patient, humble and direct. I think they took "direct" to mean "blunt," which they also equate with "rude," because I didn't get those jobs where I brought up wing chun! LOL
 

yak sao

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I think non MA people fall into 2 categories.
Those that are impressed with what we do and those that see us as a bunch of flakes.

I would stay away from any kind of physical demo. If you bring it up at all, I would focus on the aspects of self discipline, physical fitness, focus, that sort of thing. These are positive things to bring to any job interview. If your interviewer falls into the latter camp, you haven't hurt yourself.
 

Steve

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As a person who has hired/interviewed a lot of candidates, I can share what I'd like. It looks like there is a lot of good advice in this thread, so far.

The idea isn't to teach the interviewer about Wing Chun. The goal for you is to demonstrate the traits and values you might bring to the company. I would not (unless asked) do ANY kind of physical demonstration. I would also avoid anything technical, and definitely use layman's terms. Don't say, "I like chi sau." (and then spend 3 minutes explaining what that is. If you confuse the interviewer, that's not good.

What I would think about are the things about Wing Chun that you believe represent the traits you believe will serve you well in the position for which you are applying. Zero in on the aspects of it that make you into the best version of yourself possible.

Also, while I've never asked a question like this in an interviewer, I'd guess that the idea is to gauge your level of enthusiasm or passion, and your ability to communicate your passion in a clear and effective manner. You've mentioned that, while not a sales position, you will be influencing potential customers. If you can't get your interviewer to feel some of your enthusiasm about a personal passion, then how can you successfully share enthusiasm about their product or service?
 

geezer

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I think non MA people fall into 2 categories.
Those that are impressed with what we do and those that see us as a bunch of flakes.

Very true. And you never know which group your interviewer falls into. If you must talk about your Wing Chun, I'd make it brief and touch on the kind of things Yak mentioned, and avoid any reference to the combative or self-defense aspects.

Personally, I've learned the hard way to reserve talking about my interest in martial arts to just those people who share the passion. Like you guys.
 

mook jong man

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Depends what type of job it is , if it is an environment where it's a bit of a testosterone fest.
You could be setting yourself up for problems in the future.

I worked in a factory once that produced kitchen parts , countertops , cupboards etc.
Basically a lot of heavy lifting work involved , tends to draw a certain type of person.

Well the person who interviewed me saw my instructor certificates in my resume , and word got out to the factory floor.
From that time on , I had various names such as Bruce Lee , "That karate guy" , things of that ilk.
I took it in good humor , but having people continuously coming up to you and throwing faux punches and asking what you would do against that , got old real quick.

In hind sight I would not have told them anything about my martial arts.
 

wingchun100

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Depends what type of job it is , if it is an environment where it's a bit of a testosterone fest.
You could be setting yourself up for problems in the future.

I worked in a factory once that produced kitchen parts , countertops , cupboards etc.
Basically a lot of heavy lifting work involved , tends to draw a certain type of person.

Well the person who interviewed me saw my instructor certificates in my resume , and word got out to the factory floor.
From that time on , I had various names such as Bruce Lee , "That karate guy" , things of that ilk.
I took it in good humor , but having people continuously coming up to you and throwing faux punches and asking what you would do against that , got old real quick.

In hind sight I would not have told them anything about my martial arts.

Oh that is the WORST. And then if you don't bother countering, they laugh and say, "Yeah I thought that ***** doesn't work." It's enough to make you want to show them it does!
 
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jimbo123

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Thanks for everybodys insights.

I'm actually a bit nervous about this interview and talking for 5 mins. That's why I thought of doing those moves and talking in-between.

mook jong man: it's an animal charity organization. I get what you mean about it becoming an in-joke though.

steve: what I might talk about is how wing chun benefits my personal life. It's a massive massive stress relief for me. They keep us so busy in class that I don't have time to think about daily stresses. Also I like when I'm guard to guard and I have to slowly chip away their defenses. It's like doing an impossible task broken into small chunks. It also gets me out of my comfort zone when talking to people.

However, here is what the interviewer told me:

"Your first task will be for you to present for a maximum of 5 minutes to the panel on a topic

you are passionate about (no powerpoint allowed) and try and convince us to also be


passionate about it. We will then move into a standard interview."
 

Steve

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Thanks for everybodys insights.

I'm actually a bit nervous about this interview and talking for 5 mins. That's why I thought of doing those moves and talking in-between.

mook jong man: it's an animal charity organization. I get what you mean about it becoming an in-joke though.

steve: what I might talk about is how wing chun benefits my personal life. It's a massive massive stress relief for me. They keep us so busy in class that I don't have time to think about daily stresses. Also I like when I'm guard to guard and I have to slowly chip away their defenses. It's like doing an impossible task broken into small chunks. It also gets me out of my comfort zone when talking to people.

However, here is what the interviewer told me:

"Your first task will be for you to present for a maximum of 5 minutes to the panel on a topic

you are passionate about (no powerpoint allowed) and try and convince us to also be


passionate about it. We will then move into a standard interview."
If you're going to present for five minutes on wing chun, my advice is to prepare an organized presentation. Remember, your presentation isn't about wing chun. Your presentation is about you. Tell stories.

If I were doing this, about Wing Chun, I'd start with why I was drawn to a martial art in general. In other words, what makes a martial art better for you than, say a typical gym membership? "I can still remember the first time I saw a bruce lee movie. I was 8 and my big brother took me to see the Big Boss. That was back in 1977. He was almost like a super hero to me. And then, in the early 80's, I was determined to become a ninja. Well, that didn't work out, but ever since then, the martial arts have always held for me a kind of mystique. So, when I began really looking into getting into shape, I decided to look into learning a martial art.

I tried several before finding Wing Chun. Etc, etc...."

Then, I'd speak for a few minutes on Wing Chun and what makes it so exciting for me.

I'd finish with my own personal journey in the art, try to make it a little funny, but emphasize the tangible benefits I've experienced physically and mentally.

The key, really, is to remember that the presentation is about you, not Wing Chun. Keep it positive and focus less on Wing Chun and more (entirely) on conveying a positive, interesting and professional image of yourself.

Good luck.
 

mograph

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All good points.

But consider this: in this job, you'll have to be able to persuade people to like the thing you're passionate about. You're fighting an uphill battle if it's something "niche," like Wing Chun. Really, how many average people have heard of it? How many average people are into martial arts? How many people might be turned off by the idea of combat? You don't want to make this harder than it has to be, so I wouldn't recommend WC as a topic, no matter how great we think it is. And it is great.

With WC as a topic, although there's a fitness angle, the "obscure, Chinese and martial" (to them) angle might work against the fitness appeal. It would stand out. And trust me, in North America, people aren't interested in Chinese topics unless they've already investigated them. Or they're Chinese. You get polite interest only or glassy eyes. And then there's Mook's angle on being known as the martial guy, of course.

You need to be able to connect with the customers. You need to speak their language. You need to be someone who can connect with anybody (or just about anybody). You're going to have to be ready, once you get the job, to talk to customers about the weather, sports, kids, cooking, fitness ... all sorts of stuff that might interest the customer ... to get on their good side. I recommend you pick a topic that you can talk passionately about and convince someone else to like because they already like something about it. (Note my choice of words: it doesn't have to be the thing you're most passionate about.)

If I were interviewing you, I'd gauge your skills on how well you sold me on your topic. To do that, you'd have to consider me as an average person, but one who also has interests that align with the company. There's a clue, actually. That person likes what the company likes.

So. What else you got?
 

wingchun100

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All good points.

But consider this: in this job, you'll have to be able to persuade people to like the thing you're passionate about. You're fighting an uphill battle if it's something "niche," like Wing Chun. Really, how many average people have heard of it? How many average people are into martial arts? How many people might be turned off by the idea of combat? You don't want to make this harder than it has to be, so I wouldn't recommend WC as a topic, no matter how great we think it is. And it is great.

With WC as a topic, although there's a fitness angle, the "obscure, Chinese and martial" (to them) angle might work against the fitness appeal. It would stand out. And trust me, in North America, people aren't interested in Chinese topics unless they've already investigated them. Or they're Chinese. You get polite interest only or glassy eyes. And then there's Mook's angle on being known as the martial guy, of course.

You need to be able to connect with the customers. You need to speak their language. You need to be someone who can connect with anybody (or just about anybody). You're going to have to be ready, once you get the job, to talk to customers about the weather, sports, kids, cooking, fitness ... all sorts of stuff that might interest the customer ... to get on their good side. I recommend you pick a topic that you can talk passionately about and convince someone else to like because they already like something about it. (Note my choice of words: it doesn't have to be the thing you're most passionate about.)

If I were interviewing you, I'd gauge your skills on how well you sold me on your topic. To do that, you'd have to consider me as an average person, but one who also has interests that align with the company. There's a clue, actually. That person likes what the company likes.

So. What else you got?

You're right. Even with the heavy exposure given to wing chun by the IP MAN movies, you are still more likely to find someone who hasn't heard of it. Sad how most people don't actively try to be more worldly. As for me...man, I can't learn ENOUGH about different cultures. But then again, not everyone believes in learning something new every day.
 

donnaTKD

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you're going to animal charity right ????? so do you have a pet like a cat or a budgie or if you're like me then you'd have a dog and 4 tarantulas :)

if so you could bring that in say how the fact that your MA helps to keep you calm and destresses your home environment and your work environment - a relaxed chilled out atmosphere always brings people in for a closer look no matter what. if you go into that room tense as hell then you'll have blown it before you start anything.

remember you go in confident - YOU HAVE TO RELATE WHAT YOU ARE SAYING TO THE TOPIC THAT THEY ARE SELLING - in this case it's a post potentially dealing with animals - you have to quiet, confident and give an air of authority to what you are saying so make sure you know exactly what it is that you're saying cos otherwise it'll just get pulled apart - literally.

you say you like different cultures and learning about them and stuff so you could actually bring in the fact that different cultures respect animals in certain ways like the elephant in india is practically a workhorse for that nation and is held in GOD like status for those people - just an idea.

best of luck :)

donna
 

wingchun100

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you're going to animal charity right ????? so do you have a pet like a cat or a budgie or if you're like me then you'd have a dog and 4 tarantulas :)

if so you could bring that in say how the fact that your MA helps to keep you calm and destresses your home environment and your work environment - a relaxed chilled out atmosphere always brings people in for a closer look no matter what. if you go into that room tense as hell then you'll have blown it before you start anything.

remember you go in confident - YOU HAVE TO RELATE WHAT YOU ARE SAYING TO THE TOPIC THAT THEY ARE SELLING - in this case it's a post potentially dealing with animals - you have to quiet, confident and give an air of authority to what you are saying so make sure you know exactly what it is that you're saying cos otherwise it'll just get pulled apart - literally.

you say you like different cultures and learning about them and stuff so you could actually bring in the fact that different cultures respect animals in certain ways like the elephant in india is practically a workhorse for that nation and is held in GOD like status for those people - just an idea.

best of luck :)

donna

Donna,

Different cultures was me...the OP is the one with the interview. LOL
 

Carol

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If you're going to present for five minutes on wing chun, my advice is to prepare an organized presentation. Remember, your presentation isn't about wing chun. Your presentation is about you. Tell stories.

If I were doing this, about Wing Chun, I'd start with why I was drawn to a martial art in general. In other words, what makes a martial art better for you than, say a typical gym membership? "I can still remember the first time I saw a bruce lee movie. I was 8 and my big brother took me to see the Big Boss. That was back in 1977. He was almost like a super hero to me. And then, in the early 80's, I was determined to become a ninja. Well, that didn't work out, but ever since then, the martial arts have always held for me a kind of mystique. So, when I began really looking into getting into shape, I decided to look into learning a martial art.

I tried several before finding Wing Chun. Etc, etc...."

Then, I'd speak for a few minutes on Wing Chun and what makes it so exciting for me.

I'd finish with my own personal journey in the art, try to make it a little funny, but emphasize the tangible benefits I've experienced physically and mentally.

The key, really, is to remember that the presentation is about you, not Wing Chun. Keep it positive and focus less on Wing Chun and more (entirely) on conveying a positive, interesting and professional image of yourself.

Good luck.

Exactly what Steve said in both of his posts. This is an assessment of your ability to present, and communicate, under pressure.
 
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