Do you recognise your body language?

A little background. DR, the national tv network of Denmark, has a mini-site to solve the problem of high unemployment amongst a group they call “nydanskere”

What is the definition of a “nydanskere”? My dictionary has

“An immigrant or a second-generation immigrant in Denmark”

“A second-generation immigrant is a person who is the child of an immigrant and was born, or spent most of their childhood, in the new country.”

What do nydanskere look like? According to dr, this is representative:-

New Danes
New Danes

Many of my friends are unemployed (or underemployed) foreigners. They would look out of place in that photo because they are south-east Asian or white or black or any other variety of human that is not middle-eastern or sub-continental Asian.

If you ask my friends why they cannot get a job that reflects their skills or training or experience, they often say that jobs are awarded through networking. Someone knows someone, they have contacts and then they get the job. They also tell me of interviews for English speaking jobs where they are told their Danish is an issue. Or they go for interviews for Danish speaking jobs, whilst being fluent in Danish and are told their accent will be a problem.

It is great that DR seeks to help people like my friends and those in the photograph become meaningfully employed.

On the site, there are some interview tips and information for how to find jobs.

There is also a “Learn Danish” page, they have three games.

“How to go supermarket shopping in Danish”, “Karaoke Danish” (a very basic pronunciation game) and a memory game that doesn’t work. All of these pages are in Danish, the people who are able to access them are not the people who need to work on pronouncing “e” at the end of verbs. Not to mention, where is the “job interview Danish” game? It’s almost like they had access to six nydanskere to interview about getting a job and they didn’t think to ask them what sort of Danish learning games would be useful.

Then there are some quizzes.

One is about writing a C.V. and application. One is about the Danish work market with such questions as “Where are most jobs advertised?” and “What percentage of Danes work with nydanskere?” and no questions about most jobs not being advertised at all.

I will reproduce the “Recognise your own body language” questions and answers in full. I will not spoil the quiz for you, you have to work out the answers yourself.

1) How do you enter a room?

a) I stick my head in first, wait and then enter completely.
b) I open the door wide and tell a joke, while I raise my arms up above my head.
c) I come in calmly and greet everyone in a clear voice.

2) You wear hijab for religious reasons, what do you do at the interview?

a) I take it off because otherwise I’d  be afraid of not getting the job.
b) I keep it on, it’s my signature look.

c) I put a more noticeable hijab on and mention immediately that they will never get me to take it off.

3) You have sat in yourself down in the interview, how are you sitting?

a) I lean back, with crossed arms.
b) I sit, wringing my hands together and picking fluff of my clothes.
c) I sit calmly, leaning slightly forward with my hands open.
4) You need to get dressed for a job interview. What do you wear?
a) I put my best party clothes on.
b) I dress in clothes I look good in but are appropriate to the place’s dresscode.
c) I won’t get the job because of my clothes, I’ll wear whatever.

5) The interview is underway and you are asked about your bad sides, what do you do?

a) I say I don’t have any bad sides.
b) I have prepared and mention a couple of things that could be considered bad sides. You are only human after all.
c) I recite everything I cannot do.

6) You come into the job interview, what do you do?

a) I nod politely and get myself ready.
b) I shake hands, say my name and get eye contact.
c) I smile and give a hug and say my name.

Now, okay, quizzes can be a bit fatuous and silly. But do DR really have such a low opinion of nydanskere that they think that this information would be useful in any way?

Not to mention, (spoilers!) wearing a hijab in an interview with some companies does mean you do not get a job because it is their written policy.

Not to mention, only two of these questions was really about body language.

Anyway. Imagine you follow all that advice. And you get the job. And then you work there for at least four and a half years. And you pass the Danish language exam with more than a passing grade. And you pass the citizenship exam. And you sign this. And you renounce your previous nationality. And you make a solemn declaration to become a Danish citizen.

You can still find your name and town in the newspaper, associated with being a “danger” to Denmark. (Given that many nydanskere have names which are unique in Denmark, let alone their small town and it is possible to find home addresses with only that information, this is quite the irresponsible dick-move.)

Yes, DR, it’s obviously the fact that nydanskere cross their arms at interviews and pronounce “e” like “er” at the end of verbs that is preventing the employment of them(!)

6 thoughts on “Do you recognise your body language?

  1. I tried helping Peter out at the supermarket. Shit-ty! Do I get the job, now? Helping other Peters at the supermarkets? They should have a bit where we have to say the price, too!! :/


    1. Raised by wolves in the jungle. How else could you not know hugging your interviewer the first time you meet them might be interpreted as over familiarity?


  2. Do you remember when the COP15 thing was on and many delegates came from all over the world and those of colour were filmed in the snow by Danish media and asked if they had ever seen snow before and how they liked the snow? Oh you fucking fuckhead Danes.


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