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Embassy Vacancy Notice



Position of Chinese-language Personal Assistant/Interpreter to Ambassador
Embassy of Ireland, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

The Position:

The Embassy of Ireland in Beijing is seeking to recruit a qualified and highly motivated candidate for the position of Chinese-language Personal Assistant/Interpreter to the Ambassador.

The Chinese-language Personal Assistant/Interpreter to the Ambassador will be a full time employee based at the Embassy Chancery (3 Ritan Dong Lu, Beijing) on a fixed contract of one year commencing in October 2016 and expiring in September 2017.

The role and function of Personal Assistant/Interpreter to the Ambassador is an important one. The incumbent makes an important contribution to the smooth operation of the Embassy by inter-alia organising, in conjunction with the Ambassador’s Private Secretary, the diary and schedule of the Ambassador and ensuring that this sits well with the overall schedule of a growing and very busy diplomatic mission.

The Personal Assistant to the Ambassador acts as the Embassy’s key liaison with various Chinese Ministries, Agencies and other authorities at national and sub-national levels, as well as with intergovernmental, multilateral and bilateral agencies, business enterprises and associations.

The role would often see the Personal Assistant securing and preparing meetings with appropriate level interlocutors in the aforementioned bodies, sometimes at short notice.

Good interpersonal and strong communication skills are necessarily key requirements of the jobholder as are a high level of professional commitment, resilience and sound judgement.

The role also requires strong, professional level interpretation and translation skills. The jobholder will in their role as interpreter, be requested to accompany the Ambassador to meetings, events and engagements in Beijing and elsewhere across China, often at very high level. A pleasant and professional bearing, as well as tactfulness, will be needed.

It is essential therefore that the jobholder have a solid and up to date grounding on Chinese government, business, media, cultural and other such current affairs and matters. The jobholder will be in a position on occasion to advise the Ambassador on matters arising in such areas.

Particular tasks will include:

  • Acting as the key contact of the Ambassador’s Office vis-à-vis senior level Chinese interlocutors engaging with the Embassy of Ireland.
  • Acting as Embassy contact person for political and diplomatic issues and maintaining close working relations with Chinese Government Departments including (but not limited to) MFA, CPC, NPC, CPPCC, the Foreign Affair Offices of Local Governments and various other agencies.
  • Working closely with the Ambassador’s Private Secretary to manage the Ambassador’s diary, including meetings and follow-up, the preparation of itineraries and the booking and finalising of various logistics for the Ambassador.
  • Providing interpretation for the Ambassador both in Beijing and across China, sometimes at short notice.
  • Ongoing translation of various documents, including official correspondence, Embassy promotional materials and related media coverage
  • Along with Team Ireland in China, located in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, provide assistance to Irish State, Prime Minister or Ministerial and other official delegations visiting China. This will include securing appropriate level meetings with Chinese organisations, and managing the logistical arrangements required during such high level visits.
  • Assist in organising and facilitating various events hosted by the Embassy, including large scale events such as the National Day Reception held in and around 17 March annually.
  • Provide advice and broad support to the Irish staff assigned to the Embassy, i.e. Irish diplomats, Irish Attachés and their families in applying for their official identity cards, diplomatic visas, airport passes and other such ancillaries etc.
  • Other Personal Assistant tasks, such as but not limited to; the screening of phone calls; the appropriate and prompt handling of received enquiries and requests from both Chinese and Irish entities; producing and collating documents and briefing papers; maintaining and regularly updating the Embassy’s contacts database; liaising with other staff at the Embassy of Ireland or other Embassies in Beijing and Irish agencies or other international bodies in China as per the Ambassador’s requests.
  • Other tasks as may be assigned from time to time

Essential requirements:

1. Perfectly fluent written and spoken Chinese.
2. Fluent command of the English language, both spoken and written.
3. At least 3 years’ experience in a busy office environment with a proven track record of relevance and demonstrated experience of translation & interpretation.
4. A high quality educational qualification in a discipline of close relevance to the responsibilities described, e.g. Translation, English, Applied Languages.
5. Strong interpersonal and communication skills
6. Good character (security clearance may be required).

Desired general qualifications:

1. Previous experience working as a Personal Assistant to a senior level official, such as a CEO, Chairman or other high level manager.
2. Strong knowledge of Ireland and its role in China.
3. A third level qualification in a relevant discipline, e.g. Translation, English, Applied Languages.
4. Experience of living or working in Ireland would be beneficial.

Key Competencies:

1. Organisational skills.
2. Interpersonal and Communication Skills.
3. Delivery of results – against deadlines.
4. Drive and commitment.
5. Analysis and decision making - prioritisation.
6. Being a team player.

Application Process:

Letters of application should state the salary expectation of the candidate and be accompanied with a current CV and two references.

Applications should be submitted to the Embassy by e-mail  on Friday, 19 August 2016 with the following subject line;

“Personal Assistant/Interpreter job application”.

By submitting information electronically, parties accept that data may not be fully secure. Parties may alternatively send their submissions by post to:

Embassy of Ireland, 3 Ritan Dong Lu, Beijing, 100600

Any personal information submitted will only be used for its intended purposes and will be destroyed when no longer needed. Any other processing or disclosure of personal data is not allowed other than in the exceptional circumstances provided for under the Data Protection Acts.

Candidates will receive confirmation of receipt of their application and following a screening of applications will be contacted directly for interview which will be conducted in Beijing or by videoconference in Dublin or Limerick.

It is proposed that initial interviews and shortlisting would be completed by Friday, 26 August 2016.

The following websites and social media may be useful for prospective candidates: