Scout2012 wrote:So basically the types of things to expect from an interview are:
- Questions about your culture.
- Questions about your interest in Japan, and JET.
- Questions relating to what you wrote on your SOP.
- Questions meant to provoke you.
- Questions in Japanese.
- The possibility of a sample lesson.
- The good cop/bad cop routine.
- A self introduction. (Most likely in Japanese)
5: Only if you put in your application that you've studied it. I studied for several years (but it was years before the application) so I but beginner on everything. They asked me a few questions in Japanese, all of which I understood, but none of which I could answer. Ouch.
6: Yes, it's possible, but not for sure. I wasn't asked to do a sample lesson.
7: Maybe. The Japanese man on my interview panel (I assume he would count as the "bad cop") never looked up at me once the entire interview. He only asked me one question ("Do you like Akira Kurosawa films and which one?") because I had a few semesters of film studies.
8: Refer to #5. I didn't have one, but if you've written that you know some Japanese I'd definitely have something prepared.
Scout2012 wrote:---MY QUESTIONS---
- Will they ask questions relating to Japan's history or politics?
I ask this because my Japanese language professor mentioned that it would be wise to research these topics before the interview.
- What is the approximate duration of an interview?
- How formal should your outfit be? Is wearing a non-traditional styled shirt, or tie frowned upon?
- Is facial hair (scruff) frowned upon?
1. I've heard of it happening in the past, but they didn't ask me about it. I assume if you are a poli sci or international business major there's a greater chance you may be asked something like that.
2. Mine was probably less than 15 minutes.
3. You're interviewing for a job in Japan and having to prove yourself over several thousand other applicants. You shouldn't even need to ask this. Yes, wear a suit. Look professional and polished. I assume you actually care, so it would be to your benefit to look like you do.
4. Facial hair is ok for your interview. Just make sure it's neat looking. Some people opt to get rid of theirs as men don't commonly wear facial hair in Japan and it is highly unlikely that any of your (potential future) co-workers will.
The thing that tripped me up the most during my interview was at the end where they asked me if I had any questions for them. I spent so many months preparing for the interview and studying every little detail about JET and Japan that I didn't even think to prepare an answer for the most common question in the book! I lamely asked when the interview results would be announced (despite already knowing the general time frame).
The thing that bothers me the most is when people say, "I'm interested in Japanese culture!" That really doesn't say anything at all. Pick a particular aspect of Japanese culture that you like, study it, and be able to explain how it influenced you or why you like that particular aspect. Preferably in a way that ties in to your interest to go to Japan and future work as an ALT/"cultural ambassador".
I also believe that people interviewing for JET should express a strong interest in Japan in particular. A friend of mine interviewed but didn't put much time or research into JET itself so she ended up telling the panel that she'd be happy going, "anywhere in Asia because [she] really wants overseas teaching experience!" If you're happy going anywhere
, you don't really look like you belong on JET as much as someone who can state solid reasons why they're interested in JET/Japan in particular above all other programs/countries. (Despite being a million times more qualified than me, she didn't make it).