in 2008 I failed to get an interview and when I found out it felt like the whole world crashed around me. Then the same day I started looking into other ways to get there because I didn't want to wait a year, personal stuff. So the very same day I applied to GEOS, an eikaiwa. I got an email the next day asking for a phone interview. I did the phone interview that week. I got the interview in second week of February. I got the job a week after that. I can tell you my friend who had the JET interview was envious of that
I moved to Japan in July as I still had to graduate and such.
I was in Niigata for 2 years and in my 2nd year of GEOs I applied to JET, flew home for a week, did the interview and got the job.
Don't give up!
NOTE: I worked the eikaiwa gig for 2 years. I worked at GEOS when it went under, bankrupt, shut down, dead. Don't believe the name, the GEOS that started in the 80s is dead. The GEOS out there now has changed owners 4 times in the year and half since it went bankrupt. It treats its employees like shoot.
I never worked for AEON but from I heard through the eikaiwa grapevine it's not nice to work for. I can give more details if you want but I would not recommend it. If you just want to go to Japan for a year and make a bit of quick money sure go for it. If you want any long term, job satisfaction, real community involvement, don't do eikaiwa.
I know Interac is sketchy but I would say it's a better gamble than an eikaiwa in terms of real life in Japan, making friends, getting involved in the community etc.
You can also do private job hunts, look for things, or try again this fall.
Big piece of advice? Find some of the people who volunteered to read SOP. Get one of them to read your current SOP and help you see what the JET people saw.
ALSO getting a JET interview is a crap shoot. They're just looking at paper, they can't know how good you would be or how bad another person would be.
The year I didn't get an interview my friend did. She went to the interview and met a guy who wasn't even in a full suit. The guy turns to her in the waiting room and says:
"So what kind of stuff do they wanna hear? Cuz seriously I did this on a whim. I mean how hard can it be? I speak English I can teach it and the money looks awesome." I cried when she told me that even though I already had my job...