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View Full Version : UK JETs - Did you demonstrate a lesson in the interview?



Moore
November 25th, 2004, 20:37
I've read a few people mentioning that in the interview they were asked to act as a teacher in the lesson while the interviewers acted as students. But I was under the impression that this was something that the US did in their JET interviews, and the UK didn't. Is this correct?

Pandilex
November 25th, 2004, 21:00
Who knows. Be prepared for anything. I'll definately be preparing for this, as well as anything else I can find on this website and other websites.

Moore
November 25th, 2004, 21:08
I'm hoping they don't - I've never taught before and it seems pretty difficult to know how to start or what to do when you haven't. Plus it is difficult to know what is appropriate for the "class" you're teaching :) .

Blafweight
November 25th, 2004, 21:57
When I had the interview I didn't have to do anything like that neither has anyone from the UK I have spoken to, although I don't want to say you won't have to only for them to spring one on you.

In the interview I had there were two interviewers, a former JET and a Japanese guy who worked at some uni. They were both really friendly and made me feel pretty comfortable, the hardest things they asked were about British culture, stuff like what books would I suggest the students read to find out about England and which TV Programs/Films I also felt were relevant. Also the obvious stuff like how I was going to adjust to living abroad, why Japan, why JET and other stuff like that.

The harshest question I have heard of was asked to a History graduate, and was if you could take your students on a field trip to 3 different places anywhere and anytime in history where would it be to teach them about England.

The most important thing is to be confident, speak clearly and just give the impression you aren't going to run at the first problem, or freak out and drop out at the airport or something.

Moore
November 25th, 2004, 22:36
When I had the interview I didn't have to do anything like that neither has anyone from the UK I have spoken to, although I don't want to say you won't have to only for them to spring one on you.

Yeah, that's cool. I just want to get an idea if it has been done before, from what I've read I've never seen anyone from the UK say they were asked to do it.

Thanks for the other advice, I'll no doubt be asking loads of questions if I get an interview :) .

Dave
November 25th, 2004, 23:42
I didn `t have anything like that either.
I was basically asked why I wanted to go, what I had to offer, what I would do if I had cheeky stuents, what I anticipate to be the hardest aspects of living and teaching in Japan and how I might get round them, and then
"name and describe 3 famous Japanese."
"If you could take any 3 people from the present or the past to represent Britain, who would they be and why?"
Ah it all seems like yesterday!
I also had to do a small written test...mainly simple grammar like "where does the apostrophe go?" or "which is the correct spelling of...." How would you explain the word ...." etc etc.
Also there is a little test on British and Japanese culture, i.e, name the leader of the conservative party, who is 4th in line to the throne, name a famous japanese director, spot the company which isn`t japanese, give three British videos you would take to help explain about your country and give reasons, name an ancient capital of Japan, stuff like that.

Shotokai
November 26th, 2004, 06:27
no mock class in my ineterview. they were pressed for time so mine was shorter then most. they asked me about why I had chosen Kyushu, then we chatted about my Karate. they were a lovely Japanese lady and an American. both were very friendly and the interview was more like an informal chat.

if you go in with an open mind, and are able to hold you opinions and back them up with relevant arguments then you'll do fine. Showing you're a strong character means you'll cope better wiht the isolation you may get in Japan and thus are more employables.

DON'T SWEAT IT.

dobharrison
November 26th, 2004, 08:59
I stupidly mentioned that I like to use drama techniques in class, so they asked me to demonstrate that! God, it was so awful.

Oh, and I had a good cop-bad cop team in my interview, so watch out for that!

David
November 26th, 2004, 09:50
No lesson demo, but watch out for the dude that shows you round the embassy, I swear he reports back to the interviewers.

My interview was really nice, fairly informal but as I have said before on this site, I have lived abroad for fairly long time and this is what got me my job, not my mediocre degree, they had something to talk to me about so they did.

a buddy of mine did JET 2 years before I started and he said that his interviewers were pricks so be warned.

That said, it seems to be a lot easier to get on JET from the UK than it is from the States, less competition etc.

Cornelius
November 26th, 2004, 11:40
I wouldn't say that getting into JET via the UK is a harder or easier experience just because there are less people applying in the UK than in America.

Just so you know, there are far far far more Americans than British on the JET program, implying that allocation and acceptance are based upon comparative geography and population levels. This would lend me to think that if we took the number of applicants each year and the number of accepted people, we would see a nationality ratio that reflected the population of the countries that participate in JET.

In essence, there should be no difference if you come from one country or another.

Anyhoo...

My interview was in London. I had a lot of fun with it, as I rightly figured that they would try to ask me tricky questions so as to better see how I could cope in situations where there was no clear answer. The hardest bit I had to do was to name five things off the top of my head that I could talk about to a Mayor that promoted British culture whilst still retaining to my University qualification (English degree).

After listing off the five, the interview picked one, and we had a conversation about it. Given that it was all off the top of my head, we ended up talking about the growth of the arts, and the differences between the current system of patronage and the seventeenth century patron system - saying that while sponsorship is still ongoing, it is more local/community based, and not as iconic as in earlier times.

In the end, as long as you remain flexible and willing to engage in conversation, you will make a positive impression.

David
November 26th, 2004, 12:50
C.

I agree in principle however it seems in my experience that the Americans that I associate with here had a much harder time getting on the programme than I or my peers from the UK did.

They seemed to recruit directly from Universities, I have no idea if they do that in the UK, I graduated years ago and there wasn't a big JET recruitment drive at my Uni.

There seemed to be a lot of competition for comparatively few places as regional populations do not equate with the number of bright young things wanting the gig. (Cambridge Mass. for example).

One of the brightest, most qualified people, with one of the most relevant degrees that I know here got on the programme late as a replacement, she is an American, yet I, with my 2:2 from Exeter, didn't have any problems. I apreciate that I have other skills and experience that qualifies me for doing this job. However I never really felt the pressure that colleagues from other countries seem to have faced.

I appreciate that it shouldn't make a difference, but I am fairly convinced that it does.

yabighoor
November 26th, 2004, 13:16
My interview did ask about how i would teach to children, specifically the 6 nations. It was fine. They`re not going to quiz you about stuff that you havn`t put in your application so....DON`T EMBELLISH!!!!

It`s all common sense in the end.

Cornelius
November 26th, 2004, 13:48
We can beg to differ then.

True, some places may have harder interviewer questions (especially so in America, purely because there are more embassies to be interviewed at, and therefore more interviewers), but using that as a judgement as to what country is easier to get into JET under is doing so without knowing the full criteria that they are looking for in a JET applicant. Both you and I are unaware of the systems that they use. (For example, your citing of Cambridge Mass. and it's applicant to accepted ratio intrigues me - is this based off of statistical evidence, or is it an opinion? Also, does this tie in with whatever position/number allocation has been given to that area?)

You are also mistaking actual degree qualification with entitlement to participate in the program. The reason you need a degree is because that is a requirement to work in Japan.

In the end, some people get on the program, and some people don't. While I would like to think that there is a fair and just method to their selection/allocation, I would much rather say that we don't know the how or the why of it, instead of saying that one country is easier than the other, because that just creates the idea of bias and furthers our own unfounded opinions.


*apologies to the others for the derailment*

David
November 26th, 2004, 14:19
Cambridge Mass or Cambridge UK for that matter are both places where there is a significant proportion of bright people is all I meant. Bad example possibly but because I didn't apply direct from university I never felt the pressure of competition and I know for a fact that others definately did, and those people that I have met that expressed that feeling of competition to me were all non UK participants.

November 26th, 2004, 15:26
The only examples of people having to do a mock lesson that I have heard of were a bit more specific than `teach us something`. For example, someone had mentioned that to get children involved in English they would sing a song. So the answer to that was `oh, really? Go on then, give it a whirl` (well, not word for word obviously). So the interviewee did an example song. So if you wrote on your application that to encourage kids you would sing, it might be a good idea to prepare for the fact that they might ask you about it.
However, as far as I can tell the aim of the interview is to see how you react in unknown situations, so no matter how much you prepare they may still come up with something you haven`t thought about. I totally stressed about similar things when I was applying and now with the gift of retrospect I would say, be yourself and try to relax. Be confident that you have got what they are looking for (obviously you think this otherwise you wouldn`t be applying) and this will show in your manner and answers.

jane_is_ace
November 26th, 2004, 15:27
Sorry, I neglected to sign in before I posted the above post. My bad.

nicklad
November 26th, 2004, 16:08
I had my interview in Edinburgh and we were given a short test while we waited. Well, it was 3 tests really. A few questions on British culture, Japanese culture and the English language.

I have heard that Americans didnt have these tests before.

Anyway. If you know anything about Japan then you will do well in the tests as it was pretty basic.
The guy before me answered the "Name a Japanese author" question with Sun Tsu so it was no surprise to me that he didnt get on.

Chiara
November 26th, 2004, 16:58
yabighoor and i know someone who, when asked to name some Japanese people that he admired, said Jet Li. And he's out here. And hopefully not reading ;) (Higordonhowsitgoing?) So dont worry too much about that. In the British knowledge quiz i couldnt remember the Patron Saint of Wales... i'm going to claim that was nerves....

And nope, I didn't have a teaching demo/acting bit in my interview either. In fact the only thing that they asked me in relation to teaching was how I would stop myself from smashing my face in with a brick if i had to give a self intro lesson 40 times... ok embellishing there but only slightly.

Dynamis
November 26th, 2004, 21:49
Yeah, no teaching demo for me either.

Matt

PS. And I calculate that I've done my self-intro 40-50 times already, with no end in sight. Strangely, its not as bad as it sounds, and actually takes away the pressure to prepare something new!

Ini
November 26th, 2004, 23:23
hmmmm dont really remember the interview, due to the amazingly shit british public transport system the only train I could get arrived at edinburgh 4 hours before the interview - I was very nervous so I went to the nearest bar for some lunch and some dutch courage.......... long story short If a drunken twat like me can get on JET any loser can so dont worry about the interview

Shotokai
November 27th, 2004, 01:25
I answered the Japanese author Question with a blank. a blank is better then a wrong answer sometimes.

solacegirl
November 29th, 2004, 10:38
With the mock lesson thing...be on your guard. I didn't have to do one in my interview but when I was trying to explain the difference between the House of Commons and the House of Lords...one of the interviewers stopped me mid flow and said "now just imagine that we (the interview panel) are japanese students....explain the difference to us now." I felt like a knob talking in baby sprecht to a middle aged professor and Japanese embassy worker. But I guess if you have a shot/do your best at the questions they fire at you, you'll come out roses.

Gambatte mate :)

Charlotte
December 1st, 2004, 14:39
I had the small little tests. But considering i wrote the population of japan was about half the population of the world and Im now in Okinawa. I really wouldnt worry.

No mock lesson, but some tricky questions. just tke your time and just be really positive.

tash_bert
December 1st, 2004, 17:24
when I was trying to explain the difference between the House of Commons and the House of Lords...one of the interviewers stopped me mid flow and said "now just imagine that we (the interview panel) are japanese students....explain the difference to us now."


I got that one too!! Nightmare, but I laugh about it now... I guess my explanation was ok!!!

I didn't have a demo lesson as such. But I did have to make up a lesson plan on the spot and then discuss it with the panel. This then led to a discussion on student motivation and the perceived differences between Japanese and British students.

547
December 2nd, 2004, 14:58
I had the good cop - bad cop routine in Edinburgh. I think they were just checking how I responded to presure as it was only one question. T

Heres the long (boring) story:
hey had asked me IF I would correct a teachers mistake. (I replyed yes, but away from the students to save face) and the consul jumped in with "Do you think its your job to do that?" I replyed yes (instinctivly) and then (luckily) remembered that the JET contract description includes teaching teachers...

About numbers etc - JET in the UK tries to keep it secret. I was told by someone who was resposable for getting people through the airport check in and Tokyo (dis)orientation. That in 2004 the UK had 500 places allocated to it - they decided to only take 480-ish because the rest of the applicants wern't up to scratch. Obviously I can't verify this. I don't know if it means anything really - apart from they don't feel the presure to take _anyone_ (as if we didn't know that already). I don't know how many applicants:places they get.

Moore
December 4th, 2004, 02:54
I can't remember where but one of the official organisations involved in the scheme post the numbers up on their site. I have also heard from several sources that in the UK around 500 were placed last year from around 1000 applicants.

ENAY
December 7th, 2004, 00:05
> Given that it was all off the top of my head, we ended up
> talking about the growth of the arts, and the differences
> between the current system of patronage and the
> seventeenth century patron system

YIKES! Now I'm scared.

Cornelius
December 7th, 2004, 09:32
> Given that it was all off the top of my head, we ended up
> talking about the growth of the arts, and the differences
> between the current system of patronage and the
> seventeenth century patron system

YIKES! Now I'm scared.

Don't be. I talked bollocks and he knew it. The key thing I had to do was not freeze up.

Remember, this interview is where they will judge you on how well you will cope in a new environment. If you do get a tricky question, just remember that the words that you say may very well be irrelevant - what is important to them is your willingness to engage, and your willingness to listen.

nicklad
December 7th, 2004, 14:45
The key thing I had to do was not freeze up.

Remember, this interview is where they will judge you on how well you will cope in a new environment. If you do get a tricky question, just remember that the words that you say may very well be irrelevant - what is important to them is your willingness to engage, and your willingness to listen.

I agree. They already have all your work and academic records before you go in, as well as your references.

The job is not tough here at all when you consider the pay and the way they (are supposed to) look after you.
They know that most people can do the job. If you get to the interview then they already know you are of a good enough educational background and will already have been informed by your personal statement of your overseas experiences.
In the interview they want to see that you know what you are getting into and that you would cope with the change and likely stay on.

JET wants ALTs to recontract because it is costly and time consuming and less productive for the schools to replace an ALT on a yearly basis.

Ini
December 7th, 2004, 15:17
This is the simplist job on earth, and seeing as they hire 1 in 2 applicants (according to the dodgy statistics quoted on this site) I wouldnt worry too much about the interview. If you cant manage to get on JET you should just face up to the fact that the rest of your adult life will be based around the phrase "would you like fries with that?"

December 9th, 2004, 20:19
i wasnt asked to pretend that the interviewers were students, but i was asked to plan a lesson on a topic they gave me (christmas if i remember correctly) and discuss what i would do in a lesson. i asked for more details on what type of students etc and i dont think my answer was great, but im here now so dont worry!
my interview was in london btw.

December 10th, 2004, 13:51
Forgotten my login details :?: , so sorry! Anyway, I applied from the UK as a CIR, and looking at your questions, I think I actually may have had the easier deal! The only thing that threw me a bit was when I was asked to explain the differences between the UK countries. Kind of a big topic, and not easy to answer in a minute or so. My friend was asked to explain the difference between the Scottish and British parliament (oh yeah, we both had to do this in Japanese, which may have made it harder), and I think he was a bit stuck. I dont know if these questions come up in ALT interviews, but I suggest that you might want to think of some good things to say incase they do. I actually think that dressing really smartly, sitting up straight etc etc and the little things like that can count a lot in these interviews, especially if there are Japanese people on the panel. :)