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weepinbell
January 13th, 2015, 10:47
I know, I know. There are a ton of these out there. I've read the sticky note in Aspiring and Applying. I've scoured these forums. I exhausted google search long ago. But I want more. What can I say, I'm greedy.

I'm gonna sit on it for a couple of days then dive into my interview prep, so I'd really love to get some advice from people who have gone through it before (Chicago anyone?).

I want plenty of time to prepare and feel confident enough that I'm not cramming for this thing AT the actual interview out of nervous habit. I'm assuming rule number one is to, you know.... not totally freak out mid-interview.

I know everyone on here says "ESID" all the time, but I really wanna hear about all of those situations so that I can at least prepare myself for the worst, and hopefully come out feeling like I did my very best given the situation.

Thanks much!

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 13th, 2015, 10:52
I know, I know. There are a ton of these out there. I've read the sticky note in Aspiring and Applying. I've scoured these forums. I exhausted google search long ago. But I want more. What can I say, I'm greedy.

I'm gonna sit on it for a couple of days then dive into my interview prep, so I'd really love to get some advice from people who have gone through it before (Chicago anyone?).

I want plenty of time to prepare and feel confident enough that I'm not cramming for this thing AT the actual interview out of nervous habit. I'm assuming rule number one is to, you know.... not totally freak out mid-interview.

I know everyone on here says "ESID" all the time, but I really wanna hear about all of those situations so that I can at least prepare myself for the worst, and hopefully come out feeling like I did my very best given the situation.

Thanks much!

You're right, there are a lot of these about already... but there's no harm in there being one where you fresh young newsters can talk to eachother, at least not that I can see.

So we'll start it off with the oldest advice in the book, just in case you've been living under a rock - know your own application like the back of your hand. It's important. Do it. Do it now.

Extra advice? Don't biro a swastika on your forehead the morning of the interview.

naginataonthebrain
January 13th, 2015, 11:13
I do have a question regarding the interview though. From what I have heard, if you have stated that you have some Japanese language ability, the interviewers will test you on it. My question is to what extent will they test you on it? I said that I was at an intermediate level on all levels (reading, writing, speaking and listening). But if they want me to read a story or something, I definitely want to brush up on my kanji skills before then.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 13th, 2015, 11:19
I put down that I had a little speaking ability and my test was a simple self introduction and a few questions. Don't know what the format's like if you put down higher than basic though.

miamicoordinator
January 13th, 2015, 11:26
I do have a question regarding the interview though. From what I have heard, if you have stated that you have some Japanese language ability, the interviewers will test you on it. My question is to what extent will they test you on it? I said that I was at an intermediate level on all levels (reading, writing, speaking and listening). But if they want me to read a story or something, I definitely want to brush up on my kanji skills before then.

The Japanese test is in sections. If you pass 1 part, you go to the next. Points awarded for japanese ability are bonus points. There is no kanji test for alts, that is just cirs. Focus on your speaking skills.

Jiggit
January 13th, 2015, 11:29
In my interview (in the UK) they basically just asked me a few conversational questions and stopped when I couldn't understand any more. Like miamicoordinator said, it's basically bonus points and Japanese ability is absolutely not a requirement for entry. Plenty of people come here on JET with absolutely zero language ability. Of course if you put on your interview that you speak Japanese at an intermediate-high level and don't then you'll get in trouble, but that would be more about your dishonesty than your language skills.

Ini
January 13th, 2015, 11:40
Get to your test site nice and early, scout out the area so you know exactly where you are going. Find a local pub to sit down in for a few hours before your interview and go over your app while having a few pints of dutch courage. 1 wont be enough but more than 6 and you run the risk of them noticing. Just have enough to get loose so you come across as an enthusiastic and fun kind of person.

Ignore this advice if you are an angry drunk - punching the ambassador wont win you any points.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 13th, 2015, 11:49
Get to your test site nice and early, scout out the area so you know exactly where you are going. Find a local pub to sit down in for a few hours before your interview and go over your app while having a few pints of dutch courage. 1 wont be enough but more than 6 and you run the risk of them noticing. Just have enough to get loose so you come across as an enthusiastic and fun kind of person.

Ignore this advice if you are an angry drunk - punching the ambassador wont win you any points.

Alternatively, wait for the reception at the Japanese embassy to fulfil your hard-drinking needs. At mine I got so drunk that I could hardly see, and all for free!

Ini
January 13th, 2015, 11:50
thats not going to help you in the interview. stay on topic

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 13th, 2015, 11:52
Sorry Ini, very good point.

Ini
January 13th, 2015, 11:57
I know people may think I'm joking but I did spend 2 hours in a pub round the corner from the Edinburgh consulate to get rid of the nerves and I got shortlisted without any issues.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 13th, 2015, 12:00
Well, I didn't drink but I did arrive far earlier than I needed to and relaxed in a branch of Waterstones with a book. Going in calm really does help.

Jiggit
January 13th, 2015, 12:03
I know people may think I'm joking but I did spend 2 hours in a pub round the corner from the Edinburgh consulate to get rid of the nerves and I got shortlisted without any issues.

I'm pretty sure that's the main reason why people drink alcohol, isn't it? I took a hip flask to my finals and passed. Do what works, don't forget the breath mints.

weepinbell
January 13th, 2015, 12:08
Get to your test site nice and early, scout out the area so you know exactly where you are going. Find a local pub to sit down in for a few hours before your interview and go over your app while having a few pints of dutch courage. 1 wont be enough but more than 6 and you run the risk of them noticing. Just have enough to get loose so you come across as an enthusiastic and fun kind of person.

Ignore this advice if you are an angry drunk - punching the ambassador wont win you any points.

Lol I'll be real, I may grab a glass of wine to chill out beforehand. ;) Unless I have an early interview? I don't know. We'll see. I could always toss back a couple mimosas. That's acceptable before noon, yeah?


Alternatively, wait for the reception at the Japanese embassy to fulfil your hard-drinking needs. At mine I got so drunk that I could hardly see, and all for free!

Haha excuse me, is this a real thing Snow or are you just being facetious?

Did you guys get a lot of Japanese current events questions? I'm definitely gonna pocket a few to be safe, but I've read a few interview accounts where people have been asked about like 'Name 2 modern influential Japanese people' or, on the flip side, '3 inspirational people from your home country'. Just wondering about the frequency of questions like this.

Also... this 'demo lesson'. Should I basically just prepare to give a speak/repeat while acting like a maniac exercise? Let's hope my 4 years of acting training lives up to this moment hahaha.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 13th, 2015, 12:11
Haha excuse me, is this a real thing Snow or are you just being facetious?

Totally a real thing. I got a lot of business cards, a lot of champagne, spoke a lot of bad Japanese and ended up falling asleep on the train home and ending up at the seaside at midnight (overshot my stop by about an hour). Great night.


Did you guys get a lot of Japanese current events questions?

I got absolutely zero, I know others who came with me that got a few.

Ini
January 13th, 2015, 12:15
I got asked about the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan but that's probably not going to come up these days. You might get something about the Olympics. If you like rugby you could throw out that you are excited about Japan hosting the World Cup

Jiggit
January 13th, 2015, 12:18
on the flip side, '3 inspirational people from your home country'. Just wondering about the frequency of questions like this.

Also... this 'demo lesson'. Should I basically just prepare to give a speak/repeat while acting like a maniac exercise? Let's hope my 4 years of acting training lives up to this moment hahaha.

The "demo lesson" thing doesn't seem to be a part of the UK interview. Is it US only or are we the odd ones out?

As to the point about "inspirational people", I think a lot of the time they ask you to explain or express something about your own culture/country to test your suitability to represent it. The JET programme want people who represent their own countries and, for want of a more diplomatic way of saying it, a lot of people who interview are Japanophiles who have an interest in Japanese popular culture to the exclusion of their own.

They also want to check your ability to be able to explain things from your culture to someone who doesn't know about them in an effective and engaging way. A lot of ALTs get asked to explain xyz about their country and it can be quite challenging to make this interesting for young students. They want to see how you7d cope with that.

mothy
January 13th, 2015, 12:24
Pretty much everything I was asked had something to do with my SOP or application. The only exceptions I can think of were the demo lesson and a question about how I would respond if someone said something insulting about the US.

webstaa
January 13th, 2015, 13:02
My interview panel asked how I'd handle the JTE teaching completely incorrect grammar/spelling etc. Pretty much the answer was "be cool about it - if it was major, fix it in class, otherwise afterwards..." And they wanted to know what I wanted to do with JET experience under my belt. Which is not the same now as it was then...

My interviewer had someone who had lived in the same town as I in Japan a few years previous, so there was a lot of comparing notes about how I spent free time.

AyaReiko
January 13th, 2015, 14:31
I got both a current events question (tell us about a recent Japanese news event) and a "cultural info" question (name 2... or was it three?... famous Canadians you would present to Japanese people). They had a list of questions and basically asked random ones from there, from what I gathered.

johnny
January 13th, 2015, 18:20
I didn't get asked anything about current events at all. With one exception, I didn't get asked anything about either Japanese or Canadian history, culture or politics either.

The only cultural question I was asked was what I would bring from Canada to represent Canadian culture. This and the follow up questions went on for a few minutes.

Mostly, my interview was a pretty typical job interview with pretty typical job interview questions.

As for what to do before the interview, do whatever you need to do to relax. If a pint will help, maybe it's worth a shot.

RainbowSheep
January 13th, 2015, 19:41
In my interview (in the UK) they basically just asked me a few conversational questions and stopped when I couldn't understand any more. Like miamicoordinator said, it's basically bonus points and Japanese ability is absolutely not a requirement for entry. Plenty of people come here on JET with absolutely zero language ability. Of course if you put on your interview that you speak Japanese at an intermediate-high level and don't then you'll get in trouble, but that would be more about your dishonesty than your language skills.

I'm worried about the Japanese portion of the exam. I was originally going to state that my Japanese speaking was at elementary level but a friend persuaded me to put it at intermediate. I definitely feel my listening and reading are intermediate but after not having a Japanese conversation in a year and a half I feel my speaking ability will have dropped significantly. I have definitely been at an intermediate level before but I'm worried now that the interviewers will see me as not only a blabbering idiot, but also a liar.

How negatively do you think this is going to affect me?

Gizmotech
January 13th, 2015, 20:54
Don't worry about it. Give it your best and it's all bonus points if you aren't applying for cir.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 13th, 2015, 21:41
I'm worried about the Japanese portion of the exam. I was originally going to state that my Japanese speaking was at elementary level but a friend persuaded me to put it at intermediate. I definitely feel my listening and reading are intermediate but after not having a Japanese conversation in a year and a half I feel my speaking ability will have dropped significantly. I have definitely been at an intermediate level before but I'm worried now that the interviewers will see me as not only a blabbering idiot, but also a liar.

How negatively do you think this is going to affect me?

Depends what you do about it. Skype native speakers for language exchange to brush up, do all you can - you'll most likely be fine if you put the effort in.

OtherPulse
January 13th, 2015, 22:10
I'm worried about the Japanese portion of the exam. I was originally going to state that my Japanese speaking was at elementary level but a friend persuaded me to put it at intermediate. I definitely feel my listening and reading are intermediate but after not having a Japanese conversation in a year and a half I feel my speaking ability will have dropped significantly. I have definitely been at an intermediate level before but I'm worried now that the interviewers will see me as not only a blabbering idiot, but also a liar.

How negatively do you think this is going to affect me?
I'm a bit worried as well. My Japanese has definitely got a bit rusty over the holidays and exam period because I've been busy studying other things. Fortunately I'm still at uni, and I'm going to be meeting up with some Japanese friends to get some conversational practice in.

If you'd like, we could do some Skype calls in Japanese for some practice.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 13th, 2015, 22:11
See? Networking! Solves all problems.

sourdoughsushi
January 13th, 2015, 23:37
My skill tests were crudely drawn cartoons with speech bubbles. Deep breaths, guys. It's just gravy.

weepinbell
January 14th, 2015, 00:10
So, I know I'll get asked about this - I put that I wouldn't be willing to drive on my application. I'm wondering if anyone else was asked about this at your interview/what you said? I have my license, but I just get pretty anxious when I drive, even just here in the states. If I'm being totally honest and realistic, I don't think I would deal well with the pressure of owning/renting a car in Japan, especially when we drive on opposite sides of the road haha... on top of that, there are so many other changes that I'm sure come with moving to a new country and I'd muuuuch rather focus on navigating those challenges. This is literally the only thing I'm not "flexible" about, so hopefully my honesty won't count against me? It does kind of rule out "rural" locations, I guess, and I know lots of JETs get sent to the country so. Aaaah. :/

Also, side note, I just asked my former professer, who is a JET alumn, if she had any advice, and she literally told me "they're basically just trying to weed out the weeaboos" haha.

OtherPulse
January 14th, 2015, 00:16
Did your form ask whether you're willing to drive? The UK application just asked whether we have a driving license.

I understand your reservations about driving, I've never enjoyed it either. In an ideal world I'd like to be placed somewhere where I can cycle to work, but that's not always possible. I think if you try driving in Japan, it'll only take a small while for you to get used to it, and then you've opened up loads more possibilities.

miamicoordinator
January 14th, 2015, 00:19
So, I know I'll get asked about this - I put that I wouldn't be willing to drive on my application. I'm wondering if anyone else was asked about this at your interview/what you said? I have my license, but I just get pretty anxious when I drive, even just here in the states. If I'm being totally honest and realistic, I don't think I would deal well with the pressure of owning/renting a car in Japan, especially when we drive on opposite sides of the road haha... on top of that, there are so many other changes that I'm sure come with moving to a new country and I'd muuuuch rather focus on navigating those challenges. This is literally the only thing I'm not "flexible" about, so hopefully my honesty won't count against me? It does kind of rule out "rural" locations, I guess, and I know lots of JETs get sent to the country so. Aaaah. :/

Also, side note, I just asked my former professer, who is a JET alumn, if she had any advice, and she literally told me "they're basically just trying to weed out the weeaboos" haha.

This will not count against you when it comes to your interview scoring. I personally prefer honest people who tell me what they are unwilling to do because it prevents us from sending them to a location that they will be miserable at, and end up breaking contract.

However, if for some reason you do not make the original short-list, and are an alternate, then that is where the problem begins. Our alternate lists are ranked as well, but by everyones names there are things like Willing to drive, single, TEFL certificate, etc... If by chance you are next on the alternate list, and the upgrade comes in for someone who is willing to drive, then you will be skipped over for the next available person who is willing to.
That doesnt mean you forfeight any chance of being upgraded, but you just need to hope for an upgrade/BoE that has a space for people who do not need to drive.

There are many people who do not want to drive and get accepted. The only question would be whether or not you would be one of the top candidates who gets short-listed first and gets put in that category.

PuddingHead
January 14th, 2015, 00:24
If a pint will help, maybe it's worth a shot.

Any hard liquor is worth a shot.

PuddingHead
January 14th, 2015, 00:28
This will not count against you when it comes to your interview scoring. I personally prefer honest people who tell me what they are unwilling to do because it prevents us from sending them to a location that they will be miserable at, and end up breaking contract.

However, if for some reason you do not make the original short-list, and are an alternate, then that is where the problem begins. Our alternate lists are ranked as well, but by everyones names there are things like Willing to drive, single, TEFL certificate, etc... If by chance you are next on the alternate list, and the upgrade comes in for someone who is willing to drive, then you will be skipped over for the next available person who is willing to.
That doesnt mean you forfeight any chance of being upgraded, but you just need to hope for an upgrade/BoE that has a space for people who do not need to drive.

There are many people who do not want to drive and get accepted. The only question would be whether or not you would be one of the top candidates who gets short-listed first and gets put in that category.

If you put down that you are willing to drive, but indicate in your interview that you would rather not if it's possible, how likely would it be that you're placed somewhere where it's required?

Also, are age group preferences taken into account? There wasn't anywhere on the US application to indicate this, but I feel like I read somewhere that there may have been in the past.

weepinbell
January 14th, 2015, 00:33
Well, on the application it said something like "Do you have a driver's license? Mark no even if you have one, but are not willing to drive". I know it'd open up more opportunities, but Idk I think I'm pretty set with this decision... like paying for gas, bills, maitenance are not things I want to have to do in America, let alone in Japan haha. Who knows, maybe once I got there I would change my mind, but I would prefer for that that decision to be based on my own experience I guess. I asked about cars in JET on here awhile back and I got a huge mix of responses from people getting rentals set up through their BoE to people having to buy their car off of their pred. I would probably have a panic attack if I had to BUY a car oh my goodness.


Thanks miami, that makes me feel better! Yeah, I think I can safely say I'd be risking feeling sort of miserable. Good to know about the alternate situation, though. Speaking of alternates, if you do get placed on that list, how long do you remain on it? I feel like I've seen people on this forum get pulled in like October.

miamicoordinator
January 14th, 2015, 00:36
Well, on the application it said something like "Do you have a driver's license? Mark no even if you have one, but are not willing to drive". I know it'd open up more opportunities, but Idk I think I'm pretty set with this decision... like paying for gas, bills, maitenance are not things I want to have to do in America, let alone in Japan haha. Who knows, maybe once I got there I would change my mind, but I would prefer for that that decision to be based on my own experience I guess. I asked about cars in JET on here awhile back and I got a huge mix of responses from people getting rentals set up through their BoE to people having to buy their car off of their pred. I would probably have a panic attack if I had to BUY a car oh my goodness.

Thanks miami, that makes me feel better! Yeah, I think I can safely say I'd be risking feeling sort of miserable. Good to know about the alternate situation, though. Speaking of alternates, if you do get placed on that list, how long do you remain on it? I feel like I've seen people on this forum get pulled in like October.

You remain on the alternate list until the end of December. Upgrades happens anytime between August and December. I had quite a few upgrades this year. In fact, I had a upgrade in mid-December, and he is actually departing for Japan next week. He was the last upgrade of the year though. If you are offered an upgrade, we will always contact you to see if you are still interested.

miamicoordinator
January 14th, 2015, 00:38
If you put down that you are willing to drive, but indicate in your interview that you would rather not if it's possible, how likely would it be that you're placed somewhere where it's required?

Also, are age group preferences taken into account? There wasn't anywhere on the US application to indicate this, but I feel like I read somewhere that there may have been in the past.

Age, driving preference, gender, nationality, etc... are all taken into account when we send our final recommendation list to Tokyo, then CLAIR and the BoEs take apart the list and decide who they feel will be the best fit.

If you are willing to drive, but prefer not to, we can put that in our comments, but it just depends on how many "non driving" areas are open.

hiddenlee22
January 14th, 2015, 00:40
Also, are age group preferences taken into account? There wasn't anywhere on the US application to indicate this, but I feel like I read somewhere that there may have been in the past.

I was wondering that same thing. I didn't see anything on there about what age groups we would like to teach, but I suppose that depends are your level of Japanese. If I'm not mistaken, the better you are, the lower the grade you have the potential to teach.

Edit: Meant that in a which grade can we teach.

miamicoordinator
January 14th, 2015, 00:41
I was wondering that same thing. I didn't see anything on there about what age groups we would like to teach, but I suppose that depends are your level of Japanese. If I'm not mistaken, the better you are, the lower the grade you have the potential to teach.

Oh, thats what you guys meant! Sorry, I misunderstood!!

In the interview we ask you what age group you prefer to teach, and send that info to Tokyo.

Zolrak 22
January 14th, 2015, 00:47
If you are willing to drive, but prefer not to, we can put that in our comments, but it just depends on how many "non driving" areas are open.

Is this asked in the interview or do you have to bring it up?

I'm on the same boat.

I'm fine with driving if there's no other choice, but I prefer not to.

OtherPulse
January 14th, 2015, 00:50
We all hate driving here. Indicative of our generation or people who typically go on JET? You decide.

miamicoordinator
January 14th, 2015, 00:52
Is this asked in the interview or do you have to bring it up?

I'm on the same boat.

I'm fine with driving if there's no other choice, but I prefer not to.

It will depend on your interview panel. Like it was mentioned before, the wording this year is different from last year. This year all that was asked was if you had a license or not opposed to, if you had a license, and if you were willing to drive. I think it caused too much confusion for Tokyo, so they simplified it.

I will certainly be asking about driving preference, I cannot speak for NY though.

If it is just a preference not to drive, but you don't mind, then whether they ask you or not is not going to matter much. If you will decline a placement if you need to drive, then yes, bring it up.

weepinbell
January 14th, 2015, 01:02
We all hate driving here. Indicative of our generation or people who typically go on JET? You decide.

Haha who knows! I just know it's not necessarily something I'm ready to do abroad. :p The thing that scares me the most is definitely the prospect having to buy a car. Or even renting a car and then getting into an accident. Yikes.

Ps, ladies, what did you wear/are thinking of wearing? I have a really professional dress but I always get mixed reviews about whether or not you should wear a dress to an interview? I have a nice blazer that I wear over it, too, but Idk I may go shopping for a classic skirt/blouse type of deal.

tribble
January 14th, 2015, 01:12
I was planning to wear the same thing I've worn to my other job interviews: black dress pants, a very dark purple button down...and I need to go out shopping for a women's suit jacket to put on top. Right now I only have a men's that wouldn't look remotely professional, considering I swim in it.

Perilwink
January 14th, 2015, 01:24
Ps, ladies, what did you wear/are thinking of wearing? I have a really professional dress but I always get mixed reviews about whether or not you should wear a dress to an interview? I have a nice blazer that I wear over it, too, but Idk I may go shopping for a classic skirt/blouse type of deal.

I am no expert, but I think the real suit route is the safest option. I am wearing pants, as I don't think 2 weeks is enough for me to adapt to interview pumps and I'm tall enough without the extra heel! But I still need to go shoe shopping as all my black shoes seem to have deteriorated...

PuddingHead
January 14th, 2015, 01:29
Ps, ladies, what did you wear/are thinking of wearing? I have a really professional dress but I always get mixed reviews about whether or not you should wear a dress to an interview? I have a nice blazer that I wear over it, too, but Idk I may go shopping for a classic skirt/blouse type of deal.

Almost every recommendation I've had about the interview attire has been to go with either a pant suit or a skirt suit. I think the skirt suit is a little more accepted (with tights), but a lot of people can't pull it off. Remember that you're technically applying for a government position, so dress the part. Personally, I would skip the dress and invest in a nice suit. I'm going with a pant suit, but that's only because I already have one.

weepinbell
January 14th, 2015, 01:52
Almost every recommendation I've had about the interview attire has been to go with either a pant suit or a skirt suit. I think the skirt suit is a little more accepted (with tights), but a lot of people can't pull it off. Remember that you're technically applying for a government position, so dress the part. Personally, I would skip the dress and invest in a nice suit. I'm going with a pant suit, but that's only because I already have one.

That's what I've always read, but I guess dresses are starting to make a huge wave in the professional field! I mean, I literally wear dresses to work every day as a receptionist and I'm most comfortable in them. The one I have is grey and black, just over knee length, 3/4 sleeved, very conservative with a blue blazer.... however, I know it's sorta risky because some people don't find it as acceptable for whatever reason. I definitely want to look as professional as possible and also feel as comfortable as possible. I think I'll probably go out and buy a nice pencil or A-line skirt sometime this week...

Zolrak 22
January 14th, 2015, 01:57
I think I'll probably go out and buy a nice pencil or A-line skirt sometime this week...

That would be best.

Remember that you are applying for a job in Japan.

They are more conservative when it comes to these things.

jowston
January 14th, 2015, 01:57
It's not related to the interview itself, but does anyone have some hotel recommendations for people interviewing in New York? Is there a go-to spot for JET prospects?

weepinbell
January 14th, 2015, 01:59
That would be best.

Remember that you are applying for a job in Japan.

They are more conservative when it comes to these things.

Haha yep, exactly what I was thinking... especially since it's just starting to be considered professional in America anyway. I just love my dresses, man oh man... they're just so easy lol.

Zolrak 22
January 14th, 2015, 02:03
does anyone have some hotel recommendations for people interviewing in New York?

For now, I'm planning on booking here.

https://www.thepodhotel.com/

As it appears to be pretty cheap and it's about 9 minutes away from the Consulate.

Valkerion
January 14th, 2015, 02:17
Good to know info about the driving issue. Will make a mental note to at least bring it up organically if possible to suggest I have no problem driving but would rather not.

Random question, white shirt, or one of those lightish blue shirts for a guy? personally think the white one looks better, but paired with my suit jacket it makes it look like I'm going to a wedding/funeral instead of an interview imo. Or heck that said, can I just straight up not wear the suit jacket/take it off after I walk in?

OtherPulse
January 14th, 2015, 02:23
What colour is your suit? If it's black, then a white shirt is fine as long as you don't wear a black tie. Black ties should be reserved for funerals.

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
January 14th, 2015, 02:28
My best advice to give is this: The questions we will be asking you are the exact same questions your friends and family will be asking you. What is your motivation for going? What in your past proves that you can be an effective teacher? What goals do you have for yourself in Japan?

The best thing you can do is know exactly WHY you want this job and WHY you are going to be an excellent ALT. There are no trick questions, nothing to throw you off. This is not designed to be an intensive interview, it is designed as a way for us to get to know you. When I'm interviewing I try to picture that person up in front of a class. How will they conduct themselves? Will they go above and beyond the call of duty to prepare materials and lessons for their students? Will they be active in the community after work? Convey that that to me.

Valkerion
January 14th, 2015, 02:34
Yeah its black, was going to use my red -cough only- tie, its got a weird...smokey design to it but it was a gift from my sister in law from their wedding so it kinda has that "I want to wear it" rather than should feeling with it. Not a crazy design, its pretty muted but only noticeable if you actually take a concentrated look at it haha.

Good reminder SF.

Definitely gotta read my SoP and application packet and try to think of hypothetical questions based on my answers/writing. As well as reaffirming why I am applying for this job. Think I definitely got the "Active in the community after work" thing on my SoP, and fully plan to have that come up. Most of my "experience" is me doing local events which hopefully is something that appealed to the interview selector and further ahead panel.

jowston
January 14th, 2015, 02:49
For now, I'm planning on booking here.

(https://www.thepodhotel.com/)https://www.thepodhotel.com/ Cool, I probably will too. A quick Google maps search showed it as the cheapest one in the area. If I find something better/cheaper I'll share what I found.

Cake
January 14th, 2015, 11:45
On a slightly unrelated note, when I was applying last year I remember there being a lot of discussion regarding the importance of how you behave before/after your interview at the embassy. Before we were taken to our interviews, we sat and waited with a couple of ex-JETs who we could chat to and ask questions (they have a video on as well showing about the JET Programme but no one was paying it any attention). At one point it was just me, another candidate and one of the ex-JETs. The other candidate pretty much dominated the time we had with his incessant questions to the jet and wouldn't let me get a word in. I was worried that it made me look less confident and like I wasn't interested, but the jet kinda gave me this knowing look... Anyway I saw him again at the Japanese Ambassador party in June (which, if you get into the programme, you should DEFINITELY go to) and he said he remembered me, and that the ex-JETs helping out do make a note of any particular points about candidates which might influence their acceptance or rejection.

TL;DR don't annoy the ex-JETs at your interview.

par92186
January 14th, 2015, 14:58
It's a "professional" interview, so treat it as such.


1. wear a suit: blue, grey, and black are the norms.

2. come looking neat: well rested, haircut, clean shaven face, etc

3. arrive as early as possible to scope out the place, get settled, and review your application

4. when entering the room for your interview: talk with the consulate workers and other JETs. Be friendly and just strike up a conversation. I mean don't be grilling people on their freaking life's goals, but just be outgoing and genuine.

5. Make sure to bring your passport to the Interview. I forgot mine and that didn't start me on the right foot. However, I still got in so not all is lost if you forgot. At least bring your license just in case.

6. During the interview: make sure to make eye contact with each interviewer when answering questions. They know you're nervous, but do you best to smile and seem genuine with your answers. Smile.

7. KNOW YOUR APPLICATION. If you BS'd your app in anyway, they will certainly find out when they grill you about the time you, "tutored 5 Japanese Rocket Sciences in English to work for NASA." Know your essay well and have an explanation for writing what you did.

8. Why Japan? Why JET? : If you can't answer these reasonably, you're already up sh*t's creek. Everyone typically gets asked a variation of these two questions and your ability to answer them beyond "i love pokemon, manga, and sushi" are CRITICAL. Do some soul searching as to why you deep down want to live and work in Japan through the JET Program. What DO YOU OFFER the JET Program that others may not? ETC.

9. Prepare questions for the Interviewers. If you're dumb enough to ask about vacation or how much you'll get paid...well...yeah, you're dumb. I prepared two questions and asked about what programs JET offers alumni to keep in touch with the Program. I also asked the former JET to briefly talk about a lesson she taught that went very well and the reason/s why.

10. Don't worry about bowing. Shake hands like the westerner you are. You can bow all you want once you get to Japan, trust me.

11. Speak slow and articulate yourself. Don't use abstract words when a simpler one would do just fine. This isn't a literature contest, so using a bunch of long and fluffy words won't make you seem like a great fit for the job. You're going to be teaching kids who, most likely (but not in all cases), will be uninterested in learning and speaking english...plus their level of understanding your Shakespearian vocabulary will fall on deaf ears.

12. Will you have to demo a lesson? I didn't have to. Should you prepare one? If you want to. I wouldn't stress too much about it. If you are asked to demo one it doesn't mean you're in and similarly, if you aren't asked to do one it doesn't mean you blew it.

13. Should I know basic Japanese? Only know the Japanese you checked off on your written app. Will not knowing any japanese at all hurt your chances? No. I knew zero Japanese when I applied and I got in. Plus, many other people got into the program with the same Japanese ability (or lack there of)_ as me. Don't lose your confidence over some overzealous japanofile and their highly extensive japanese knowledge. They likely suck as a normal human being and will likely not get in.

14. Truly my best advice is to show the interviewers that you are a responsible, mature, and component adult. And be as genuine with your responses as possible.

jenzor
January 14th, 2015, 16:48
Besides testing your Japanese language abilities, do you think they will test for other languages that you put down in your application? I put I was intermediate in Spanish, but I have not spoken it in a while and I'm worried that it will somehow come up in my interview.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 14th, 2015, 17:01
It's important to remember that intermediate means different things to different people - get some practice in if you're worried, but don't stress too much.

OtherPulse
January 14th, 2015, 20:36
It's probably worth mentioning that in the letter they send to successful applicants in the UK, it states: "Please be aware that you will not be allowed to ask any questions in the interview unless they are in relation to questions that you are asked." I imagine they do this to make sure everything remains on time.

weepinbell
January 15th, 2015, 00:21
For those of you who did do demo lessons, was it pretty much self-explanatory? Like they gave you a prompt, and you did a quick repetition exercise? Just curious!

Shincantsen
January 15th, 2015, 00:30
TL;DR don't annoy the ex-JETs at your interview.

Just to add on here - don't let interacting with the JETA before your interview become another point of nervousness. You don't need to impress them with your wit and knowledge - they're mostly there to help calm you down and chat about life in Japan. It's a great opportunity to ask any questions you might not want to ask your panel. If you're being an annoying asshole they'll definitely make a note of it, but don't be worried about just sitting quietly, if that's how you want to prepare for your interview.

hiddenlee22
January 15th, 2015, 01:17
For those of you who did do demo lessons, was it pretty much self-explanatory? Like they gave you a prompt, and you did a quick repetition exercise? Just curious!

That's the only thing I'm really worried about. Having no formal teaching (aside from tutoring a few students in some classes), the thought of presenting a on-the-spot lesson is a bit nerve-racking. Was anyone else in the same boat? I'd imagine they do this for applicants who don't have teaching experience to see how they handle themselves.

ambrosse
January 15th, 2015, 01:26
That's the only thing I'm really worried about. Having no formal teaching (aside from tutoring a few students in some classes), the thought of presenting a on-the-spot lesson is a bit nerve-racking. Was anyone else in the same boat? I'd imagine they do this for applicants who don't have teaching experience to see how they handle themselves.

I wonder if they do it for both.
-to see whether or not a non-experienced person can handle it
-to see whether or not an experienced person is full of shit

hiddenlee22
January 15th, 2015, 01:33
I wonder if they do it for both.
-to see whether or not a non-experienced person can handle it
-to see whether or not an experienced person is full of shit

- Mind blown -

If you lied on the application and think you can just "wing" the experience thing without rehearsing your lies....props to you for having the balls

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 01:34
I took an online TEFL course ... Even then I'm not confident with coming up with a lesson on the spot...


I wouldn't say terrified, but I'm leaning towards that spectrum.

ambrosse
January 15th, 2015, 01:39
- Mind blown -

If you lied on the application and think you can just "wing" the experience thing without rehearsing your lies....props to you for having the balls

Yeah, but I also wonder if the demo is just to see how you handle an impromptu situation.

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 01:39
I wonder if they do it for both.
-to see whether or not a non-experienced person can handle it
-to see whether or not an experienced person is full of shit

Anyone interviewing in Miami this year will not have a mock lesson. I seriously hate them, and find them to be a waste of time.

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 01:41
Anyone interviewing in Miami this year will not have a mock lesson. I seriously hate them, and find them to be a waste of time.
Even more reason why I should have interviewed there.

*grumble * *grumble*

hiddenlee22
January 15th, 2015, 01:42
Anyone interviewing in Miami this year will not have a mock lesson. I seriously hate them, and find them to be a waste of time.

Well, if I wasn't jealous of Miami applicants before I am sure as hell now.

ambrosse
January 15th, 2015, 01:47
Anyone interviewing in Miami this year will not have a mock lesson. I seriously hate them, and find them to be a waste of time.

I knew I should have listed the Miami consulate on my application!
Just kidding, I can't afford the plane ticket out there.

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 01:56
I knew I should have listed the Miami consulate on my application!


You know you want to!

Let's make Miami the official ITIL consulate!





(Kidding, kidding... don't take it personally San Francisco....)

ambrosse
January 15th, 2015, 02:02
You know you want to!

Let's make Miami the official ITIL consulate!



+1

hiddenlee22
January 15th, 2015, 02:09
Any coordinator who is willing to take the time to help us poor unfortunate souls gets my vote.

PuddingHead
January 15th, 2015, 03:14
Anyone interviewing in Miami this year will not have a mock lesson. I seriously hate them, and find them to be a waste of time.

Well, if I wasn't jealous of Miami applicants before I am sure as hell now.

4995

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 03:33
Ok, you made me chuckle.

https://thechive.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/funny-game-of-thrones-24.jpg

PuddingHead
January 15th, 2015, 03:34
But really, are consulates fans of suggestion boxes? I feel a little bad that MC said consulate jobs aren't well suited for careers and the only perk is a slight raise.
If we all rally together, maybe we can get him a better job, right? RIGHT?

No? Okay, well, I tried.

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 03:36
If we all rally together, maybe we can get him a better job, right? RIGHT?

No? Okay, well, I tried.

What makes you think Miami is a he?

And sure, I'd sign a petition endorsing a raise. [emoji6]

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 03:41
But really, are consulates fans of suggestion boxes? I feel a little bad that MC said consulate jobs aren't well suited for careers and the only perk is a slight raise.
If we all rally together, maybe we can get him a better job, right? RIGHT?

No? Okay, well, I tried.

Local staff jobs at Consulates have their duties and limitations. "Better" job is really subjective, depending on the direct boss that you have. For example, I might have a great boss for 3 years, then he or she is transfered, and the new one that comes in is very diffricult to work with, which makes the next 2-3 years a living hell. So what was a great job, becomes miserable. Tokyo staff gets changed around every 2-3 years, so you never know who you are going to get. I do appreciate the sentiment though!

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 03:41
What makes you think Miami is a he?

And sure, I'd sign a petition endorsing a raise. [emoji6]

You forget Zolrak, Pudding has already met me in person! She knows I am indeed a he!

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 03:43
You forget Zolrak, Pudding has already met me in person! She knows I am indeed a he!
Awww, you couldn't let the mystery continue? [emoji14]

PuddingHead
January 15th, 2015, 03:51
Yeah, yeah. We're good buddies. He'll get me in for sure!

...Once he figures out who I am.

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 03:53
Yeah, yeah. We're good buddies. He'll get me in for sure!

...Once he figures out who I am.

Who says I havent already? :popcorn:

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 03:53
Yeah, yeah. We're good buddies. He'll get me in for sure!

...Once he figures out who I am.
What makes you think he doesn't know?

Edit :

Who says I havent already?
Exactly. [emoji1]

PuddingHead
January 15th, 2015, 03:57
Who says I haven't already? :popcorn:

What makes you think he doesn't know?

Oh my. Are you two in on something?

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 03:58
Oh my. Are you two in on something?
Of course not, the double post was just... coincidence... right, coincidence.

naginataonthebrain
January 15th, 2015, 03:58
Bringing business cards and possibly giving them to interested parties at the consulate: Yay or nay?

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 04:02
Miami can probably answer this, but if you ask me :


On one hand, it sounds nice. Shows you have initiative.

On another, it might lead them to believe your reasons for going to Japan isn't teaching/cultural. But rather just a way to increase your business.

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 04:05
Bringing business cards and possibly giving them to interested parties at the consulate: Yay or nay?

Don't bring anything(CVs, business cards, signed autographs by Arashi) unless you are specifically told to by your coordinators. In Miami we specifically tell people not to bring anything except the interview voucher and release form.

gibbity
January 15th, 2015, 04:10
Anyone interviewing in Miami this year will not have a mock lesson. I seriously hate them, and find them to be a waste of time.

ITS A TRICK! dont let MC lull you into a false sense of security! i heard Miami makes you do a 10 MINUTE lesson on the spot. Every time. Everyone. There is no escape!

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 04:12
ITS A TRICK! dont let MC lull you into a false sense of security! i heard Miami makes you do a 10 MINUTE lesson on the spot. Every time. Everyone. There is no escape!

:006:

PuddingHead
January 15th, 2015, 04:15
ITS A TRICK! dont let MC lull you into a false sense of security! i heard Miami makes you do a 10 MINUTE lesson on the spot. Every time. Everyone. There is no escape!

MC would never lie to us! He loves us all like his own children. His own children that he places in front of him and judges and possibly crushes their dreams.

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 04:23
MC would never lie to us! He loves us all like his own children. His own children that he places in front of him and judges and possibly crushes their dreams.

Honestly, there are real great things about being a coordinator. The best part of the job is calling people that they have been shortlisted or upgraded. Its wonderful to hear the excitement in their voices, and seriously the best part of the job.

Inevitably we do have to crush dreams though because there are simply not enough spots for the amount of qualified applicants. I hate e-mailing people that they are alternates(since they are im limbo status essentially) and those who don't pass the e-mail stage, while not in limbo, I am sure it hurts. If we go by Miami's numbers in recent years, I will inevitably need to crush the souls of more than 1/2 of this year's interviewees. I am not looking forward to that.

PuddingHead
January 15th, 2015, 04:36
Honestly, there are real great things about being a coordinator. The best part of the job is calling people that they have been shortlisted or upgraded. Its wonderful to hear the excitement in their voices, and seriously the best part of the job.

Inevitably we do have to crush dreams though because there are simply not enough spots for the amount of qualified applicants. I hate e-mailing people that they are alternates(since they are im limbo status essentially) and those who don't pass the e-mail stage, while not in limbo, I am sure it hurts. If we go by Miami's numbers in recent years, I will inevitably need to crush the souls of more than 1/2 of this year's interviewees. I am not looking forward to that.

I would imagine. While it's nerve wracking to be sitting on this side of things, it's probably difficult knowing that you have to inevitably let so many people down each year.

I'm sure this question has been answered somewhere, but is it possible for everyone you interview in Miami to make it? Or does Tokyo like to spread out their short-listed candidates and accept only a certain number from each consulate?

Viral
January 15th, 2015, 04:44
What's the general ratio of applicants : interviewees : shortlisted?

Also, since I can't seem to find it anywhere, what happens after the interview? Is this the only stage of the process?

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 04:47
I would imagine. While it's nerve wracking to be sitting on this side of things, it's probably difficult knowing that you have to inevitably let so many people down each year.

I'm sure this question has been answered somewhere, but is it possible for everyone you interview in Miami to make it? Or does Tokyo like to spread out their short-listed candidates and accept only a certain number from each consulate?

In the past, a certain number of spots were granted to each Consulate depending on the number of people interviewed there. So, there was a hard cut off in terms of how many people could end up on the shortlist that was predetermined by Tokyo. So, if we only interveiwed 50 people, maybe 15 or so would be short listed. So, my top 15 would go. However, things are different now. Now, all applicants are thrown into one large spread sheet, and it is all based off of interview scores. So, if they need 1000 people, the first top 1000 in the U.S. will get selected for the original shortlist. If the people in MIami didnt score well, then it is possible for us to send very few people.

In order to try and balance this, startingt his year, all cosulates are using the same scoring ruberic. Hopefully this way everyone will be scored fairly, opposed to some locations having stricter scorers than others, leading to small numbers from the Consulate.

So, essentially, yes it is "possible" for all 70 of Miami's people to get shortlisted if every single one of them scored amazingly, and fit into that score bracket. I have never seem this happen though. We always end up not passing a number of people who did not perform well in the interview, and everyone else gets put on the alternate list.

So, its highly unlikely.

Shincantsen
January 15th, 2015, 04:49
What's the general ratio of applicants : interviewees : shortlisted?

Also, since I can't seem to find it anywhere, what happens after the interview? Is this the only stage of the process?

(This is for the US)

Seems like somewhere around 25-50% of applicants move on to get an interview, and about 50% of those interviewed are shortlisted.

After the interview you'll wait for a month or two, then hear whether you were shortlisted (accepted), an alternate (waitlisted), or rejected. If you were shortlisted or waitlisted, you'll need to reply to that message and confirm if you'd like to accept the position. There's usually an optional orientation at your consulate/embassy in June, and you should hear about your placement about the same time. Then there's a required orientation and departure in late July or early August.

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 04:49
What's the general ratio of applicants : interviewees : shortlisted?

Also, since I can't seem to find it anywhere, what happens after the interview? Is this the only stage of the process?

Viral, I only have information on the U.S. numbers, I think you were from the UK right? I am not sure about the numbers.

I can tell you last year, we had about 4.5 applicants(iirc) out of those, about 1900 made it to the interview stage, and about 1000 were sent to Japan.

PuddingHead
January 15th, 2015, 05:44
In the past, a certain number of spots were granted to each Consulate depending on the number of people interviewed there. So, there was a hard cut off in terms of how many people could end up on the shortlist that was predetermined by Tokyo. So, if we only interveiwed 50 people, maybe 15 or so would be short listed. So, my top 15 would go. However, things are different now. Now, all applicants are thrown into one large spread sheet, and it is all based off of interview scores. So, if they need 1000 people, the first top 1000 in the U.S. will get selected for the original shortlist. If the people in MIami didnt score well, then it is possible for us to send very few people.

In order to try and balance this, startingt his year, all cosulates are using the same scoring ruberic. Hopefully this way everyone will be scored fairly, opposed to some locations having stricter scorers than others, leading to small numbers from the Consulate.

So, essentially, yes it is "possible" for all 70 of Miami's people to get shortlisted if every single one of them scored amazingly, and fit into that score bracket. I have never seem this happen though. We always end up not passing a number of people who did not perform well in the interview, and everyone else gets put on the alternate list.

So, its highly unlikely.

It sounds like the majority of people who are granted an interview end up getting short-listed or put on the alternative list. Are the worst interviews just ones where people freeze?

Actually, do you have any stories of any particularly poor interviews?

hiddenlee22
January 15th, 2015, 05:46
It sounds like the majority of people who are granted an interview end up getting short-listed or put on the alternative list. Are the worst interviews just ones where people freeze?

Actually, do you have any stories of any particularly poor interviews?

+1 I want to know that bad interviews are the cause and not because qualified candidates are being passed up...

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 05:47
The fact that you got an interview means you sound good on paper.

The interview basically confirms how truthful this is.

Edit :

So it's only natural that the majority end up shortlisted or alternates.

PuddingHead
January 15th, 2015, 05:59
+1 I want to know that bad interviews are the cause and not because qualified candidates are being passed up...

I don't really think anyone wants to pass up a qualified candidate, but a part of being a good, qualified candidate is being able to function well under pressure. And not being a weeb.


The fact that you got an interview means you sound good on paper.

The interview basically confirms how truthful this is.

Edit :

So it's only natural that the majority end up shortlisted or alternates.

I'm basically viewing the interview as a third letter of recommendation to Tokyo.

Gunjumero
January 15th, 2015, 06:11
I don't really think anyone wants to pass up a qualified candidate, but a part of being a good, qualified candidate is being able to function well under pressure. And not being a weeb.



Miamicoordinator, from what you've seen, is there really that many ''weeb'' applying or is this something very exaggerated and uncommon ?

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 06:36
Miamicoordinator, from what you've seen, is there really that many ''weeb'' applying or is this something very exaggerated and uncommon ?

It really is an overexaggeration. Sure, we get a decent number of weebs, but its really not that bad.

There is nothing wrong with liking anime, japanese, or asian cultures. It only becomes dangerous when you cannot separate fantasy from reality. Very few people fall into that category

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 06:45
It sounds like the majority of people who are granted an interview end up getting short-listed or put on the alternative list. Are the worst interviews just ones where people freeze?

Actually, do you have any stories of any particularly poor interviews?

I will try to be as general as possible because some of those very people who i have failed may read this site and i dont want them to feel bad.

The most common mistake that gets people failed is being nervous. They cant think straight and dont answer questions about motivation and life goals coherently.

Some people have a hard time explaining their life choices. Ok, you studied biochemical engineering, how does jet fit in with that? If you dont have a good answer, its going to be hard to recommend you.

The interview really is a glorified personality contest. We know you look good on paper, now its time to show us why we should choose you over the other people in the room.

I often think to myself, if i was a student, would i want to be taught by this applicant? If they are boring, and uncomfortable in front of people, then most likely not.

Most of all, was the conversation flowing? Was the applicant awkward socially? These are reasons why we would not recommend someone.

Remember its all by points. Maybe you had a good interview, but the other people had a better one. Sometimes its thats simple.

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 06:51
Miamicoordinator, from what you've seen, is there really that many ''weeb'' applying or is this something very exaggerated and uncommon ?

Besides, i think the word weeb/weaboo is thrown around way too much. Insecure people find the need to label and make fun of others just because they like certain things more than the average person.

We are all adults here, there is no need to demeen others because you dont approve of how they love their life.

Gizmotech
January 15th, 2015, 07:43
Besides, i think the word weeb/weaboo is thrown around way too much. Insecure people find the need to label and make fun of others just because they like certain things more than the average person.

We are all adults here, there is no need to demeen others because you dont approve of how they love their life.

Liberal hippy. Obviously Florida didn't get the message about how to treat others in the south. :p

Miami is totally right about the personality contest part. There are plenty of reasons other candidates would have been better than me, but I'm very good at being charming for short periods of time. That confidence, lessez faire attitude, measured responses, eye contact, laughing appropriately, question repetition at the right time.... They can make a person assume a lot about someone's personality and ability that just isn't true.

Gunjumero
January 15th, 2015, 07:51
Besides, i think the word weeb/weaboo is thrown around way too much. Insecure people find the need to label and make fun of others just because they like certain things more than the average person.

We are all adults here, there is no need to demeen others because you dont approve of how they love their life.

Thanks for your answer. To stay on topic, you mentioned about the conversation not flowing, being awkward socially, boring, uncomfortable, is that much more prevalent ?

I would believe people that have those difficulties would not knowingly apply to a job where you're going to put in that situation, in a classroom, with kids, lots of kids, and where you will sometimes have to lead the class, organize games and so on.

Unless they only show these problems only in interviews and would not normally exhibit the same reactions or are not themselves aware of them (I don't know, maybe ? ) . Nervous in front of three people but comfortable around 30 when you know you're not being interviewed.

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 08:02
Thanks for your answer. To stay on topic, you mentioned about the conversation not flowing, being awkward socially, boring, uncomfortable, is that much more prevalent ?

I would believe people that have those difficulties would not knowingly apply to a job where you're going to put in that situation, in a classroom, with kids, lots of kids, and where you will sometimes have to lead the class, organize games and so on.

Unless they only show these problems only in interviews and would not normally exhibit the same reactions or are not themselves aware of them (I don't know, maybe ? ) . Nervous in front of three people but comfortable around 30 when you know you're not being interviewed.


You'd be surprised the kinds of people who end up in front of the interview panel. All personality types, all kinds of people. Maybe for most people its a case of nerves, but there have definitely been some socially awkward individuals who i have interviewed.

hiddenlee22
January 15th, 2015, 08:03
MC

I heard you get a "rap sheet" about each applicant before the interview. If that's at all true and you could divulge info, what kind of stuff do you get?

Ini
January 15th, 2015, 08:05
I would believe people that have those difficulties would not knowingly apply to a job where you're going to put in that situation, in a classroom, with kids, lots of kids, and where you will sometimes have to lead the class, organize games and so on.

A lot of people forget that JET is a teaching job and just view it as a easy way to live in japan for a while.

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 08:13
MC

I heard you get a "rap sheet" about each applicant before the interview. If that's at all true and you could divulge info, what kind of stuff do you get?

No rap sheet, or secret info. Just your application and the reviewers thoughts. (Like 2 sentences).

Viral
January 15th, 2015, 08:24
Thanks for the ratios, I know it's probably not a similar scale to the UK's ratios, but it's good to have something to go on.

Are we 'graded' solely on interview performance, or is it weighed in with our initial application? In being recommended, are we pitted against everyone from the consulate first and then the top x% get put forward, or are we up against just the people who interviewed on the day?

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 11:42
Thanks for the ratios, I know it's probably not a similar scale to the UK's ratios, but it's good to have something to go on.

Are we 'graded' solely on interview performance, or is it weighed in with our initial application? In being recommended, are we pitted against everyone from the consulate first and then the top x% get put forward, or are we up against just the people who interviewed on the day?

If they deal with the UK jets the same as the US jets, it is on a national level. Everyones scores are sent to japan and tallied up. If there are 200 UK jet spots open, then the top 200 on the list get in, regardless of what consulate they interviewed at, or what day they interviewed on.

sharpinthefang
January 15th, 2015, 12:42
If they deal with the UK jets the same as the US jets, it is on a national level. Everyones scores are sent to japan and tallied up. If there are 200 UK jet spots open, then the top 200 on the list get in, regardless of what consulate they interviewed at, or what day they interviewed on.
In the uk there are only two consulates, London and Edinburgh.

Rmtcts
January 15th, 2015, 19:21
I'm applying in the UK, and while I should have a driving liscence by the time I would be going to Japan, the application only asked whether you had one currently. Does anyone know if I would be able to mention at the interview that I should be able to drive by the time I'd be in Japan?

word
January 15th, 2015, 19:57
Hmm, I'd be tempted to tell you to get ahold of your coordinator and let them know that the information on your app should maybe be updated? I'm the wrong person to offer advice here, though... miami or SF could probably provide far more relevant info...

miamicoordinator
January 15th, 2015, 22:59
I'm applying in the UK, and while I should have a driving liscence by the time I would be going to Japan, the application only asked whether you had one currently. Does anyone know if I would be able to mention at the interview that I should be able to drive by the time I'd be in Japan?

One of the first things we are instructed to do is ask if anything has changed with your application. I do not know if the UK receives the exact same instructions, but this is definitely something you want to be proactive about and bring up in the interview so they can report it back to Tokyo because as of now, youir name will be marked with a no driving box.

sharpinthefang
January 15th, 2015, 23:26
I'm applying in the UK, and while I should have a driving liscence by the time I would be going to Japan, the application only asked whether you had one currently. Does anyone know if I would be able to mention at the interview that I should be able to drive by the time I'd be in Japan?
But don't bank on passing your test (first time?) unless you have left lots of time for potential re tests. I know waiting times have shot up since they lowered the cost.

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
January 16th, 2015, 02:10
You forget Zolrak, Pudding has already met me in person! She knows I am indeed a he!

You just give off that feminine vibe ;)

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
January 16th, 2015, 02:20
I often think to myself, if I was a student, would i want to be taught by this applicant? If they are boring, and uncomfortable in front of people, then most likely not.

This x 1000. This is a teaching job first and foremost. Show us that you will be putting the kids first and foremost above all else, and show us that you're the kind of person who can inspire people. For this reason, I like to make applicants do impromptu lessons. On the JET Program there will be countless times where your JTE will suddenly turn to you and say "Jane-san, we finished our lesson early and have 20 minutes left over before class ends. Please do something. Now." and you have 35 young faces staring blankly at you. I'd say that could happen on a bi-weekly basis; every JET alumni has gone through it. You need to be able to respond to that, so asking you to give us a two minute demonstration is really not asking much. Best advice if that happens to you is to just own it - we're already make-believing to be students, so make believe with us. Watch some Whose Line Is It Anyway? to learn how to improv. 90% of teaching is improv. One of our most outstanding candidates last year was on her university's improv team. Also watch Dead Poets Society or other top teaching movies to see what an inspirer is truly like.

miamicoordinator
January 16th, 2015, 02:23
You just give off that feminine vibe ;)

:kaosotnpcomputer:

weepinbell
January 16th, 2015, 02:28
This x 1000. This is a teaching job first and foremost. Show us that you will be putting the kids first and foremost above all else, and show us that you're the kind of person who can inspire people. For this reason, I like to make applicants do impromptu lessons. On the JET Program there will be countless times where your JTE will suddenly turn to you and say "Jane-san, we finished our lesson early and have 20 minutes left over before class ends. Please do something. Now." and you have 35 young faces staring blankly at you. I'd say that could happen on a bi-weekly basis; every JET alumni has gone through it. You need to be able to respond to that, so asking you to give us a two minute demonstration is really not asking much. Best advice if that happens to you is to just own it - we're already make-believing to be students, so make believe with us. Watch some Whose Line Is It Anyway? to learn how to improv. 90% of teaching is improv. One of our most outstanding candidates last year was on her university's improv team. Also watch Dead Poets Society or other top teaching movies to see what an inspirer is truly like.

I have a feeling this might happen to me since I studied acting in college haha so I'm trying to be prepared. I'm not super nervous about it, but do you usually at least give a short prompt to get the ball rolling?

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
January 16th, 2015, 02:45
I have a feeling this might happen to me since I studied acting in college haha so I'm trying to be prepared. I'm not super nervous about it, but do you usually at least give a short prompt to get the ball rolling?

We won't just say "Teach us. Go." We'll tell you what the scene is and what we want you to teach us. How you want to go about it is up to you - Do you stay in character the entire time? Do you break the fourth wall to say things like "And then I'd have a pinata that I brought from America to show you" or do you just act as if you already brought a pinata? Just take it and own it.

ambrosse
January 16th, 2015, 02:52
The demo lesson is what makes me the most nervous. Although, knowing that I might have to do one is better preparation than not having known about it at all!
When I taught Taiko back in Uni I used to have to dance and sing in front of those freshmen to get them to open up. They were rather resistant.

Zolrak 22
January 16th, 2015, 02:52
We won't just say "Teach us. Go." We'll tell you what the scene is

So it's more about your teaching methods/mannerism rather than technical knowledge?

weepinbell
January 16th, 2015, 03:02
We won't just say "Teach us. Go." We'll tell you what the scene is and what we want you to teach us. How you want to go about it is up to you - Do you stay in character the entire time? Do you break the fourth wall to say things like "And then I'd have a pinata that I brought from America to show you" or do you just act as if you already brought a pinata? Just take it and own it.

Great! Yeah I figured with the demo, confidence is key since you're probably assessing personality/ability to work a crowd more than ability to teach a perfect lesson, right? I feel like my most successful auditions/scene showings were always the ones I screwed up/did something goofy and went with it because, hey, at least it shows personality, so I'm actually sort of excited about the demo...

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
January 16th, 2015, 03:34
So it's more about your teaching methods/mannerism rather than technical knowledge?

That's basically correct. If I ask you to teach me about Halloween, I don't expect you to start telling me about the historical controversies surrounding the origins of the holiday. If I tell you that we are a bunch of first year junior high students with English good enough to say "Hello, my name is Takeshi. I like soccer.", what I'm looking for is your ability to adjust your speaking and teach to us at that level. Sometimes people go overboard and do caveman speak. Don't do that. Sometimes people use too big of words - don't do that either. Just like you wouldn't use too complicated words or use caveman speak when speaking with an English-speaking 5-year-old, you wouldn't do it with someone learning English for their first time. Similarly, I don't want you to suddenly start acting like a clown putting on a magic show for 2nd graders, nor do I want you to drone on like an old tenured couldn't-give-a-hoot college professor. You should be able to appropriately adjust your energy level and your way of speaking, and then do / teach us something that would be appropriate. To continue the Halloween example, you could talk about trick-or-treating, costumes, candy, monsters, etc. Maybe you act it out trick-or-treating. Maybe you make it interactive with the interviewers. I personally like to see people get up out of their chairs and move around - I think it's a lot easier for the interviewee to be miming when you're role-playing, and it looks a lot better to the interviewers. Maybe you tell us that you prepared a bucket full of water and apples and you show the kids how to play bobbing for apples like at a Halloween party - that would be unique and interesting and make you stand out.

I remember when my interview team was role-playing with someone last year. We would ask questions to the candidates in our Japanese student characters. One of the interviewers raised her hand to ask a question and the candidate immediately shot her down with a stern "Questions at the end, please." While that might be appropriate for some lectures in an actual class, don't forget that we are just role-playing - if your interviewer wants to ask a question, you better damn well let them.

Needless to say, that candidate did not do well.

Valkerion
January 16th, 2015, 05:00
Good info on the potential demo lesson or general mannerisms during the interview. Will make note of it :)

Curious, is there a grammar test? If so, what kind? Just wondering because there are a million and half of them ranging from "Identify all the prepositions and articles while highlighting 5 adverbs and doing a backflip on a skateboard everytime you see a noun" while others are asking a bit more obvious stuff like "Fill in the proper word or phrase as it pertains to this sentence."

Zolrak 22
January 16th, 2015, 05:04
Curious, is there a grammar test

I'd like to think they evaluate your grammar expertise with the SOP. [emoji28]

ambrosse
January 16th, 2015, 05:14
The US doesn't administer a grammar test. I think it would be a decent idea though.

Valkerion
January 16th, 2015, 05:15
I'd like to think they evaluate your grammar expertise with the SOP. [emoji28]


I can only hope haha. I'm terrible at tests even if I know the info.

OtherPulse
January 16th, 2015, 05:32
Curious, is there a grammar test?
It seems the grammar test is unique to the UK. On the flip side, we don't have to do a demo lesson.

...As far as I can tell...

hiddenlee22
January 16th, 2015, 05:53
The US doesn't administer a grammar test. I think it would be a decent idea though.

It would weed out a lot of people. I'd imagine the grammar test couldn't be that hard. It's English, not rocket science. If you managed to get through college, chances are you know how to read/write/identify.

English teacher for a mother, so I may be biased.

To all the UK applicants, you got this. You know it. It's just things you haven't seen since you were young.

jenzor
January 16th, 2015, 06:23
We won't just say "Teach us. Go." We'll tell you what the scene is and what we want you to teach us. How you want to go about it is up to you - Do you stay in character the entire time? Do you break the fourth wall to say things like "And then I'd have a pinata that I brought from America to show you" or do you just act as if you already brought a pinata? Just take it and own it.
So if we actually have experience teaching & have a degree for it, is it more likely they will ask for a lesson plan? I'm certified in Texas to teach 7 - 12th grade, but do they take that into consideration when they ask for a lesson plan in the interview? should I prepare for all grade levels to be safe?

Zolrak 22
January 16th, 2015, 06:23
To all the UK applicants, you got this. You know it. It's just things you haven't seen since you were young.
I remember when taking the TEFL online certification, how "complicated" it sounded/seem until going:


"Ohhh "


I knew everything, it's just that I didn't remember the technical names.


I'm sure it's the same for some of you.

ambrosse
January 16th, 2015, 06:28
It would weed out a lot of people. I'd imagine the grammar test couldn't be that hard. It's English, not rocket science. If you managed to get through college, chances are you know how to read/write/identify.

I was a writing tutor at my Uni. I was surprised by how some born and raised American students (excluding Gen 1.5) had zero grasp on the English language. I began to wonder what their college application letters looked like. Then again , I've had students confess to me that their parents wrote their essays all through high school :/
If anything, the US not having a grammar test is because if it existed, not enough people would pass the interview, haha.

Gizmotech
January 16th, 2015, 07:14
So if we actually have experience teaching & have a degree for it, is it more likely they will ask for a lesson plan? I'm certified in Texas to teach 7 - 12th grade, but do they take that into consideration when they ask for a lesson plan in the interview? should I prepare for all grade levels to be safe?

Why would they require a lesson plan? I'm a certified adult esl teacher and I was asked to teach about one of the animals on the Canadian coins. Just like every other applicant.

The point sf was making is you don't need to prepare shit. The demo lesson is less about "can you teach" and more "can you make shit up in real time appropriate for the students."

jenzor
January 16th, 2015, 07:16
Why would they require a lesson plan? I'm a certified adult esl teacher and I was asked to teach about one of the animals on the Canadian coins. Just like every other applicant.

The point sf was making is you don't need to prepare shit. The demo lesson is less about "can you teach" and more "can you make shit up in real time appropriate for the students."
By lesson plan I meant teaching a lesson, not an actual copy of a lesson plan. Sorry for the confusion

hiddenlee22
January 16th, 2015, 07:24
Is anyone else in the same boat as me? Having zero, if any, teaching experience. I feel almost out of place with all people on this site with a background in teaching, in one way or another. My only real teaching "experience" is tutoring some kids in some of my classes.

ambrosse
January 16th, 2015, 07:34
Is anyone else in the same boat as me? Having zero, if any, teaching experience. I feel almost out of place with all people on this site with a background in teaching, in one way or another. My only real teaching "experience" is tutoring some kids in some of my classes.

No matter how small, it's still experience. So don't fret :)

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 16th, 2015, 08:15
To all the UK applicants, you got this. You know it. It's just things you haven't seen since you were young.

As a past UK applicant I completely agree on this. When I did the test I spent more time looking around and thinking 'Seriously? That was the test?' than I did filling in the test. If you have an interest in reading and language I think it would actually be harder to fail it on purpose than to pass it.

Jiggit
January 16th, 2015, 08:44
Is anyone else in the same boat as me? Having zero, if any, teaching experience. I feel almost out of place with all people on this site with a background in teaching, in one way or another. My only real teaching "experience" is tutoring some kids in some of my classes.

Don't worry about it, seriously. A lot of current JETs have no teaching experience. I think most of the current JETs on ITIL didn't have any before coming here.

uthinkimlost?
January 16th, 2015, 08:50
I count 3 regular posters with either a teaching cert of some sort or experience. Definitely not the majority.

Valkerion
January 16th, 2015, 08:54
yeah I'm in the no experience boat, aside from a bit of tutoring for people who cannot read a map (Geography)

Also ditto on the whole surprised how many people can barely write thing. Some of the reports I read over for friends in college and the few days I filled in at the writing center were pretty eye opening. I always thought my writing was pretty bad, apparently its pretty damn good by comparison.

Gizmotech
January 16th, 2015, 09:13
Don't worry about the posters with teaching abilities, it's a sign of the times and nothing to be worried about. They are not the majority, just an increasing minority.

As for your grammar test... DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT AT ALL. A friend of mine from 5 years ago got on the program and she couldn't tell me what a noun or a verb is (which is rather important when discussing language). She actually asked me to sit down and teacher her English grammar because when she finally got a JHS gig for 6 months at the end of her contract she didn't know anything about what was being taught in class (before that she had a cushy SHS job where she could do whatever she wanted cuz the kids didn't care at all).

Jiggit
January 16th, 2015, 09:24
As a JET who went through the UK application process, if you can't pass that test then you aren't literate enough to be an English teacher, sorry. Just being able to speak English doesn't mean you can teach it if you have that low a grasp of spelling and grammar.

On the other hand it's a good idea in general to brush up on your grammar. TBH some of the few times I actually feel like I'm being genuinely useful to the school is when a teacher asks me to explain a grammar point to them. I'm really glad I can do so in a way that makes sense to them and if I can't I'll look it up. I'm aware that a lot of ALTs cover their lack of understanding by saying "this feels like it means this", "This is more natural" and "I would say this" which I don't think really helps.

hiddenlee22
January 16th, 2015, 10:45
No matter how small, it's still experience. So don't fret :)

Thank you. Any experience is good experience, right?


Don't worry about it, seriously. A lot of current JETs have no teaching experience. I think most of the current JETs on ITIL didn't have any before coming here.

I'm trying not to. I guess its just hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that a program looking for teachers is so open to individuals who lack any real experience within the field.


Don't worry about the posters with teaching abilities, it's a sign of the times and nothing to be worried about. They are not the majority, just an increasing minority.

Thanks. It's just me being a weirdo and can't help but feel they have an edge because of those abilities.


I count 3 regular posters with either a teaching cert of some sort or experience. Definitely not the majority.

I wasn't sure myself, but thank you! It's hard to tell which posters have the experience with so many new ones about.


My conclusion: I'm being ridiculous and shouldn't be thinking like this. Thank you to everyone for pointing out my stupidity. :D

uthinkimlost?
January 16th, 2015, 10:52
if I can't I'll look it up.

This is the most important thing. For us, English is a reflex and we don't need to actively think about the rules, but that doesn't really cut it in explanations. My JTEs are happy to wait until lunch or after school to give me time to double check something if I'm not sure about it.

webstaa
January 16th, 2015, 10:53
If you get a placement and get to Tokyo Orientation, you will be beat over the head that "This isn't a teaching job. Its Japan EXCHANGE and Teaching Program, so remember you job is to do grassroots internationalization. etc etc." In reality, teaching is more than 75% of what any ALT is asked to do. You'll be asked/invited to stuff as the token foreigner, or invited to internationalization events/English camps etc on rare occasion. But other than that, ALTs live in the staff-room, occasionally venturing out to help teach classes, or go to meetings about English language education twice a year or so.

That being said, having teaching experience will make adjusting to team-teaching much easier.

Gizmotech
January 16th, 2015, 11:04
As a JET who went through the UK application process, if you can't pass that test then you aren't literate enough to be an English teacher, sorry. Just being able to speak English doesn't mean you can teach it if you have that low a grasp of spelling and grammar.

Given some of the brits I've seen on the program, this is MORE than a fair assessment. Many JETs come over here being largely unable to explain English in any meaningful way, and they somehow pass the test.


On the other hand it's a good idea in general to brush up on your grammar. TBH some of the few times I actually feel like I'm being genuinely useful to the school is when a teacher asks me to explain a grammar point to them. I'm really glad I can do so in a way that makes sense to them and if I can't I'll look it up. I'm aware that a lot of ALTs cover their lack of understanding by saying "this feels like it means this", "This is more natural" and "I would say this" which I don't think really helps.

See, I'm a exactly the unhelpful alt you describe, right until the teacher asks my favorite question "really, why?" and then I can back up my intuitions with a solid understanding of English Grammar. There are obviously times that my arrogance has made me make a mistake, but I always check my more... uncertain statements... just to make sure.


This is the most important thing. For us, English is a reflex and we don't need to actively think about the rules, but that doesn't really cut it in explanations. My JTEs are happy to wait until lunch or after school to give me time to double check something if I'm not sure about it.

This. Also, be prepared to say to the students, I don't know right now, or I don't know how to explain it clearly. If you don't think you can get the point across appropriately, DON'T BOTHER TRYING. You'll do more damage than good and it's better to give them correct information, especially at beginner levels.

Perilwink
January 16th, 2015, 11:12
Out of curiosity, is it recommended to brush up on English grammar jargon in Japanese before teaching over there? Or is that something you pick up from the textbooks they use, or that you can explain to the JTE in English and have them translate to the class? Because I get the feeling things were taught in my Japanese textbooks with vocabulary that would probably boggle the mind of a native speaker.

word
January 16th, 2015, 11:17
Oh, you'll pick up the words for "noun," "verb," "adjective," etc. pretty quickly. Depending on the level you teach, it may not do you any good, because Japanese students are not taught these terms until remarkably late in their academic careers.

Perilwink
January 16th, 2015, 11:19
Oh, you'll pick up the words for "noun," "verb," "adjective," etc. pretty quickly. Depending on the level you teach, it may not do you any good, because Japanese students are not taught these terms until remarkably late in their academic careers.

Based on my experience with American students, they don't seem to pick up on it either no matter how many times/how early you teach it, so that will be familiar territory at least. :)

Jiggit
January 16th, 2015, 11:48
I just had a class where I found myself asking a Japanese teacher what the English word for 助動詞(auxiliary verb) is, so apparently I've picked up more grammatical terminology in Japanese than I knew in English.

uthinkimlost?
January 16th, 2015, 11:52
I just had a class where I found myself asking a Japanese teacher what the English word for 助動詞(auxiliary verb) is, so apparently I've picked up more grammatical terminology in Japanese than I knew in English.

A guide to this would probably be far more appreciated by the noobs than your other guide.

Jiggit
January 16th, 2015, 12:00
I don't think I want to be part of a forum where grammar is more appreciated than jpoon.

uthinkimlost?
January 16th, 2015, 12:05
You could post a video and break down the grammar of the actresses and actors.

"Here she's using the equivalent of present continuous to express her embarassment at being touched 'down there' by her brother."

Think of all the research!

sharpinthefang
January 16th, 2015, 12:54
I remember when taking the TEFL online certification, how "complicated" it sounded/seem until going:


"Ohhh "


I knew everything, it's just that I didn't remember the technical names.


I'm sure it's the same for some of you.

Word

dbw146
January 16th, 2015, 17:14
Regarding prep, I'm trying to cover all my bases when it comes to appearance as well. I have a black suit that I'm getting tailored and trying to decide what tie and color shirt I should wear. Though I only have white and striped light blue to choose from...

Which brings me to my concern regarding hairstyles on male interviewees. I am clean-shaven, but also have somewhat long hair that I can put into a ponytail, though the bangs are still too short to pull it all back. While I've seen JETs sporting the longer hair, I feel it may be best to just get a nice haircut. I'm not particularly fond of adopting a "conservative" look as I don't want to look "all business" but obviously not be too much of a hippy. I'm thinking about going from Johnny Depp to a 90s Leo Dicaprio style, haha. Any suggestions would be great.

word
January 16th, 2015, 17:18
Regarding prep, I'm trying to cover all my bases when it comes to appearance as well. I have a black suit that I'm getting tailored and trying to decide what tie and color shirt I should wear. Though I only have white and striped light blue to choose from...

Which brings me to my concern regarding hairstyles on male interviewees. I am clean-shaven, but also have somewhat long hair that I can put into a ponytail, though the bangs are still too short to pull it all back. While I've seen JETs sporting the longer hair, I feel it may be best to just get a nice haircut. I'm not particularly fond of adopting a "conservative" look as I don't want to look "all business" but obviously not be too much of a hippy. I'm thinking about going from Johnny Depp to a 90s Leo Dicaprio style, haha. Any suggestions would be great.I say don't worry too much. Make sure your hair is styled nicely but don't stress too much about your choice of style. elleohelle made it through the interview process so they will clearly allow even the most appallingly distasteful hairstyles imaginable.

laserlight
January 17th, 2015, 00:08
I say don't worry too much. Make sure your hair is styled nicely but don't stress too much about your choice of style. elleohelle made it through the interview process so they will clearly allow even the most appallingly distasteful hairstyles imaginable.

Eh, what was elleohelle's hairstyle?

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 17th, 2015, 00:23
Eh, what was elleohelle's hairstyle?

According to Google...
http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/0e/0b/cf/0e0bcff8ebb27898310c725bedca2fc0.jpg

... Which is actually pretty awesome. Still, maybe not interview-appropriate.

word
January 17th, 2015, 00:49
Eh, what was elleohelle's hairstyle?

I believe one of our more excellent forum members once referred to it as "escaped mental patient." It was a remarkably appropriate description, as I recall.

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
January 17th, 2015, 03:22
Regarding prep, I'm trying to cover all my bases when it comes to appearance as well. I have a black suit that I'm getting tailored and trying to decide what tie and color shirt I should wear. Though I only have white and striped light blue to choose from...

Which brings me to my concern regarding hairstyles on male interviewees. I am clean-shaven, but also have somewhat long hair that I can put into a ponytail, though the bangs are still too short to pull it all back. While I've seen JETs sporting the longer hair, I feel it may be best to just get a nice haircut. I'm not particularly fond of adopting a "conservative" look as I don't want to look "all business" but obviously not be too much of a hippy. I'm thinking about going from Johnny Depp to a 90s Leo Dicaprio style, haha. Any suggestions would be great.

The only thing I'll say about hairstyles, piercings, etc. with regards to your interview is that I personally am able to look past all that. But I also grew up in the more liberal Bay Area and am still youthful. Other interviewers are...not always so youthful, and are often a generation above you. There is also always at least one Japanese person on the interview panel, and it is that person's role in particular to analyze you from a Japanese perspective (which tends to be more conservative). So think about what look is congruent with you personally, but also remember that this is an interview, and part of the interview dance is to make yourself appealing to your interviewers. Keep that in mind.

Yokai
January 17th, 2015, 04:58
First post on these forums! I got an interview and have been researching the interview extensively..
Anyone have advice for what to do if they ask a question you simply don't know? Like.. "who is the 4th president? and the 29th?"
Something completely random that you would only find in something like a fact book.
I don't want to just sit there and look like a fool.. but saying "I don't know" doesn't feel right either.

word
January 17th, 2015, 08:40
"You know, I'm afraid I'm not actually all that certain! I'd have to look it up!" Take the question in stride and don't let it get to you. How would you handle a Japanese person asking you a question for which you didn't have an answer? Just do the same here.

Jiggit commented on this in another thread regarding grammar, I believe--a common flaw amongst ALTs is a tendency to BS/brush off difficult grammar questions. The appropriate thing to do, of course, is to acknowledge that you don't know and look up the answer.

ambrosse
January 17th, 2015, 09:48
"You know, I'm afraid I'm not actually all that certain! I'd have to look it up!" Take the question in stride and don't let it get to you. How would you handle a Japanese person asking you a question for which you didn't have an answer? Just do the same here.

Jiggit commented on this in another thread regarding grammar, I believe--a common flaw amongst ALTs is a tendency to BS/brush off difficult grammar questions. The appropriate thing to do, of course, is to acknowledge that you don't know and look up the answer.

Agreed and well said.

vaterross
January 19th, 2015, 14:29
I would assume the conventional advice for men is to appear clean shaven at the interview?

Gizmotech
January 19th, 2015, 15:30
I would assume the conventional advice for men is to appear clean shaven at the interview?

I wasn't. I was trimmed beard.

word
January 19th, 2015, 15:39
Yeah beards are fine as long as you aren't going with the bin Laden/Duck Dynasty look. Keep it trimmed and proper.

Valkerion
January 20th, 2015, 11:57
Going to be going in with a bit of stubble myself, shaving cream makes me break out and the electric razors only cut so low :/

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 23rd, 2015, 13:59
I wasn't. I was trimmed beard.

Same here.

johnny
January 23rd, 2015, 14:26
Make sure to get rid of your nose hairs if you have them. I use needle nose pliers to rip them out...so you might want to find a better way.

I actually wrote to say that I agree with Word and Jigglet about looking something up if you don't know the answer for sure. You'll have plenty of time to do it and once you find the info, you can print it out for your JTE or show them the page.

There are many ESL sites that will answer pretty complex grammatical questions using very simple English. They are handy.

OtherPulse
January 23rd, 2015, 22:37
Same here.
You have a beard!? My image of you was waaaaaay of.

Zolrak 22
January 24th, 2015, 02:01
You have a beard!? My image of you was waaaaaay of.

I know, right?

patjs
January 24th, 2015, 02:35
The only thing I'll say about hairstyles, piercings, etc. with regards to your interview is that I personally am able to look past all that. But I also grew up in the more liberal Bay Area and am still youthful. Other interviewers are...not always so youthful, and are often a generation above you. There is also always at least one Japanese person on the interview panel, and it is that person's role in particular to analyze you from a Japanese perspective (which tends to be more conservative). So think about what look is congruent with you personally, but also remember that this is an interview, and part of the interview dance is to make yourself appealing to your interviewers. Keep that in mind.

Yes, unfortunately as silly as it is, there are select Japanese people that are quite conservative when it comes to facial hair and general appearance. Most realize that the West does not have the same kind of culture regarding this so generally it's not an issue. But you never know...

balderdash7
January 26th, 2015, 00:49
I am a Canadian applicant for ALT. Does anybody know if our Japanese gets tested during the interview? I know that the CIR applicants get tested because a high level of proficiency is needed for their job but I don't know if it's the same for ALT applicants.

I finished my Advanced Japanese at my university but I haven't been practicing since then so everything is a little rusty. I am reviewing right now but I am just wondering if there's a reason to panic.

haitch40
January 26th, 2015, 01:13
I am a Canadian applicant for ALT. Does anybody know if our Japanese gets tested during the interview? I know that the CIR applicants get tested because a high level of proficiency is needed for their job but I don't know if it's the same for ALT applicants.

I finished my Advanced Japanese at my university but I haven't been practicing since then so everything is a little rusty. I am reviewing right now but I am just wondering if there's a reason to panic.
Depends what you put on your application as to how good your Japanese is. It is purely a test to make sure you are not lying.

Valkerion
January 26th, 2015, 02:00
Seems like even if you put introductory you will get asked a few questions in Japanese. I put intro like a moron and now have to review that lol... after being what is now 5 years since I used it. derp. Got a day to memorize a intro in Japanese I guess.

AyaReiko
January 26th, 2015, 02:20
I am a Canadian applicant for ALT. Does anybody know if our Japanese gets tested during the interview? I know that the CIR applicants get tested because a high level of proficiency is needed for their job but I don't know if it's the same for ALT applicants.

I finished my Advanced Japanese at my university but I haven't been practising since then so everything is a little rusty. I am reviewing right now but I am just wondering if there's a reason to panic.

I don't know if you noticed, but one of the interview papers has a section for Japanese proficiency, so I imagine that means they are going to test it. That being said, how many people do you think overestimate (or underestimate, I guess) their Japanese language skills on the application? My guess is that they're going to try to find out your actual level not so much because they want to see if you "lied" on your application, but more so to find out what the reality is and how that might affect your placement.

From what I've seen online, a type of "test" they have is they start with easier questions, and then get into more and more "advanced" stuff to figure out your level.

So, obviously keep practising, because it'll be useful if and when you go to Japan, but I don't see a need to panic.

hiddenlee22
January 26th, 2015, 02:33
Yeah, I don't see a reason to panic about the Japanese portion. It's as AyaReiko said, people over/underestimate their Japanese proficiency all the time. Those points for the section are a "bonus" if I'm not mistaken.

That said, it will look odd to the interviewers if you (for example) put advanced, but can't answer simple questions like 趣味は何ですか
I feel as long as the level you put down isn't grossly exaggerated you should be okay.

Valkerion
January 26th, 2015, 04:54
Heh thankfully I did not go nuts with my level of proficiency. Problem is I can hear it and know what has been said or the jist of it, just do not know proper response at this point. Part of the struggle with not having an actual teacher and just casually grabbing listening lessons and what not.

Anywho, for the US interviews we just need our, Interview Voucher, Release form, and valid photo ID right? Also its a go in, mingle, do our interview, mingle a bit more and mosey on out? No extra paperwork, places in the buildings to visit, things to sit through and what not right?

Got mine tomorrow afternoon in ATL, just wanted to triple check with folks outside the email I got.

Perilwink
January 26th, 2015, 05:09
That sounds about right to me Valkerion, from what I understood of the email. I imagine there won't be too much mingling post-interview, at least not for me personally as I'm sure I will have turned to jelly (and will need to hightail it out of Atlanta to beat the traffic and get into work the next day!).

I wish you best of luck, and hopefully a good night's sleep!

naginataonthebrain
January 26th, 2015, 07:31
Good luck to those who have interviews tomorrow, especially if you're going to the ATL! Let us know how it goes!

johnny
January 26th, 2015, 07:33
Yeah, when I got my interview I chatted with someone in the waiting area. She was interviewing to be a CIR ans seemed pretty nervous, so she was probably pretty happy to chat. I was on the first ATL interview on the second day, so there weren't too many people around though.

Valkerion
January 26th, 2015, 08:53
Cool to know... I think I'm good then. Going to see if I can scrounge up a quick Japanese intro just in case but other than that... yeah. It will probably sink in when I hit Atlanta tomorrow lol along with forgetting everything including my own name and what not haha. I got the first interview after lunch I think, so might not be too many people there I suspect, aside from the way to early people maybe.

gibbity
January 26th, 2015, 09:03
meh. don't fret bud. I'm sure it will all click. The worst part will be all the second guessing once your all said and done and going back home....

ambrosse
January 26th, 2015, 09:10
meh. don't fret bud. I'm sure it will all click. The worst part will be all the second guessing once your all said and done and going back home....

I'm mostly worried about the random interview questions and crap that don't pertain to really anything.

gibbity
January 26th, 2015, 09:20
But thats the easy stuff! just answer with a bit of humor or a bit of a smile. If it doesnt pertain to anything, its only them trying to shake you. Always answer that with a smile.

ambrosse
January 26th, 2015, 09:27
But thats the easy stuff! just answer with a bit of humor or a bit of a smile. If it doesnt pertain to anything, its only them trying to shake you. Always answer that with a smile.

Haha, I meant trivia type questions. I can't do that crap.

Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk

Zolrak 22
January 26th, 2015, 09:30
Haha, I meant trivia type questions. I can't do that crap.

Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk
Yeah....

Those are the ones I'll probably weasel out of.

hiddenlee22
January 26th, 2015, 09:32
Haha, I meant trivia type questions. I can't do that crap.

When there is no answer, humor is the answer!

A side note:
I have a feeling you and Zolrak are going to be fine.

Zolrak 22
January 26th, 2015, 09:33
When there is no answer, humor is the answer!

A side note:
I have a feeling you and Zolrak are going to be fine.
Me,
humour?

What?

[emoji13]

ambrosse
January 26th, 2015, 09:35
Me,
humour?

What?

Zolrak... Japan trivia. Go!

Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk

Zolrak 22
January 26th, 2015, 09:43
Did you know that Japan has certain parallels with Puerto Rico?

They were both isolated at one point and were shaped by their encounters with a foreign (Stronger) power .

For Puerto Rico, it was Spain and then the United States.

For Japan, United States and occasionally their neighbors.

They learned from what was once their enemies.

The except that in Puerto Rico's case, we became part of the foreign power. Going as far as mixing races to form a new one (Puerto Ricans).

Japan on the other hand, chose to go the other way.

Seems like it worked out for them, as they took parts of the Western culture and made it their own.

In our case, we have the "Puerto Rican" culture and the American one, but it's not meshed the same way. As there's a clear divide.

I bet this isn't the kind of trivia you were expecting.

hiddenlee22
January 26th, 2015, 09:45
Did you know that Japan has certain parallels with Puerto Rico?

They were both isolated at one point and we're shaped by their encounters with a foreign (Stronger) power .

For Puerto Rico, it was Spain and then the United States.

For Japan, United States and occasionally their neighbors.

They learned from what was once their enemies.

The except that in Puerto Rico's case, we became part of the foreign power. Going as far as mixing races to form a new one (Puerto Ricans).

Japan on the other hand, chose to go the other way.

Seems like it worked out for them, as they took parts of the Western culture and made it their own.

In our case, we have the "Puerto Rican" culture and the American one, but it's not meshed the same way. As there's a clear divide.

I bet this isn't the kind of trivia you were expecting.

Drop that in the interview. That'll get the ball rolling. Along with a pat on the back and a guaranteed acceptance.

ambrosse
January 26th, 2015, 09:46
Did you know that Japan has certain parallels with Puerto Rico?

They were both isolated at one point and we're shaped by their encounters with a foreign (Stronger) power .

For Puerto Rico, it was Spain and then the United States.

For Japan, United States and occasionally their neighbors.

They learned from what was once their enemies.

The except that in Puerto Rico's case, we became part of the foreign power. Going as far as mixing races to form a new one (Puerto Ricans).

Japan on the other hand, chose to go the other way.

Seems like it worked out for them, as they took parts of the Western culture and made it their own.

In our case, we have the "Puerto Rican" culture and the American one, but it's not meshed the same way. As there's a clear divide.

I bet this isn't the kind of trivia you were expecting.

Simply beautiful.

Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk

balderdash7
January 27th, 2015, 02:50
Just nerves working overtime I guess. Thank you guys for all the advice! I sincerely wish everyone of us the best of luck with our interviews.

dbw146
January 30th, 2015, 11:54
I feel as though this was answered somewhere before, but...

To what extent are interviewees supposed to blend in with the potential salaryman look? I have a black suit and was thinking about wearing a a light striped blue shirt and dark blue tie. I think it looks good, but would this give off too much of an individualist impression to the panel rather than say a white shirt and black tie?

Also regarding passport photos: I had my photos taken at the local CVS and unfortunately there is a slight shadow cast. They aren't horrid, but I wouldn't say they are preferable for use for a passport or visa. Would this quality be an issue at the consulate?

uthinkimlost?
January 30th, 2015, 12:00
To what extent are interviewees supposed to blend in with the potential salaryman look?

Black suit is fine. No black funeral ties. As long as everything fits and you don't look like a kid in his dad's funeral suit you'll be fine.


Also regarding passport photos: I had my photos taken at the local CVS and unfortunately there is a slight shadow cast. They aren't horrid, but I wouldn't say they are preferable for use for a passport or visa. Would this quality be an issue at the consulate?

You'll have to check. Maybe get a few sets taken and let them choose?

haitch40
January 30th, 2015, 12:05
I feel as though this was answered somewhere before, but...

To what extent are interviewees supposed to blend in with the potential salaryman look? I have a black suit and was thinking about wearing a a light striped blue shirt and dark blue tie. I think it looks good, but would this give off too much of an individualist impression to the panel rather than say a white shirt and black tie?

Also regarding passport photos: I had my photos taken at the local CVS and unfortunately there is a slight shadow cast. They aren't horrid, but I wouldn't say they are preferable for use for a passport or visa. Would this quality be an issue at the consulate?
Would it pass in an office where you are? If so it is fine.

starfish
January 30th, 2015, 12:13
I feel as though this was answered somewhere before, but...

To what extent are interviewees supposed to blend in with the potential salaryman look? I have a black suit and was thinking about wearing a a light striped blue shirt and dark blue tie. I think it looks good, but would this give off too much of an individualist impression to the panel rather than say a white shirt and black tie?

Also regarding passport photos: I had my photos taken at the local CVS and unfortunately there is a slight shadow cast. They aren't horrid, but I wouldn't say they are preferable for use for a passport or visa. Would this quality be an issue at the consulate?

Your outfit should be fine; it sounds professional enough if not a bit literal-blue-collar. You're not a Japanese salaryman; nobody's going to look down on you for not showing up in monochrome.

I strongly doubt your photo will be an issue for the consulate. If this were for an actual passport, I'd say get it retaken. The State Department rejects photos for every reason possible.

word
January 30th, 2015, 12:59
Does it really? I was smiling in mine, and it passed (I've heard from a lot of people that you're not supposed to).

starfish
January 30th, 2015, 13:56
Does it really? I was smiling in mine, and it passed (I've heard from a lot of people that you're not supposed to).

ESID ;)

Zolrak 22
January 30th, 2015, 14:01
Does it really? I was smiling in mine, and it passed (I've heard from a lot of people that you're not supposed to).
No smiling/glasses is what I remember.

word
January 30th, 2015, 14:03
I couldn't help but smile. The guy taking my picture was hilariously awesome and there was no way one could be in the same room as him and not smile.

uthinkimlost?
January 30th, 2015, 14:10
I couldn't help but smile. The guy taking my picture was hilariously awesome and there was no way one could be in the same room as him and not smile.

http://p.thediscoverystore.co.uk/csi/578027520/i/pzi/selfie-stick.jpg?

word
January 30th, 2015, 16:04
LOL Nah. I wish I was as badass as that guy, and can only hope that I will be when I get to be his age.

ambrosse
January 30th, 2015, 22:43
When I got my passport picture taken, I smiled. A week and a half later, I got my passport with a smile. No problem.
The lady at the passport office didn't even make a comment.

naginataonthebrain
January 31st, 2015, 00:10
I have always smiled in my passport pictures and I haven't gotten any flack for it. :rolleyes:

starfish
January 31st, 2015, 01:27
Well shit. Guess they just didn't like me then!

gibbity
January 31st, 2015, 01:50
no one tends to act nicely to the ski mask wearing guy with a machete...

moonbeam
February 1st, 2015, 06:53
Anyone have advice for an alternate being interviewed again?

hiddenlee22
February 1st, 2015, 07:01
Anyone who did or is currently doing their photo for the interview voucher, where are you going to get that done and what did you wear?

moonbeam
February 1st, 2015, 07:04
Anyone who did or is currently doing their photo for the interview voucher, where are you going to get that done and what did you wear?

I got mine (last year) at CVS and I wore a simple button up shirt.

Zolrak 22
February 1st, 2015, 07:10
Anyone who did or is currently doing their photo for the interview voucher, where are you going to get that done and what did you wear?
Probably CVS or Walgreens, I'll sport the hobo look.

miamicoordinator
February 1st, 2015, 07:13
Anyone have advice for an alternate being interviewed again?

Yep, have an answer ready reagarding what you have done over this year to improve your application/skills.

We had a couple of 2nd timers this year. Every single one of them had added additional work experience, and life skills to be a better alt. They both did exceptionally better this year compared to last year.

miamicoordinator
February 1st, 2015, 07:13
Anyone who did or is currently doing their photo for the interview voucher, where are you going to get that done and what did you wear?

Dont wear a t-shirt.

moonbeam
February 1st, 2015, 07:26
Yep, have an answer ready reagarding what you have done over this year to improve your application/skills.

We had a couple of 2nd timers this year. Every single one of them had added additional work experience, and life skills to be a better alt. They both did exceptionally better this year compared to last year.

That's what I'm having trouble with because, to be honest, I haven't really done anything to improve. I had every intention to, though--I kept self studying and volunteering, and in the fall I took a non-credit class on an intro to ESL teaching.

Application improvement kind of got put on the sideline when my SO enlisted in the military so a lot of my time was put into preparing for that and then adjusting to the change...although that would probably fall under life skills, yeah? His leaving was the first time I fully supported myself and lived on my own. I'm sure the loneliness wasn't on the scale of being in a foreign country by myself but it was certainly present and a huge adjustment. I learned a lot on how to deal with it, which I'm sure my panel would be happy to hear about.

PuddingHead
February 1st, 2015, 07:38
Anyone who did or is currently doing their photo for the interview voucher, where are you going to get that done and what did you wear?

I went to Walgreens. You get two passport sized photos for about $12. I was wearing--

Dont wear a t-shirt.

Welp. Failed on that account.

moonbeam
February 1st, 2015, 07:42
Dont wear a t-shirt.

Yeah, by 'simple button up shirt', I mean the shirt I wear with my suit.

Zolrak 22
February 1st, 2015, 07:55
Welp. Failed on that account.

Pretty sure I was wearing hobbo clothes for my passport as well.

What's the worse that could happen? [emoji6]

(by hobbo I'm referring to everyday clothes, which are probably sending the wrong message so oh well... [emoji28])

PuddingHead
February 1st, 2015, 08:04
Pretty sure I was wearing hobbo clothes for my passport as well.

What's the worse that could happen?

(by hobbo I'm referring to everyday clothes, which are probably sending the wrong message so oh well... )

Well, better than me. In all my unprepared glory, I was wearing:

http://cdn-s3-2.wanelo.com/product/image/13305923/x354.jpg

None of the design shows in the picture, so all you see are purple shoulders. But, y'know, I definitely wouldn't suggest this to anyone else...

Zolrak 22
February 1st, 2015, 08:15
Off topic, but a Harry Potter reference?

Or is it some D&D thing?

miamicoordinator
February 1st, 2015, 08:15
Well, better than me. In all my unprepared glory, I was wearing:

http://cdn-s3-2.wanelo.com/product/image/13305923/x354.jpg

None of the design shows in the picture, so all you see are purple shoulders. But, y'know, I definitely wouldn't suggest this to anyone else...

Weasley huh? That explains the reddish hint in your hair.

Zolrak 22
February 1st, 2015, 08:16
Weasley huh? That explains the reddish hint in your hair.
Hopefully she didn't inherit the accident prone habits. [emoji14]

PuddingHead
February 1st, 2015, 08:24
Off topic, but a Harry Potter reference?

Or is it some D&D thing?

Harry Potter, because I'm a nerd.


Weasley huh? That explains the reddish hint in your hair.

I would have loved to live in the Burrow as a kid. Or had Fred and George as brothers.


Hopefully she didn't inherit the accident prone habits.

I am plenty accident prone. I'm surprised I didn't trip walking in to my interview.

Zolrak 22
February 1st, 2015, 09:05
Good, then you can be the Ron to our Harry.

haitch40
February 1st, 2015, 09:15
You are letting someone without a soul go and teach kids? They will think all westerners are soulless.

PuddingHead
February 1st, 2015, 09:31
Good, then you can be the Ron to our Harry.
I'd rather be the Fred to your George. Or the Luna to your... I'm not sure. I would just be happy to be Luna.
Aw, man. I know some great HP pickup lines. This could go over well.


You are letting someone without a soul go and teach kids? They will think all westerners are soulless.

I hope they're letting me teach kids. I want at least one ES so much. But have no fear, for a ginger I am not! My hair's just this brownish reddish auburn color at the moment.

We are way off topic. Uh, interview advice - the panelists are people! They'll like it if you're cheerful.

Fantasylife
February 1st, 2015, 09:39
I went to Walgreens. You get two passport sized photos for about $12. I was wearing--


I did the same, using one photo to renew my passport and the second for my voucher. I wore a dark blue sweater.

ambrosse
February 1st, 2015, 14:12
I wore a nice shirt and a blue fashion scarf. I look like a derp though.
I am not photogenic whatsoever...I look much much better and much different in person, haha.

Zolrak 22
February 1st, 2015, 14:14
I gotta say, I missed you.

Now, if only Snow showed his face as well.

Then I'd be happy. [emoji75]

ambrosse
February 1st, 2015, 14:32
I gotta say, I missed you.

Now, if only Snow showed his face as well.

Then I'd be happy. [emoji75]


I've been working a lot lately, so I've only been lurking on ITIL the past few days.
I missed ya too, dear Zolrak ;)

I think Snow melted.

PuddingHead
February 1st, 2015, 15:25
I wore a nice shirt and a blue fashion scarf. I look like a derp though.
I am not photogenic whatsoever...I look much much better and much different in person, haha.

I've never had a passport photo taken that looks good. It's just so awkward, and I'm pretty sure the awkward found its way to my face this time.

Also, welcome back!



Now, if only Snow showed his face as well.

I think Snow melted.

I thought I saw him online a few days ago!

Zolrak 22
February 1st, 2015, 15:27
I saw him online, but he didn't say anything. [emoji28]

Ini
February 1st, 2015, 15:28
Last Activity
Today 12:01

Hes watching us...... every time one of you asks for advice it brings him ever so closer to climax.

PuddingHead
February 1st, 2015, 15:29
Snow, we need your help! Guide us!

Neycourt
February 2nd, 2015, 01:19
Hey guys, was wondering if I could get some advice about something. On my SoP, I mentioned that one of my goals was to use my experience in JET as a stepping stone to pursue a career in international business in the future. Right now, I'm having trouble tying my degree together (BA in History) with JET and my future goals in a way that makes it sound cohesive. If they ask, I'm thinking of widening the scope from international business to a internationally focused career, but I still feel like they might be a little confused about how someone with a History degree would pursue that through JET. Any advice for me?

PuddingHead
February 2nd, 2015, 01:39
Hey guys, was wondering if I could get some advice about something. On my SoP, I mentioned that one of my goals was to use my experience in JET as a stepping stone to pursue a career in international business in the future. Right now, I'm having trouble tying my degree together (BA in History) with JET and my future goals in a way that makes it sound cohesive. If they ask, I'm thinking of widening the scope from international business to a internationally focused career, but I still feel like they might be a little confused about how someone with a History degree would pursue that through JET. Any advice for me?

I think there are many different people with many different degrees who go through JET. I don't think it matters what your major is, as long as you know what general direction you'd like to head in the future and why you're choosing JET to get there. What sort of history degree do you have? Did you learn about your own country or did you chose to learn about others because you're interested in learning about people and their cultures? When you're in Japan, how do you think what you've learned will help you? Will you be able to integrate better because of it? Do you think you'd be able to teach the students something interesting because of it? Do you want to learn more about history while you're there? What do you think you'll gain by teaching and living in Japan that you can bring back with you and share in your internationally focused career or business? And what exactly about Japan got you interested in the first place? It's a lot to think about, but I think the person who can best answer these questions is you. As long as you are genuine and sound like you've actually thought this through, I think your answer will be just fine.

Of course, I'm only applying for the first time as well! I'm no expert, and I'm sure someone who's actually been accepted to JET would know better than me.

gibbity
February 2nd, 2015, 02:13
Hey guys, was wondering if I could get some advice about something. On my SoP, I mentioned that one of my goals was to use my experience in JET as a stepping stone to pursue a career in international business in the future. Right now, I'm having trouble tying my degree together (BA in History) with JET and my future goals in a way that makes it sound cohesive. If they ask, I'm thinking of widening the scope from international business to a internationally focused career, but I still feel like they might be a little confused about how someone with a History degree would pursue that through JET. Any advice for me?

Use the history bit to focus on your attention and interest in how things have worked and been, tying that into a business focus of how things CAN work in the future. its a good opportunity to focus on the Exchange part of JET, and make a point of thinking on a global or international scale. History is a great interest to have for someone who works in consulting, since you will tend to do a lot of research into past methods or dealing with certain things and what have you.

Dont sweat the wording so much as making sure you can be as clear as possible about your goals.

hiddenlee22
February 2nd, 2015, 02:15
On my SoP, I mentioned that one of my goals was to use my experience in JET as a stepping stone to pursue a career in international business in the future. Right now, I'm having trouble tying my degree together (BA in History) with JET and my future goals in a way that makes it sound cohesive. If they ask, I'm thinking of widening the scope from international business to a internationally focused career, but I still feel like they might be a little confused about how someone with a History degree would pursue that through JET. Any advice for me?

Might have put yourself in an awkward position. What "business" did you plan on getting into in the international field? Why does a History degree better equip you for doing business (in general) on an international level than let's say an international business major?

First I would just ask yourself: what the heck do I want to do for the rest of my life. Once you figure that out, then you can see how JET could help you achieve that.

As a history major (correct me if I'm wrong) did you plan on going into teaching or pursuing a doctorate, or what exactly.

I'm no expert on this either so take my advise with a grain of salt.

Neycourt
February 2nd, 2015, 03:22
Maybe a little cliche, but I would really love to get into translation. I feel like spending a year or more in Japan would get my skills up to the point where they could be somewhat useful. I failed N2 in December, but I was close. Lots of people think that the skill that you gain from an education in history is just a thorough knowledge of historical events. However, I believe that the true skills I gained from my education were the ability to examine something I have read, and use my critical thinking abilities to present a clear, concise, and argumentative report on the subject. I feel like this coupled with my abilities in Japanese if I can get to N1, as well as cultural understanding, would be useful to companies who have branches in Japan or who do business with Japanese companies.

Sherlock
February 2nd, 2015, 03:24
Hey Neycourt

I was also a History major at college. My thought would be that you could say that JET will help prepare you for an international business career by giving you experience living and working in a foreign country/culture. The language skills and experience you get working in a Japanese workplace, even as an ALT, seem like good preparation for working at Japanese branch office of an international business company. A lot of business majors would likely suffer culture shock if they went to live in Japan with no prep. As for how you can tie your degree along with international business and JET together that seems to be tough. History just doesn't have much to do with business. My advice would be to say you enjoyed studying history at uni and learning about foreign cultures and that your knowledge prepared you for dealing with people of other cultures.

hiddenlee22
February 2nd, 2015, 04:39
My thought would be that you could say that JET will help prepare you for an international business career by giving you experience living and working in a foreign country/culture.

That can be said about any major. Everyone (from chemistry to philosophy) is gaining the same experience so that really isn't unique to a history major.


A lot of business majors would likely suffer culture shock if they went to live in Japan with no prep.

Not trying to be rude, but how exactly does a history better equip you to work in a business than a business major? I studied business (economics and international business) and if any major (aside from ones that are explicitly international by nature) better prepares you to work in a company (be it foreign or domestic) it's business. I'm talking about the core classes too, the ones every business major needs to complete their degree.


Again, not trying to be intentionally snippy, but they need a history-specific answer, not something anyone and everyone will be saying.

(I guess I'm biased because of my degree) :cool:

Zolrak 22
February 2nd, 2015, 04:44
Lee, I'm liking your recent spunk.

Even if it is just to "defend" your major :p .

hiddenlee22
February 2nd, 2015, 04:55
Lee, I'm liking your recent spunk.

Even if it is just to "defend" your major :p .

It's ITIL. It's changing me.

Also, bite me :cool:

Zolrak 22
February 2nd, 2015, 05:00
Also, bite me :cool:

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lkt39mFEOH1qama44.jpg

?

mothy
February 2nd, 2015, 06:12
This is easy. "Being a history major has taught me how to waste four years of my life, a skill that is necessary for any JET."

MikeCarter
February 2nd, 2015, 06:40
This is easy. "Being a history major has taught me how to waste four years of my life, a skill that is necessary for any JET."

Hey that's cruel. It's not like he was an arts major.