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View Full Version : MONSTER POST: JET Interview Guide, From 5th Year JET



Apollo87
January 22nd, 2015, 12:15
Hey aspiring JETs,

I'm Albo - your resident 5th year guru. This is my first post on ITIL in years, but I've come back to be dai-sempai (big bro) to you guys, and also because someone very close to me (my sister!) has an interview this year.

I've been a JET for 5 years here in Gunma, Japan and it's without question been the time of my life. I want all of you guys reading to get in too, which is why I wrote up this list of interview advice.

First - congratulations, you made it through the paper application. In my opinion, the hardest part is now over. Basically, you just have to show the interviewers that you are who you say you are and you are congruent with your application.

You guys have a few weeks to prepare. Don't worry, you have enough time. Here is what I DID and have personally recommended to people who have made it to the interview stage. They all got in.



There are 5 main steps to the interview:
1. Anticipate the questions that will be asked
2. Do as many mock interviews as possible (pro tip: record yourself)
3. Make sure you will look good for the interview (fashion and grooming)
4. Preparation for the day of the interview
5. Rocking the interview

Let's break it down:

STEP 1: Anticipate the questions that will be asked
Put special focus on your perceived weak areas and be able to confidently articulate your strong points. Look at your application and essay and anticipate any possible weaknesses your interviewers might attack. Think about how you can offer value to the JET Programme, when you’re figuring out how you would answer the interview questions you anticipate being asked. What exactly would make you an asset as an ALT or CIR? In my opinion, being able to offer value as a fun and outgoing person, being open-minded, and being adaptable and flexible are some of the most important traits that you should aim to convey.

Note that if you work backwards from your weak points and the most difficult possible questions you might be asked, your interview will feel like a breeze.

For example:
- Why was your overall GPA not very high?
- Why don't you have very many Japan related interests listed in your application?
- Can you elaborate how *theme of your essay* relates to being a JET?

Because The JET Interview is standardized, and thousands of people have been JETs throughout the years, it's possible to figure out what questions come up the most. I've talked to tons of current and former JETs about what questions they were asked, and after thinking it through myself, here are the 20 questions that I recommend you have VERY good answers to:

1. Can you give a short self introduction of yourself in English and/or Japanese?
Don't worry, it's nowhere near as scary as it sounds. It should be short, succinct, and show a bit of your personality. You will be introducing yourself hundreds of times over the course of your first couple months so you might as well get it down NOW when it matters the most. Again, its not hard. Here is an example (English followed by Japanese):

Hello, nice to meet you. Hajimemashite.
My name is ______. ______tomoushimasu.
I'm from ________. ________ no shusshin desu.
My hobby is ____. Shumi wa ________ desu.
Yoroshiku onegai shimasu. (This means something like "I'll be relying on your kindness please". It's a very Japanese phrase that doesnt have a good direct translation, but its how you would end any self introduction in Japan)

The next 3 questions are very important. Some people refer to them as "The Big Three". You'll probably be asked at least one of them. Have a good answer.

2. Why Japan?
3. Why JET?
4. Why your specific placement?

Here are the rest of the questions I recommend preparing for:

5. How did you first hear about JET
6. Why JET vs. AEON, INTERAC, NOVA, AMITY? Would you still apply to those if you didn't get into JET?
7. What makes you different/special from the other applicants?
8. What do you plan to teach about your culture?
9. How exactly will you go about teaching that your culture?
10. What 3 things would you bring to represent your culture
11. Do you know anything about any current events in japan?
12. What do you think would make you a good ALT?
13. What teaching experience do you have? How is it relevant to working in Japan?
14. What international experience do you have?
15. Can you talk about a challenge that you have overcome?
16. What are your best and worst qualities?
17. How will you respond to possible prejudice and negative stereotypes from Japanese?
18. How will you respond to students who expect a stereotypical blonde haired blue eyed Canadian JET (if thats not you)?
19. How is your major related to teaching children in Japan?
20. What if you don't get your requested placement and are placed in a rural area?

The way I prepared for the interview questions was to sit in front of that list and actually type out answers for each question. I then showed my answers to some trusted confidants and got their advice as to whether my answers would have swayed them. This was before running mock interviews. My typed out responses formed the basis of my replies in the actual interview. Ofcourse don't memorize your answers and recite them verbatim like a robot - use them more as an outline in your mind of your talking points.

The second way I prepared for the interview questions was to memorize some trivia and lists. You don't have to go crazy (like I did..well, maybe you should go a bit crazy), but at least prepare adequately. Some of the lists I prepared just in case were:

– 5 things I want to do in japan
– 5 favourite japanese foods
– 5 places I want to visit in japan
– 5 things I would bring to japan to represent my country
– 5 things I absolutely would bring with me to Japan
– 5 famous Japanese people
– 5 famous Japanese authors/artists/singers/actors/athletes
– 5 famous people from your country like authors/artists/singers/actors/athletes
– 5 famous interesting facts about your Country or city
– 5 current news stories/talking points in your country
– 5 current japanese news stories
– 5 transferable skills I have
– 5 positive and 5 negative personality traits (that are also actually positives disguised)
– 5 reasons to visit your country <--this one is really important actually. In Japan, people will want to know where you are from and you'll constantly be telling people why your home country/city is so awesome.

Having these lists prepared will allow you to answer many different questions that could come up. Why 5 of each? You probably won't remember all 5, but if you have 5 written down you'll probably be able to recall around 3. Write these things down on paper first, then type them out on a note on your phone so you can go through them right before your interview.

Notice the differences in the types of lists. You have lists of general knowledge of Japan and you have lists that pertain to you personally. For example, you may not be asked 5 positives and 5 negatives, but you may be asked about your perceived strengths and weaknesses. Preparing these lists first may help you create answers for the other questions I wrote above.


STEP 2: Do lots of mock interviews.
This is the most important thing you can do to prepare. Do as many as you can, with different variations and different scenarios so you dont get screwed even if you encounter the fabled war tribunal panel. I repeat, the single best way I found to prepare for the interview is by doing tons and tons of mock interviews. Multiple times a day.

The format of the interview itself is standardized and predictable. There will be two or three interviewers; at least one former JET and at least one Japanese national who has some sort of tie to The JET Programme. You'll go into your interview location and sit on a chair or couch in front of the panel who are sitting on chairs behind a long table. They will probably be friendly, but prepare like you are going into a hearing.

Do a few mock interviews in front of the mirror, then gather some friends and family to do mock interviews with you in person.

PROTIP: Film your mock interviews and practice lessons. Get over how you sound like on camera. Look at your body language, tonality, vocal projection and try to minimize distracting mannerisms. Filming myself improved my presentation dramatically as I saw all sorts of little things I was doing that I could improve. When you watch your filmed mock interview, take notes.

PROTIP #2: As you get closer to the interview, try to simulate the interview as much as possible and actually do mock interviews in your suit with a panel of your friends/family pretending to be different roles (ie. Kind or strict interviewers). AGAIN, MAKE SURE YOU FILM it. Just use your iPhone or Android device. Critique yourself on film. Would you hire yourself for the JET Program? Keep doing mock interviews and watching yourself until your presentation is good enough that you WOULD hire yourself.

Next, do lots of mock interview lessons. There is a very good chance you'll be asked to do a demonstration lesson. This can be taken as a good sign as the interviewers want to get an idea of how you would fare under pressure and the general vibe you would bring to a new classroom.

During this part of the interview, your interviewers will pretend to be Japanese students either in elementary school or Junior High School. So, they will pretend to be either 6-11 years old or 12 - 15 years old Japanese students.

The most important parts of the demo lesson are to SMILE, use BIG GESTURES, and TALK LOUDLY, CLEARLY, AND SLOWLY

Have your interviewers throw different interview topics at you then roll with it and create a lesson out of it. Remember, you aren’t expected to use Japanese.

You might have a blackboard or whiteboard behind you with some chalk or markers. If you can draw, ask if you can use it for your demo lesson to draw pictures. Otherwise you’ll have to rely on gestures. Be animated and smile. Pretend you are a clown on stage, trying to make children laugh.

Some themes you may be asked to present on:
- holidays
- sports
- introduce your home country
- introduce the history of your home country
- household / common objects
- colours
- shapes
- numbers
- time
- animals
- family members
- clothes
- directions
- weather
- seasons
- useful phrases
- a song (For example you may be asked to teach head shoulders knees and toes)
- your self introduction (How would you introduce yourself to a classroom of students who don’t speak English?)

Step 3: Make sure you will look good for the interview (fashion and grooming)
Look sharp. If you’re a guy, MAKE SURE YOU ARE IN A SUIT. Do not be the one idiot who comes to the interview wearing jeans and sneakers. Make sure your suit is tailored and fits well. There’s a HUGE difference between the look of a tailored suit and one that isn’t. You don’t have to spend a lot – a tailored $150 suit will look better than a $1500 suit that doesn’t fit you well. Wear nice, clean shoes. Don’t wear white socks with your suit. Aim to look as clean cut as possible. Get a haircut or at least groom yourself to look your best. This is a job interview. Aim to impress. Play it safe – although you can try to express yourself a little bit with an interesting tie or something.

If you don’t completely trust your own sense of style and fashion, ask your style-conscious friends to critique your interview attire. If you have friends working in a corporate environment where everyone wears a suit and tie, ask them to give you a critique as well. If you don’t have any friends who would do that for you, make a throwaway Reddit account and post a picture of yourself (feel free to blur out your face) on a fashion related subreddit like /r/malefashionadvice.

If you’re a girl, many of the same suggestions apply. Wear a suit or a smart blazer and skirt combo. Don’t try to stand out and be outrageous in your dress, and don’t be too revealing. Look your best.

Again, do NOT be the one guy not wearing a suit. You’ll feel like the moron you are at your interview and you will NOT be standing out in a good way. Instead, aim to be the BEST dressed interviewee there. You’ll feel like a million bucks and act like it.

STEP 4: Preparation for the day of the interview
Preparation for the interview begins the night before. Eat a filling but not heavy or greasy dinner and go to bed early the night before so you don’t risk getting insomnia from nervousness.

Set multiple alarms, and then a couple backup alarms. Put your alarm somewhere you have to physically get up to turn off. If you live with roommates or family, ask them to make sure you wake up. The worst thing you could do at this point is oversleep so have multiple contingencies to make sure that doesn’t happen.

When you wake up, eat a good breakfast, brush your teeth and groom yourself BEFORE PUTTING ON YOUR SUIT. Throw on some anti-perspirant, but go easy on the cologne or perfume. You don’t want your smell to precede you.

Next, REMEMBER YOUR INTERVIEW VOUCHER! Double check EVERYTHING you need to bring before and after you lock your door. Write them down on a piece of paper and physically go CHECK CHECK CHECK. Don’t be the one idiot of the day who forgets his voucher at home.

When you leave your house, make sure you have ample time to arrive at your interview location early and to find time to park if you are driving. Don’t eat anything on the way there, and don’t grab any coffee lest you want to risk spilling coffee on yourself. Anticipate variables out of your control like traffic (leave extra early) or strong winds/rain (keep some gel/hair wax in your car), or even total wardrobe malfunction (bring an extra suit and shoes in your car if you have one)

STEP 5: Rock the interview
The interview begins the moment you step foot into the interview building. Be friendly to everyone in the morning, say hi, smile and be enthusiastic. Pump yourself up and get in the right state of mind while you’re sitting and waiting for your interview. Also, you never know who you might talk to in the morning – it might end up being one of your interviewers.

You’ll be nervous. Everyone will. But you’re an adult and you’ve gotten this far so trust yourself. Everyone else is just as nervous as you are even if they don’t show it. Just try to put your best foot forward, smile, and if you have to – fake your excitement a little bit. Fake it until you make it. Science has shown that if you try to act like how a confident, outgoing person would act, even if you don’t feel like it – just acting that way will make you feel more outgoing and confident.

Oh, make sure you come by yourself. Don’t bring your SO or a family member. I’m sure you aren’t that stupid, but some people really are. I’ve even heard of a guy coming to the interview with a Pokemon backpack. No, no, no.

Once you are in the building, you’ll have to navigate to the area where they are conducting the interviews and will sit inside a waiting room. At least one interview coordinator will be sitting at a desk in the interview waiting room to take your voucher and call you up in turn. Greet the person at the desk, smile and be friendly. They might end up being one of your interviewers.

This is another reason to aim to be a bit early. You don’t want to get to the interview waiting room JUST before the interview coordinator calls you up. That makes you look late, even if you technically weren’t. Aim to come 30-40 minutes early, which gives you a buffer to park, go inside the building, find the interview rooms, go to the bathroom, and sit around in the waiting room for 10-15 minutes.

In the waiting room, you’ll be sitting with lots of other excited and nervous potential JETs. There will probably be a TV at the front of the room playing a video that shows JETs in different prefectures. When you sit down, be amicable, smile and say hi to the people you are sitting beside. Don’t come across as cold – the interview coordinators may be watching you. However, go with the mood of the room – if there is some light and quiet chat between some of the potential JETs, feel free to engage in light chit-chat with the person beside you, but if no one is saying a word, then just say hi to the people around you as you take a seat.
Use the extra time to quickly check through your interview answers, lists, and to mentally prepare yourself.

Eventually you’ll actually be called into the room.

Smile and introduce yourself as you walk in through the door. Just something like “Hi, I’m _____, thanks for having me todayJ”

You’ll be asked to sit down and they will begin asking you questions. Your head may go blank – just try to smile and focus on their questions so you don’t have to ask them to repeat.

Spread your eye contact to all the interviewers. Dont focus on just one, and don’t ignore an interviewer if they don’t say anything.

Lastly, at the end you might be asked if you have any questions so make sure you have at least one prepared. For example,

“If I get accepted, how would you recommend I spend the next few months before departure preparing?”

That’s basically it. Really if you did the work, (prepared answers of the questions, did mock interviews, etc) you’ll just have to trust yourself that you will be okay. In all honesty, it probably won’t be nearly as bad as you think. It’s cliché to say “just have fun with it”, but actually try to enjoy it. You got as far as the interview on your own merits which means you will probably be able to get in. After the interview, try to forget about it for awhile. You’re done – it’s out of your hands now. Meet up with your friends, have a nice dinner, and just chill out.

The hardest part will be waiting for an answer. It might help to start looking into your alternatives if you don’t get into JET. If you still want to come to Japan, start look into applying through private companies or looking through job postings on places like Gaijinpot. Or, if you have alternative that isn’t related to going to Japan, start working towards that a little bit more. Just try not to put yourself in limbo for the next two months. Be proactive and find a new goal to work towards to improve yourself.

Well, that’s about it! This turned into a really long post (which I will probably cross post on my site at NOPE (http://ithinkimlost.com)). But I really hope it will end up being useful for you guys preparing for your interview.

Feel free to ask me questions! I’m glad to help. I’ve been here for almost 5 years and now I want to give back to the community and to JET for everything its done for me.


***
Full disclosure: This post was taken and reworked/updated from my blog/site at:
NOPE (http://ithinkimlost.com)

Jiggit
January 22nd, 2015, 12:26
Hi, thanks for taking the time to post this and welcome back to the forums.

Guide looks pretty good to me but I have a couple sticklers:


My name is ______. Watashi no namae wa _________.
I'm from ________. ________ kara kimashita.

People usually get taught this but it's really unnatural Japanese that only exists because some textbook makers think it's better to translate English literally rather than teach you what Japanese people actually say. Don't you think it's better to teach people real Japanese from the beginning?

The whole "___ kara kimashita" thing in particular confused me for months when I first came here.

sharpinthefang
January 22nd, 2015, 12:29
Hi, thanks for taking the time to post this and welcome back to the forums.

Guide looks pretty good to me but I have a couple sticklers:



People usually get taught this but it's really unnatural Japanese that only exists because some textbook makers think it's better to translate English literally rather than teach you what Japanese people actually say. Don't you think it's better to teach people real Japanese from the beginning?

The whole "___ kara kimashita" thing in particular confused me for months when I first came here.

Word, I was taught 'Watashi-wa sharp desu' to be more natural.

word
January 22nd, 2015, 12:35
Perchance you are not my sort of chap, Apollo, but some of the advice is pretty good. Some of it is remarkably (really remarkably) similar to my guide, actually. Some of it is kinda the opposite of what I advised. No worries, though; it's great to have your input!

Zolrak 22
January 22nd, 2015, 12:37
I think I preferred the banana avatar...

Other than that, thank you for your post. [emoji1]

Apollo87
January 22nd, 2015, 12:38
Good point guys! Actually, these days the way I usually introduce myself would be more like
" Hajimemashite! Albo to moushimasu. Canada no shusshin desu. Doozo Yoroshiku onegaishimasu."I'll make an edit^^

sharpinthefang
January 22nd, 2015, 12:39
You still have to introduce yourself after 5 years? Do the people you work with have that bad a memories?

Jiggit
January 22nd, 2015, 12:41
Japanese people will introduce themselves with "OOO no Tanaka desu", where OOO is the name of their company or school or whatever. Using personal pronouns is pretty rare.

As for where you're from, they'll ask you about your 出身 (shusshin), meaning your hometown/birthplace. OOO kara kimashita is more like you just came from there right now. I had so many Japanese people try to start a conversation with me using shusshin and couldn't answer them because for some reason someone decided that gaijin should learn special gaijin Japanese.

sharpinthefang
January 22nd, 2015, 12:43
I hate the home town question. Don't know which place to call my home town. Where I was born and lived for 8 years, grew up for 10 years or went to 6th form and uni for 4 years?

word
January 22nd, 2015, 12:45
I hate the home town question. Don't know which place to call my home town. Where I was born and lived for 8 years, grew up for 10 years or went to 6th form and uni for 4 years?
Just pick one and stick with it. Shouldn't be complicated. I lived all over the place, went to SHS and uni in completely different towns, etc. Never been an issue.

sharpinthefang
January 22nd, 2015, 12:47
Just pick one and stick with it. Shouldn't be complicated. I lived all over the place, went to SHS and uni in completely different towns, etc. Never been an issue.
They were/are (they still exist...) separate ends of the country.

Jiggit
January 22nd, 2015, 12:48
Unless it's rondon it won't make the slightest bit of difference, sharp.

Apollo87
January 22nd, 2015, 12:49
In my city, I have rotated to a new school and accompanying elementary and preschools every single year. Kind of like a JET circuit:) Final lap!

azguitarist
January 22nd, 2015, 12:53
I made a bunch of answers to common questions I thought of and found online, put them into Anki, and reviewed them until the interview. It helped because they asked me many of the questions I prepared for, and afterwards they pretty much told me I passed it at the end of it.

sharpinthefang
January 22nd, 2015, 12:57
Unless it's rondon it won't make the slightest bit of difference, sharp.
True dat.

word
January 22nd, 2015, 13:05
Removed the site links. I might remove the links from your signature. Just gonna say it, bro, it looks to me like you've lifted and reworded chunks of my guide and used it as a way to promote your site. Not gonna fly around here. You've written a decent guide but I'm not enthusiastic about seeing you treat ITIL as a way to get clicks.

Zolrak 22
January 22nd, 2015, 13:09
Just gonna say it, bro, it looks to me like you've lifted and reworded chunks of my guide...

I thought it looked familiar, but I figured it was probably a coincidence.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought so. [emoji6]

Apollo87
January 22nd, 2015, 13:35
Hey Word, I remember you man.Weren't you/ Aren't you placed in Gunma? Have we met in person yet haha. Looking at my profile, if you're in Gunma, you probably know me.Anyway, sorry I can't direct quote - proxy won't let me, so I'll just leave a reply and hope you see it.No worries, please remove the links from my post if you want (though I would appreciate it if you left my signature alone). If you look at the original post (from years ago) on my blog (which I spent all morning, from 8:00 am to lunch (yay no classes cuz of tests), you'll see that I did in fact completely rework and add to it for this post.Definitely didn't copy you man if that's what you think - we just have similar insights of the application process and from being JETs for so long.

BeckyJones
January 22nd, 2015, 13:57
your intro BEEP is all wrong. it should be.
俺は○○。俺の名しらね!手目早く覚えるぜ。手目は?

AyaReiko
January 22nd, 2015, 14:11
Wow, thanks for taking the time to write all of that!

JETorBUST
January 22nd, 2015, 15:14
+1

Thanks!

Lorenzo
January 22nd, 2015, 16:33
That makes me a little apprehensive as I haven't done anything like that - I've just read my personal statement a few times and tried to call my nerves. My interview is in on four hours, so I'll just roll with the punches.

word
January 22nd, 2015, 16:42
You'll be fine. Relax and have fun; get in character and feel good about yourself. You'll rock it.

laserlight
January 22nd, 2015, 16:49
That makes me a little apprehensive as I haven't done anything like that - I've just read my personal statement a few times and tried to call my nerves. My interview is in on four hours, so I'll just roll with the punches.
All the best! I think chatting with the aspiring JET whose interview came after mine helped me calm my nerves. I proceeded to look totally dumb for the questions on Japanese that were posed to me at the start of the interview (my idea of "introductory" was "touristy", but they apparently wanted more), but thanks to entering the room in a happy state, I somehow managed to recover... might not be enough to get shortlisted, but it could have been so much worse if I just brooded alone in the waiting room.

sharpinthefang
January 22nd, 2015, 16:57
All the best! I think chatting with the aspiring JET whose interview came after mine helped me calm my nerves. I proceeded to look totally dumb for the questions on Japanese that were posed to me at the start of the interview (my idea of "introductory" was "touristy", but they apparently wanted more), but thanks to entering the room in a happy state, I somehow managed to recover... might not be enough to get shortlisted, but it could have been so much worse if I just brooded alone in the waiting room.
I assume you told them about us right?

laserlight
January 22nd, 2015, 17:02
I assume you told them about us right?
No, I assumed everyone already knows. Don't they?

sharpinthefang
January 22nd, 2015, 17:12
No, I assumed everyone already knows. Don't they?
Yep, because only 80 people a year apply for jet. ;)

Beer Baron
January 22nd, 2015, 18:55
In reference to the copying thing, I don't really care. Any information is useful in my opinion :)

Ini
January 22nd, 2015, 20:50
I'm Albo - your resident 5th year guru. This is my first post on ITIL in years, but I've come back to be dai-sempai (big bro) to you guys

dai-sempai? really?
http://i.imgur.com/CQ6kJzu.jpg

coop52
January 22nd, 2015, 21:44
Bless your heart

Lorenzo
January 23rd, 2015, 05:43
Thanks man, I appreciate the good luck. Unfortunately, it didn't go very well, so I don't think I'll be heading to Japan, but we'll see.

Edit: that was in response to word, the reply button doesn't seem to work properly on my phone

toumasu
January 23rd, 2015, 08:57
Awesome write-up, Albo. Would have loved to see a comprehensive resource like this when I was applying.

word
January 23rd, 2015, 11:36
Thanks man, I appreciate the good luck. Unfortunately, it didn't go very well, so I don't think I'll be heading to Japan, but we'll see.

Edit: that was in response to word, the reply button doesn't seem to work properly on my phoneDon't stress too much--as I've mentioned before, I didn't think that my interview went very well, either. I'd rather see someone feeling uncertain than someone feeling overconfident. Try not to think about it too much and enjoy life as best you can!


Awesome write-up, Albo. Would have loved to see a comprehensive resource like this when I was applying.
??? You should've been paying more attention! There's loads of useful information here on ITIL; this "monster post" is hardly the first thorough guide to the JET interview that this site has seen. I'd encourage anyone involved in any stage of the JET application/admission process to poke through our forums; there's a metric buttload of awesome advice and information to be found.

word
January 23rd, 2015, 11:43
Hey Word, I remember you man.Weren't you/ Aren't you placed in Gunma? Have we met in person yet haha. Looking at my profile, if you're in Gunma, you probably know me.Anyway, sorry I can't direct quote - proxy won't let me, so I'll just leave a reply and hope you see it.No worries, please remove the links from my post if you want (though I would appreciate it if you left my signature alone). If you look at the original post (from years ago) on my blog (which I spent all morning, from 8:00 am to lunch (yay no classes cuz of tests), you'll see that I did in fact completely rework and add to it for this post.Definitely didn't copy you man if that's what you think - we just have similar insights of the application process and from being JETs for so long.No, you don't know me, and I don't know you. I am not/have not been in Gunma. Good luck with your commercial endeavors.

uthinkimlost?
January 23rd, 2015, 11:53
***
Full disclosure: This post was taken and reworked/updated from my blog/site at:
NOPE (http://ithinkimlost.com/)

Oh, look. Bare faced junior high students. I assume there was written permission from all parents before it was posted for all the interwebz public.

Don't worry though. Now we all know what a super ALT you are.

haitch40
January 23rd, 2015, 12:20
Nice guide.

1 issue though. The bit that says try and disguise your weaknesses as strengths.

I know we are all taught to do this through school but think of yourself the other side of the table.

1. It sounds like BS unless you are extremely witty.
2. It doesn't answer the damn question. They want to know if you can honestly admit your faults rather than try and spin a story.

This applies to any job.

Apollo87
January 23rd, 2015, 12:53
No, you don't know me, and I don't know you. I am not/have not been in Gunma. Good luck with your commercial endeavors.

Oh really? Huh - I must have had you confused, but you're the only poster I still remember from 5 years ago. Glad to see you are still around.

word
January 23rd, 2015, 12:56
You don't remember Ini?

Ini
January 23rd, 2015, 12:57
please, I was posting here about the JET application process back when you were still in JR high trying to get your dick wet.

Apollo87
January 23rd, 2015, 13:06
Nice guide.

1 issue though. The bit that says try and disguise your weaknesses as strengths.

I know we are all taught to do this through school but think of yourself the other side of the table.

1. It sounds like BS unless you are extremely witty.
2. It doesn't answer the damn question. They want to know if you can honestly admit your faults rather than try and spin a story.

This applies to any job.

Who knows what they really want to know though? It's a BS question IMO. If I was an interviewer I would just want to see if they can answer the question tactfully - that shows me that they have a modicum of either foresight to plan an answer, the flexibility to think on the spot, and the common sense not to give a complete honest answer.

"Yes, my debilitating alcoholism may be detrimental as a JET."

Apollo87
January 23rd, 2015, 13:07
You don't remember Ini?
Ini was here before the internet so that doesnt count.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 23rd, 2015, 13:18
Awesome write-up, Albo. Would have loved to see a comprehensive resource like this when I was applying.

Thomas, I know you want to support your co-writer, but seriously... come on. This site isn't free advertising space - if you think the guide/site merits having more people read it, let them come to that conclusion themselves without the puppetry.

uthinkimlost?
January 23rd, 2015, 13:24
Oh, look. Bare faced junior high students. I assume there was written permission from all parents before it was posted for all the interwebz public.


It's a BS question IMO. [...] Yes, my debilitating alcoholism may be detrimental as a JET. [...] that doesnt count.


so... no?

haitch40
January 23rd, 2015, 13:32
Who knows what they really want to know though? It's a BS question IMO. If I was an interviewer I would just want to see if they can answer the question tactfully - that shows me that they have a modicum of either foresight to plan an answer, the flexibility to think on the spot, and the common sense not to give a complete honest answer.

"Yes, my debilitating alcoholism may be detrimental as a JET."
I didn't mean like that. I meant as in it shows you are willing to take responsibility if something is your fault. I didn't mean go all I am an unemployable hobo about it.

Although yes it could be like that. True they could want either way.

Fantasylife
January 23rd, 2015, 13:37
Stupid question but I need to check to be sure. Will they have a place to hang up jackets? I have a standard winter jacket and there's no way for me to get out of wearing it because I live a fair distance from the Chicago consulate. I'm assuming we won't have to carry them into the interview room, but again I want to check to be sure. Thank you!

greyjoy
January 23rd, 2015, 13:41
If you carry your coat into the interview room, it's immediate disqualification. Japanese winters are very cold so show them how well you can handle it by leaving your coat at home.

word
January 23rd, 2015, 13:43
Stupid question but I need to check to be sure. Will they have a place to hang up jackets? I have a standard winter jacket and there's no way for me to get out of wearing it because I live a fair distance from the Chicago consulate. I'm assuming we won't have to carry them into the interview room, but again I want to check to be sure. Thank you!Can't speak for Chicago, but at my interview location, there was a check in area with coat-racks and a large waiting area. I cannot possibly imagine that a jacket is gonna give you any trouble.

Virgil
January 23rd, 2015, 13:45
Ini was here before the internet so that doesnt count.
I've ceased imagining Ini as a real person. In my mind Ini is an internet entity that was spawned to counterbalance any sort of enthusiasm. Unless that enthusiasm is for getting pissed and yelling at weebs.

Apollo87
January 23rd, 2015, 13:45
I didn't mean like that. I meant as in it shows you are willing to take responsibility if something is your fault. I didn't mean go all I am an unemployable hobo about it.

Although yes it could be like that. True they could want either way.

Haha I know, I was just being cheeky. Although when looking at the JET applicant pool, I would not be surprised if there were some ridiculous answers to that question.

"My greatest weakness is that I love anime too much because its just so sugoi. But, actually thats probably my greatest strength as well because my nihongo is so jouzu."

Apollo87
January 23rd, 2015, 13:47
I've ceased imagining Ini as a real person. In my mind Ini is an internet entity that was spawned to counterbalance any sort of enthusiasm. Unless that enthusiasm is for getting pissed and yelling at weebs.
This is the most reasonable theory that I've seen proposed about Ini's origin.

Virgil
January 23rd, 2015, 13:48
Haha I know, I was just being cheeky. Although when looking at the JET applicant pool, I would not be surprised if there were some ridiculous answers to that question.

"My greatest weakness is that I love anime too much because its just so sugoi. But, actually thats probably my greatest strength as well because my nihongo is so jouzu."
I hate the greatest weakness question. In fact I have so much contempt for it that I gave an extremely lukewarm, pissant answer in my interview for JET. It wasn't intentional, I just found it so stifling. I can't even remember what I said but I remember wanting someone to hit me with a tire iron for it.

word
January 23rd, 2015, 13:51
I told them the truth and it worked out well for me.

Apollo87
January 23rd, 2015, 14:00
I told them the truth and it worked out well for me.
That's easy when you have no weaknesses. In all seriousness though, what did you say and how did you phrase it, if you remember?

uthinkimlost?
January 23rd, 2015, 14:06
"I tend to be too lenient on shills with obvious agendas."

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 23rd, 2015, 14:12
"I tend to be too lenient on shills with obvious agendas."

"I..."

Nope, can't beat that one.

BeckyJones
January 23rd, 2015, 14:29
Stupid question but I need to check to be sure. Will they have a place to hang up jackets? I have a standard winter jacket and there's no way for me to get out of wearing it because I live a fair distance from the Chicago consulate. I'm assuming we won't have to carry them into the interview room, but again I want to check to be sure. Thank you!

What do you do, ANYWHERE you go with a coat if there isn't a coat rack, check in? You put it in on your arm, or you set it down in a seat, or you hang it on a seat, or you set it under your seat, or you don't take it off. The consulate doesn't give a Fuuuu about what you do with your coat...

webstaa
January 23rd, 2015, 14:53
Can't speak for Chicago, but at my interview location, there was a check in area with coat-racks and a large waiting area. I cannot possibly imagine that a jacket is gonna give you any trouble.

Chicago's interviews are in the JIC - there is a largish room complete with space for you to hang up you jacket before you go into your interview. You'll come out of the elevators, into the JIC, give your slip to the registration desk. Then go hang up your jacket and shoot the shit with people waiting for their interviews/read the 98 pamphlets they'll have sitting around.

sharpinthefang
January 23rd, 2015, 14:58
"I tend to be too lenient on shills with obvious agendas."
Word.

Beer Baron
January 23rd, 2015, 18:20
I've ceased imagining Ini as a real person. In my mind Ini is an internet entity that was spawned to counterbalance any sort of enthusiasm. Unless that enthusiasm is for getting pissed and yelling at weebs.

LOL. This made me laugh :D

mothy
January 23rd, 2015, 22:10
People think about their interview way more than I ever did.

Ini
January 23rd, 2015, 23:55
People think about the whole JET application way more than I ever did. I decided to go to Japan, applied, interviewed and was short listed. If you need to put this much effort into it you probably aren't capable to do the job.

mothy
January 24th, 2015, 00:02
This is why we're soulmates.

Shincantsen
January 24th, 2015, 00:23
Now kiss.

johnny
January 24th, 2015, 00:39
TBH with you guys, I am really happy that I didn't consult anyone for my interview. I am pretty convinced that a lot of the advice other people have given wouldn't have helped me. It just would have led me to second guess myself during the interview.

haitch40
January 24th, 2015, 01:12
Actually you guys may be right on that. If you read up too much you may come across as trying to force something during the interview. Be yourself within reason.

Apollo87
January 24th, 2015, 02:05
People think about the whole JET application way more than I ever did. I decided to go to Japan, applied, interviewed and was short listed. If you need to put this much effort into it you probably aren't capable to do the job.

When you apply to JET, it really doesn't feel like a normal interview..at least for me, the stakes felt higher and I had devoted a significant portion of the previous 6 months of my life to even getting to the interview stage. Writing and rewriting the essay, hunting down those references etc. All in all, the application takes the better part of a year from getting started on collating your application to receiving the acceptance notification. And for many of us, JET was like the culmination of a long standing dream.

its a big deal for some people. There's nothing wrong with aiming to be as prepared as possible. It's easy to say in retrospect that you just applied without too much thought and got in - if that was the case, good for you. JET is competitive. If you get in, it means someone else didn't. Maybe you were more qualified naturally, or maybe you put in more work and had a more polished application and subsequent interview.

Either way, the people reading through interview advice just want to be as prepared as possible since that preparedness may make the difference between them and the next applicant getting in or not.

Zolrak 22
January 24th, 2015, 02:13
Or maybe the standards weren't the same decade(s) ago...

Then again, who am I to judge? [emoji14]

I'm not even done with the interview phase and I wasn't exactly trying too hard when I wrote my SOP.

patjs
January 24th, 2015, 02:27
Canada no shusshin desu

:roll:

patjs
January 24th, 2015, 02:30
People think about the whole JET application way more than I ever did. I decided to go to Japan, applied, interviewed and was short listed. If you need to put this much effort into it you probably aren't capable to do the job.

It doesn't hurt to do a little preparation but yeah. In general most people spend way too much time worrying and rehearsing for interviews.

Honestly, if you're not the type of person JET is looking for the interviewers will be able to tell pretty quickly. Your weeks of studying and rehearsal isn't going to hide this.

Fantasylife
January 24th, 2015, 03:17
What do you do, ANYWHERE you go with a coat if there isn't a coat rack, check in? You put it in on your arm, or you set it down in a seat, or you hang it on a seat, or you set it under your seat, or you don't take it off. The consulate doesn't give a Fuuuu about what you do with your coat...

Thank you. That was a very good laugh!

Anyway, just confirmed with the CHI consulate there will be a place to hang coats.

Overthinking it much? Maybe, but whatever. I'm not nervous about the interview itself. Apart from doing the obvious things like preparing for the interview with question/answer scenarios, I don't intend to go overboard with it. I'm certainly not recording myself.

I've done panel interviews before and they're not so bad.

Zolrak 22
January 24th, 2015, 04:15
Coat racks....

Never seen one before.

What with living in a tropical paradise and whatnot.

uthinkimlost?
January 24th, 2015, 08:30
And for many of us, JET was like the culmination of a long standing dream.

Oooh. I've had that one. You start off giving a speech, only to find you're naked. That's okay though, because then you can fly away, landing on a mountain cliff. From there it becomes a true nightmare, because even though it is sunset and you're now leaned against a car that isn't yours with a totally perfect faux-self-reflective expression, there is nobody there to take the picture.

I always wake up screaming after that one.

uthinkimlost?
January 24th, 2015, 08:32
In seriousness though, I ask this: If JET is your dream, but you can't get there using your own answers, do you really deserve to go?

blik
January 24th, 2015, 09:20
In seriousness though, I ask this: If JET is your dream, but you can't get there using your own answers, do you really deserve to go?

How profound.

mothy
January 24th, 2015, 19:31
I can't even begin to imagine how someone could spend 6 months working toward the JET programme pre-interview.

word
January 24th, 2015, 19:38
I took my JET application pretty seriously and stressed over it. I also agree completely with uthink, though. Your candidacy is about you, not some fake character you've created for the purpose of getting to Japan somehow.

coop52
January 24th, 2015, 22:23
I didn't worry too much about the interview. I looked through some sample questions, and that was about it. One of my sorority sisters, who is a complete bitch who hates kids, managed to pass it, so I figured it wasn't too bad. It might be scary if you've never done any kind of job interview before, so you should probably do a practice one. It's also helpful to keep in mind that part of what they're looking for is how you deal with pressure. Just be chill and roll with whatever they throw at you, and you'll be fine.

starfish
January 25th, 2015, 02:26
In seriousness though, I ask this: If JET is your dream, but you can't get there using your own answers, do you really deserve to go?

If something is your dream and you're not willing to lie, cheat or murder your way into achieving it, it wasn't that important to you to begin with.

Doesn't mean someone will make a great candidate, just that they have enough ambition to do what it takes to see things through. It's admirable in its own right.


I didn't worry too much about the interview. I looked through some sample questions, and that was about it. One of my sorority sisters, who is a complete bitch who hates kids, managed to pass it, so I figured it wasn't too bad. It might be scary if you've never done any kind of job interview before, so you should probably do a practice one. It's also helpful to keep in mind that part of what they're looking for is how you deal with pressure. Just be chill and roll with whatever they throw at you, and you'll be fine.

My favorite example I've seen to date was a (black female) candidate who was asked something along the lines of "How would you deal with stereotypes, such as if someone told you 'all black people steal and sell drugs?'" Instead of addressing or deflecting it tactfully, she got offended and cried racism.

I don't know if she got in or not but it just goes to show-- be ready for anything.

Valkerion
January 25th, 2015, 04:09
I definitely agree on the... well instead of quoting a bunch of posts, the whole "be yourself, because you got yourself there" approach some are advocating. Though that said a lot of the advice in the guide(s) are pretty sound and decent reminders because hell, sometimes people forget things.

In general though, the last week I've been going over my SoP and Application to not get caught off guard by anything I wrote/had/have control over. Thats honestly probably the best advice anyone can get for something like this imo. Though some people simply are terrible at thinking on their feet and need to have sample questions and mock interviews done to make them relax. Nothing wrong with that either. As badass as some of the "I filled it out on a whim, got a job" people are, some people need to take things more serious simply cause its how they do things or need to do them for their own peace of mind.

moonbeam
January 25th, 2015, 06:38
Last year I stressed about my application and triple checked everything and had my SOP read by four different people. I mailed it off with plenty time to spare. I also looked up interview questions and practiced them so much I could practically recite my answers in my sleep. I got alternate.

This year though...I put together my application the night before and hand delivered it with an hour to spare. I have no idea what I put in my application or SOP anymore but I got an interview.

Basically, I don't think it really matters whether or not someone spends forever prepping their application or for their interview. Last year I was nervous and tense and I think my robotic answers are what got me alternate, not short-listed. But this year I'm completely relaxed. Maybe it's because I know what's coming my way, who knows. But it could be my year.

(But I will still go totally over my application and SOP one more time as a refresher because duh).

uthinkimlost?
January 25th, 2015, 08:41
I can't even begin to imagine how someone could spend 6 months working toward the JET programme pre-interview.
Working toward = browsing JET blogs and blogs in between hentai-fueled wank sessions.

BeckyJones
January 26th, 2015, 08:20
People think about the whole JET application way more than I ever did. I decided to go to Japan, applied, interviewed and was short listed. If you need to put this much effort into it you probably aren't capable to do the job.
rarely do we agree on things. But This shit right here is worth a quote. What is up with you people, JET isn't the holy grail. It's a job, and one with no future at that. Sure it is fun, for a year or two.

johnny
January 26th, 2015, 08:35
I will never regret these two years, but I will never understand how people can give up good career jobs with a decent salary for JET.

If I had a good career job two years ago, I would never have done this.

haitch40
January 26th, 2015, 08:43
I will never regret these two years, but I will never understand how people can give up good career jobs with a decent salary for JET.

If I had a good career job two years ago, I would never have done this.
Because Japan is the holy land and everything magical and happy happens there.


Now to clean tea off my desk.

ambrosse
January 26th, 2015, 08:45
I will never regret these two years, but I will never understand how people can give up good career jobs with a decent salary for JET.

If I had a good career job two years ago, I would never have done this.

Yeah. My good friend wanted to apply for JET, but she has a good, decent paying job and didn't feel it was worth giving up.
In my case, I'm working in a lower paying job not related to my field.

Zolrak 22
January 26th, 2015, 08:54
In my case, I'm working in a lower paying job not related to my field.
In my case, I'm basically working as an assistant teacher without the pay.

It's stimulating to help my classmates, I get to come up with new ideas and designs while building off their thoughts and issues thus helping us both. But it's something I probably won't be able to do once I graduate, at least not in the same way. And there's no way in hell I'll keep going without pay afterwards.

ambrosse
January 26th, 2015, 09:01
In my case, I'm basically working as an assistant teacher without the pay.


Ahh, I was an assistant teacher when I worked as a writing tutor. It was part of my assignment. But I got paid.
I miss teaching a whole bunch...

hiddenlee22
January 26th, 2015, 09:05
Was/is JET a complete career change for anyone?

For me, I'm a double major (economics and international business). Neither of these pertain to JET in any real way so this is a fairly odd "career" choice for me.

I know its not a career, more like a filler until grad school

Zolrak 22
January 26th, 2015, 09:06
Ahh, I was an assistant teacher when I worked as a writing tutor. It was part of my assignment. But I got paid.
I miss teaching a whole bunch...
I'm helping students with their thesis projects. (It's a year long class)

It's a little frustrating when the answer is right in front of them but you can't just throw it at their face. You gotta give them a few nudges.

Still, having those "aha!" moments are quite thrilling. Even more so when my attitude and "moment" incites one for them as well.


Edit :

Was/is JET complete career change for anyone? I'm a double major (economics and international business) neither of which pertain to JET in any real way.

I'm studying Graphic Design, but that's not what I want to do with my life. I dabbled in Biology, Communications, Social Sciences, Art History and Web Design. So my college credits are all over the place.
I guess they could be loosely related to JET, but not really.

ambrosse
January 26th, 2015, 09:06
I'm helping students with their thesis projects. (It's a year long class)

It's a little frustrating when the answer is right in front of them but you can't just throw it at their face. You gotta give them a few nudges.

Still, having those "aha!" moments are quite thrilling. Even more so when my attitude and "moment" incites one for them as well.

Agreed.

Apollo87
January 26th, 2015, 09:12
Working toward = browsing JET blogs and blogs in between hentai-fueled wank sessions.I think thats even just the first part, even before you decide you'll apply to JET. You gotta spend some time reading up and gathering information of whether you even want to apply. My memory is getting hazy but in 2010, I decided to apply for the application cycle during the summer and I started trying to build relationships with professors that could give me a good reference around the start of September. That took all the way up to the near the deadline of the application. Writing the essay and running around getting the different things you need to takes a month or so. Then you apply, dream about getting into JET, read more JET blogs, browse ITIL, and have more hentai-fueled wank sessions if thats your thing. Then you get the interview notice in January and then spend a month getting ready for it in February (seems to have gotten shorter this year). So from Sept - Feb, thats about 6 months when JET is on your mind

mothy
January 26th, 2015, 09:15
Was/is JET a complete career change for anyone? I'm a double major (economics and international business) neither of which pertain to JET in any real way.

At least living abroad can be applied to a certain extent to international business. The amount of losers with history degrees who can't get a job anywhere other than JET is just sad.
But at the same time, at least they have a reason. I've met people on JET who could have been earning six figures in a currency that was worth something. Those people are the saddest.

hiddenlee22
January 26th, 2015, 09:20
At least living abroad can be applied to a certain extent to international business.

*cough* sounds like something I finagled on my SOP *cough* :cool:


I've met people on JET who could have been earning six figures in a currency that was worth something. Those people are the saddest.

That's what I don't understand. JET shouldn't be seen as what many have said "the holy land". I like the idea of working/living abroad, but at the end of the day this is just a temporary job until something better comes along.

But I'm still ridiculously excited, if shortlisted!

Valkerion
January 26th, 2015, 09:25
*cough* sounds like something I finagled on my SOP *cough* :cool:



That's what I don't understand. JET shouldn't be seen as what many have said "the holy land". I like the idea of working/living abroad, but at the end of the day this is just a temporary job until something better comes along.

But I'm still ridiculously excited, if shortlisted!

Same and ditto.

First thoughts were "oh man living in another country, Japan no less, heck yeah! Then like a week later I had the "hmm what about after" thoughts. Seems like the best/what I plan to do if I get shortlisted is to continuously work towards a larger goal since Jet caps out at 5 years or less, not a lifetime. Some might not know what that goal is just yet, but if you just stagnate it sounds like life hits you pretty hard when your times up with the program.

Apollo87
January 26th, 2015, 09:29
Was/is JET a complete career change for anyone? For me, I'm a double major (economics and international business). Neither of these pertain to JET in any real way so this is a fairly odd "career" choice for me.I know its not a career, more like a filler until grad schoolHey nice, I have the same academic background. When I first came to Japan I thought I would do the same thing; JET for a couple years then apply to grad school and get my MBA. I decided against that, but goodluck to you sir:)

On its own, JET, and just being an ALT is definitely not a career in any way, shape or form. It's a steady paycheck, a ticket to Japan, an adventure, a sabbatical. It gives you ample time to explore Asia, fulfill your wanderlust, get fluent in Japanese, pick up a programming language or another employable skill, get a masters, and at least figure out what you DONT want to do for the rest of your life.

moonbeam
January 26th, 2015, 10:18
Was/is JET a complete career change for anyone?

I was an English major but for the past two years I've been working with my university's police department so I guess it'll be a career change for me. But JET is the higher paying job, so...

Valkerion
January 26th, 2015, 10:56
On its own, JET, and just being an ALT is definitely not a career in any way, shape or form. It's a steady paycheck, a ticket to Japan, an adventure, a sabbatical. It gives you ample time to explore Asia, fulfill your wanderlust, get fluent in Japanese, pick up a programming language or another employable skill, get a masters, and at least figure out what you DONT want to do for the rest of your life.

Thats a good bit of why I applied and my mindset when I did.

Penguee
January 26th, 2015, 11:12
Because Japan is the holy land and everything magical and happy happens there.
I honestly feel sorry for people who think that. Most people are trying to run away from whatever problems they have only to find out that once time passes and culture shock sets in that they have the same problems just in Japan.
But I studied Japanese in college and I figured that even if I were working as an English teacher in Japan I could use my free time to study and then get on the path to something that would lead to a career in Japan in an office or something. Then again I'm not applying to be an ALT so if I get CIR that may lead to networking and a better job in the future but who knows.

Gizmotech
January 26th, 2015, 12:20
I think thats even just the first part, even before you decide you'll apply to JET. You gotta spend some time reading up and gathering information of whether you even want to apply. My memory is getting hazy but in 2010, I decided to apply for the application cycle during the summer and I started trying to build relationships with professors that could give me a good reference around the start of September. That took all the way up to the near the deadline of the application. Writing the essay and running around getting the different things you need to takes a month or so. Then you apply, dream about getting into JET, read more JET blogs, browse ITIL, and have more hentai-fueled wank sessions if thats your thing. Then you get the interview notice in January and then spend a month getting ready for it in February (seems to have gotten shorter this year). So from Sept - Feb, thats about 6 months when JET is on your mind

This is amusing, because like other posters have mentioned I did none of this. I decided that JET was a good exit strategy for my degree (career ESL teacher), got my references from teachers who liked me (I didn't have to find/farm this... I just asked over biweekly beers), filled out the form, got an interview, got placed. Now... from shortlist to leaving JET was obviously on my mind, but before that it was just something that was happening, and if I didn't get placed I would start looking for shit then.

mrcharisma
January 26th, 2015, 12:58
Had a marketing job before JET, enjoyed it but it was little more than a paid internship and the strong yen of the day meant JET was around twice my salary.

After 3 years of JET spent doing the bare minimum required of me at work I pretty much have to go into teaching back home. Probably won't like it as much as I did my pre-JET job but I won't argue with 3 months paid holiday a year and qualified teachers have pretty good options to go back abroad.

Wouldn't swap my time on JET for anything though. Constant travelling and eating out every night is a life fit for a king.

Apollo87
January 26th, 2015, 13:05
This is amusing, because like other posters have mentioned I did none of this. I decided that JET was a good exit strategy for my degree (career ESL teacher), got my references from teachers who liked me (I didn't have to find/farm this... I just asked over biweekly beers), filled out the form, got an interview, got placed. Now... from shortlist to leaving JET was obviously on my mind, but before that it was just something that was happening, and if I didn't get placed I would start looking for shit then.Hey man, everyone is different (EID?). It's great that to you it wasnt such a big deal and if you didnt get in - whatever, move on to the next. Also quite fortunate that you didn't have to hustle all that hard and were able to just get references from profs who you often went drinking with. Whether thats the norm or not, I don't know really as I can only speak for myself and for other JETs I've talked to. For example, for myself - I really wanted to get into JET because it was the only way I wanted to come to Japan to live for a few years. If I didnt make it in, I decided I that would be that and would just move on and look for a different job/work on my career in Toronto. So I wanted to make sure I optimized my chances of getting in to the best of my ability. And at least my degree would have helped my other alternatives of getting a job in the financial sector, unlike the typical liberal arts/english/japanese major that applies to JET. Those people have the most to gain by getting into JET and the most to lose if they dont - thats why they have a huge incentive to do tons of research and preparation for the application and interview.

I'm not ascribing any intent, but your comment comes across as condescending to me. Sorry to single out your post, a lot of the other comments have the same feel to them (maybe its just the general ITIL vibe? It was kind of like this 5 years ago as actually, heh.), but I'm posting from a proxy and its easiest to just quote one post.

Guys, think of it from the perspective of the types of people probably coming on and reading this thread, not commenting and just lurking. I don't know whether a lot of prospective JETs are reading through looking for good advice, but a lot of the comments on this thread makes it seem like the sempais/ITIL OGs with huge post counts who have been here for awhile don't see JET as an awesome experience (it can be, or rather it is what you make of it), nor particularly difficult to get in (not true, the acceptance rate is not very high), nor worth staying on because its a net negative exchange for your time versus career prospects (I find this to be highly debatable). As I see it, there's a lot of self selection going on in this thread as people who didn't spend a particularly large amount of effort applying to JET, and got in anyway want to announce the fact and hold it over those who do/did. Congrats for being super awesome and/or not having had it be such a big deal for you, but how does that help people who actually come to this thread hoping to find advice on how they can rock the interview?

hiddenlee22
January 26th, 2015, 13:08
Now... from shortlist to leaving JET was obviously on my mind, but before that it was just something that was happening, and if I didn't get placed I would start looking for shit then.

That says it perfectly. If there is anything bad I could say about the program as a first-time applier (and last time) is that it seems to attract a large portion of people who have ridiculous expectations for a temporary job. Because it's not a permeant career, it shouldn't be considered a "be all, end all" position.

I would be thrilled if I got the job, but (as I slowly come off the JET express) I know in the end it will be either a stepping stone or something I moved on from.

Edit: I find that, while a large portion of posters are set in their ways about JET, their opinions still matter (as long as they're not unsubstantiated). In a weird way, they keep a lot of "newbies" (including myself) grounded about the program. People should know what exactly they're signing up for. That's how I view the particularly "harsh" criticisms about the program. :cool: I try to see the best intentions.

Back to the original topic: If you are serious about the job (as you should be it's a friggin sweat job) you should be doing all you can to get it (within reason). I found Apollo's post informative and have actually been using it in preparation for my own interview.

Jiggit
January 26th, 2015, 13:25
As I see it, there's a lot of self selection going on in this thread as people who didn't spend a particularly large amount of effort applying to JET, and got in anyway want to announce the fact and hold it over those who do/did. Congrats for being super awesome and/or not having had it be such a big deal for you, but how does that help people who actually come to this thread hoping to find advice on how they can rock the interview?

You can just call him a patronising git if you want, it's cool ;)

Honestly though, the reason it may help is that it seems like the JET programme is disinclined to hire those who make it seem like their life depends on getting to Japan. I would say the majority of JETs I've met were pretty clueless about Japan before they came here and really had just done what gizmo did and applied on a bit of a whim, wanting a year or two of free travel and experiences and not being super invested in it. On the other hand it seems like there are a lot of people online who agonise over every aspect of their application and get rejected.

Anecdotal evidence to be sure but there might be some merit in coming across as someone who's pretty relaxed about the whole thing. I think all your advice is good but if you put too much into it you might come across as being a bit obsessive.

uthinkimlost?
January 26th, 2015, 13:34
Guys, think of it from the perspective of the types of people probably coming on and reading this thread, not commenting and just lurking. I don't know whether a lot of prospective JETs are reading through looking for good advice, but a lot of the comments on this thread makes it seem like the sempais/ITIL OGs with huge post counts who have been here for awhile don't see JET as an awesome experience (it can be, or rather it is what you make of it), nor particularly difficult to get in (not true, the acceptance rate is not very high), nor worth staying on because its a net negative exchange for your time versus career prospects (I find this to be highly debatable). As I see it, there's a lot of self selection going on in this thread as people who didn't spend a particularly large amount of effort applying to JET, and got in anyway want to announce the fact and hold it over those who do/did. Congrats for being super awesome and/or not having had it be such a big deal for you, but how does that help people who actually come to this thread hoping to find advice on how they can rock the interview?


Tempering enthusiasm is not a bad thing. They need to think, have thoughtful answers, and be honest. They need to consider the life they are putting on hold carefully. They need a lot of things.

I took my time with my app. I wrote my SoP in the few weeks before the application came out, had one person check my grammar(two, if you count word's 4 year sojourn through my essay. He assures me it will be finished this month.), and sent it on. I did everything I was supposed to do to try to get the job. That did not include the kind of unhealthy obsession you propose.

A thing they don't need is a 'daisempai' (lol) encouraging them to give the same kind of answers and use the same methods that Grampssempai tried 5 years ago. It doesn't encourage individuality, and it won't help them stand out.

To the secret, hidden people on the JETcoaster of life: Overenthusiasm breeds panic. Overpreparation creates robotic answers. Relax, know your reasons, know your plans, and go in there and give a pleasant, professional interview that reflects YOU, not this other guy. Who knows, he might not even get in again if he applied today. Lots of things happened since he applied, like fukushima, a weakening yen, and a lowered base pay. What JET wants might be different now.

TL;DR

This guy just wants you to click his links and help him get a better job after JET by showing off his creations. Take his advice with a grain of salt.

starfish
January 26th, 2015, 14:41
This guy just wants you to click his links and help him get a better job after JET by showing off his creations. Take his advice with a grain of salt.

His advice isn't necessarily bad (most of it applies the same to any other post-college interview) but if it's SEO he's after, he's going about it wrong.

Ini
January 26th, 2015, 15:05
don't see JET as an awesome experience (it can be, or rather it is what you make of it), nor particularly difficult to get in (not true, the acceptance rate is not very high), nor worth staying on because its a net negative exchange for your time versus career prospects (I find this to be highly debatable).

Yep, thats about it.

Its a lot easier to get on JET than to say land a USD80k+ job straight out of college. I just assumed people did JET as it was easy and they didn't want the stress of fighting for a competitive job?

Apollo87
January 26th, 2015, 15:16
Tempering enthusiasm is not a bad thing. They need to think, have thoughtful answers, and be honest. They need to consider the life they are putting on hold carefully. They need a lot of things.I took my time with my app. I wrote my SoP in the few weeks before the application came out, had one person check my grammar(two, if you count word's 4 year sojourn through my essay. He assures me it will be finished this month.), and sent it on. I did everything I was supposed to do to try to get the job. That did not include the kind of unhealthy obsession you propose.A thing they don't need is a 'daisempai' (lol) encouraging them to give the same kind of answers and methods that Grampssempai tried 5 years ago. It doesn't encourage individuality, and it won't help them stand out.To the secret, hidden people on the JETcoaster of life: Overenthusiasm breeds panic. Overpreparation creates robotic answers. Relax, know your reasons, know your plans, and go in there and give a pleasant, professional interview that reflects YOU, not this other guy. Who knows, he might not even get in again if he applied today. Lots of things happened since he applied, like fukushima, a weakening yen, and a lowered base pay. What JET wants might be different now.TL;DRThis guy just wants you to click his links and help him get a better job after JET by showing off his creations. Take his advice with a grain of salt.

This guy needs to chill out with the attacks and snide remarks. Looking through your post history, I don't see the value you are adding to most discussions beyond being a prick? I get that you are jaded and the internet game and life in the inaka has hardened you over the past 5 years. Perhaps if you spent some of the time on your almost OVER 9000 posts doing something other than posting on ITIL all day at work in the staffroom then you'd be more chill ahah.

If you don't find my writeup useful, thats too bad.

Jiggit
January 26th, 2015, 15:19
Just ignore util, everyone knows he's a troll.

Ini
January 26th, 2015, 15:20
take it outside the applying forum ladies

mothy
January 26th, 2015, 15:34
Aporno87 is showing the sort of highstrung behavior that following his advice would lead to.

Seriously, unless you've never had an interview before or are a complete tool who is hoping to hide their real self, nothing more than a quick refreshing glance at your SoP is necessary.

Jiggit
January 26th, 2015, 15:36
edit: formatting

Booo. I thought you were just channeling Joyce.

word
January 26th, 2015, 15:38
Gaiz. Stahp.

mothy
January 26th, 2015, 15:51
Gaiz. Stahp.

*guys
*stop

Ini
January 26th, 2015, 16:03
Why doesnt ASBO just put his first post into a blog then we can lock this thread and leave all this unpleasantness behind us?

ITIL JET Programme / Japan Forum (http://www.ithinkimlost.com/blog.php)

mrcharisma
January 26th, 2015, 16:06
This guy needs to chill out with the attacks and snide remarks. Looking through your post history, I don't see the value you are adding to most discussions beyond being a prick? I get that you are jaded and the internet game and life in the inaka has hardened you over the past 5 years. Perhaps if you spent some of the time on your almost OVER 9000 posts doing something other than posting on ITIL all day at work in the staffroom then you'd be more chill ahah.

If you don't find my writeup useful, thats too bad.

And the mask slips.

That kind of rant won't make you too popular round here. Might have just cost yourself a few clicks.

Jiggit
January 26th, 2015, 16:24
I dunno I'm warming to him a lot more.

word
January 26th, 2015, 16:29
Same here, tbh. If he's made it through five years of JET and isn't a jaded, alcoholic husk of a man like the rest of us, he must be doing something right.

mrcharisma
January 26th, 2015, 16:30
Until we see the full evidence of his crippling sense of self-loathing and alcohol problem he'll never be one of us.

Gizmotech
January 26th, 2015, 16:32
Hey man, everyone is different (EID?). It's great that to you it wasnt such a big deal and if you didnt get in - whatever, move on to the next. Also quite fortunate that you didn't have to hustle all that hard and were able to just get references from profs who you often went drinking with. Whether thats the norm or not, I don't know really as I can only speak for myself and for other JETs I've talked to. For example, for myself - I really wanted to get into JET because it was the only way I wanted to come to Japan to live for a few years. If I didnt make it in, I decided I that would be that and would just move on and look for a different job/work on my career in Toronto. So I wanted to make sure I optimized my chances of getting in to the best of my ability. And at least my degree would have helped my other alternatives of getting a job in the financial sector, unlike the typical liberal arts/english/japanese major that applies to JET. Those people have the most to gain by getting into JET and the most to lose if they dont - thats why they have a huge incentive to do tons of research and preparation for the application and interview.


I get what you're saying man, but the reason for telling my story is the same as telling yours. That preparation doesn't solve the problem anymore than a lack there of. We shouldn't be creating the illusion that it's required to do all of that work, because like UTIL said, these things create robotic pre-planned answers. If you get tossed a curve ball, you won't be ready for it because you are over practiced, and the difference between answer quality is bad.



I'm not ascribing any intent, but your comment comes across as condescending to me. Sorry to single out your post, a lot of the other comments have the same feel to them (maybe its just the general ITIL vibe? It was kind of like this 5 years ago as actually, heh.), but I'm posting from a proxy and its easiest to just quote one post.


No bad feelings at all, feel free to call me condescending. Totally cool.



Guys, think of it from the perspective of the types of people probably coming on and reading this thread, not commenting and just lurking. I don't know whether a lot of prospective JETs are reading through looking for good advice, but a lot of the comments on this thread makes it seem like the sempais/ITIL OGs with huge post counts who have been here for awhile don't see JET as an awesome experience (it can be, or rather it is what you make of it), nor particularly difficult to get in (not true, the acceptance rate is not very high), nor worth staying on because its a net negative exchange for your time versus career prospects (I find this to be highly debatable). As I see it, there's a lot of self selection going on in this thread as people who didn't spend a particularly large amount of effort applying to JET, and got in anyway want to announce the fact and hold it over those who do/did. Congrats for being super awesome and/or not having had it be such a big deal for you, but how does that help people who actually come to this thread hoping to find advice on how they can rock the interview?

Soo, here's the thing. My experience in Japan has been awesome. Best 3.5 years of my life and counting. Met great people, done interesting things, worked on my teaching portfolio... Every goal I wanted to do (except one, travel to hokkaido finally....) I've completed. For many people this is not the case, and financially speaking the benefits to being on JET are not what they once were, nor is it that great for resumes back home unless you're spinning it correctly (many people can't do this).

However, I was not awesome. I was not super ALT. I wasn't even that hot of a candidate as far as I was concerned. Hell, most people thought I was an upgraded alternate given how completely different I am from most ALTs around me (I am not a super energetic hippy world traveler peace tree huger japanophile). But I didn't get advice, I didn't need help, and I managed to get in. I must have had something they were looking for. And that's the point, that anyone can do it. Anyone can get in, and they don't need absurd amounts of prep. Your advice isn't bad, just excessive I find. Like, I try to imagine the user who requires all that information to ace the interview and how well they would do once they got here. Someone who needs to understand all that stuff, of which a lot is pretty common sense. I think I've met a few of these people over the years, and they make pretty bad ALTs.

Now, to change the tone for a second, thank you for posting your content. If people find it helpful, that's good, and I'm glad you've contributed. Just as I can hope you are glad that I contributed my counter point as well.

Apollo87
January 26th, 2015, 16:42
And the mask slips.That kind of rant won't make you too popular round here. Might have just cost yourself a few clicks.Yeah and it was actually more strongly worded before Word's edit. Anyways yeah, this has gotten a bit out of hand. I was hoping to contribute to the discussion and dispense some useful advice but in the end I dont think I went about it the right way. I'm sorry if I crossed some unspoken rules of etiquette on the boards or got on anyone's bad side. Responding to negativity is draining and a waste of everyone's energy. Let's drop this nonsense yeah? I'll be more careful about what I post in the future.

Mods if you deem this thread isnt helpful or no better than Word's thread then please go ahead and lock or delete it as you like.

Jiggit
January 26th, 2015, 16:48
I'm sorry if I crossed some unspoken rules of etiquette on the boards or got on anyone's bad side. Responding to negativity is draining and a waste of everyone's energy. Let's drop this nonsense yeah? I'll be more careful about what I post in the future.

Booo. I'm just happy to find you aren't really a genkibot developed in Shinzo Abe's experimental gaijin labs to replace the hordes dirty ALTs smuggling drugs into his country of piece in their bumbags.

word
January 26th, 2015, 16:50
Ah, you're fine, man; no worries. Your post is excellent and exactly the sort of thing we like to see around here. A bit genkier than we're accustomed to, but that's probably a good thing.

What I was considering is taking this post, my post, and a couple of the other posts that have been made along these lines, combining them and cleaning out the gibberish, and saving it as an article or something. I'll keep it in the forum so that people can comment on it, of course, but it's all good stuff and we should keep it up and easy to find, maybe cleaned of snark just a little.

mothy
January 26th, 2015, 17:12
The problem wasn't with your original post, Apple87. The problem was with your reaction to a number of people expressing that they thought doing all of that is overkill. Forums are for discussion. If you don't want that discussion, stick to a blog. If you do want that discussion, don't get cranky when people disagree.

gijoe21
January 26th, 2015, 18:49
I think mothy is right. The sad thing about forums is you get to engage with unreasonable power tripping individuals trying to challenge someone's good contribution. I have few questions though:

1) why will you have to follow Apollo's advice if you're not comfortable with it? I'm pretty sure you're not forced to do so, right?
2) if you think we are all unique and should be different during interviews, does that mean we don't deserve to get a template? Anyway it boils down to a choice.

The problem with democracy is you get to say anything out loud even if it's already beyond the box.

uthinkimlost?
January 26th, 2015, 19:24
I think mothy is right. The sad thing about forums is you get to engage with unreasonable power tripping individuals trying to challenge someone's good contribution. I have few questions though:

1) why will you have to follow Apollo's advice if you're not comfortable with it? I'm pretty sure you're not forced to do so, right?
2) if you think we are all unique and should be different during interviews, does that mean we don't deserve to get a template? Anyway it boils down to a choice.

The problem with democracy is you get to say anything out loud even if it's already beyond the box.

You can follow any rules you want. You can follow his template if you want. It will be just that, a template. You can prepare the way he suggests. These are the powers granted by BeerBaron, may be live forever.

Contribution might also be the wrong word. Nobody comes back to a community after 5 years to contribute. They come back because they want something.

word
January 26th, 2015, 19:27
Yeah but the only reason any of us come here is because we want something.

uthinkimlost?
January 26th, 2015, 19:29
Yeah but the only reason any of us come here is because we want something.

true.

Penguee
January 26th, 2015, 20:05
Contribution might also be the wrong word. Nobody comes back to a community after 5 years to contribute. They come back because they want something.
I know that he's complaining about everyone being cold to him and not bowing to thank him because of his contribution, but I guess I've also got the vibe that he is here to incentivize his story to get add traffic or whatever. I don't mean to sound like that, I've been in Japan for over 5 years, but obviously, Apollo, it's the way you're coming off to a lot of people.
I think the guide is a nice addition and lots of people can gain some insight from it, but don't complain when we say that it looks like you're also trying to make a quick buck when everyone else is actually giving all this advice away without bringing in their massive online presense.

word
January 26th, 2015, 20:10
We're being too harsh, though. I mean, even if he is here to push his site, his site isn't that bad. It's genki and overly-enthusiastic and such, but that's not a bad thing, and, hell, there are worse things that could happen to ITIL than the admin of a genki new JET-oriented website stopping by to make a few posts.



(Confession time: I miss Rainbow Genki)

OtherPulse
January 26th, 2015, 21:04
I didn't see the original links to the blog or anything, but OP seems like a pretty chill guy who's had some fun in Japan and wants to help other people. I'd agree that his advice seems a bit overkill, but everyone has their own way of doing things, and if it worked for him then that's fine.

Apollo87
January 26th, 2015, 21:44
Ah, you're fine, man; no worries. Your post is excellent and exactly the sort of thing we like to see around here. A bit genkier than we're accustomed to, but that's probably a good thing.

What I was considering is taking this post, my post, and a couple of the other posts that have been made along these lines, combining them and cleaning out the gibberish, and saving it as an article or something. I'll keep it in the forum so that people can comment on it, of course, but it's all good stuff and we should keep it up and easy to find, maybe cleaned of snark just a little.

I think that would be a great idea. Lots of the old archived posts have great advice that to newbies might seem outdated. In retrospect, I should have made the thread title something like "OG JET`s, Come Dispense Your Great Interview Advice!" and made it less about me and my methods, thus focusing all the rebuttals on me, and instead starting a discussion where there would be more give and take amongst various ideas and methods. Yes, I should have done that haha. So Word, I think creating a big article that collates different perspectives and approaches would be great, or even maybe just like a sticky thread that has links to various hand-picked threads with good interview advice from different contributors. I dunno, just suggestions!


I know that he's complaining about everyone being cold to him and not bowing to thank him because of his contribution, but I guess I've also got the vibe that he is here to incentivize his story to get add traffic or whatever. I don't mean to sound like that, I've been in Japan for over 5 years, but obviously, Apollo, it's the way you're coming off to a lot of people.
I think the guide is a nice addition and lots of people can gain some insight from it, but don't complain when we say that it looks like you're also trying to make a quick buck when everyone else is actually giving all this advice away without bringing in their massive online presense.

Hey Penguee, sorry if it comes across that way. I'm not asking anyone to bow down and thank me for writing down my suggestions (nor do I want to say my way is the best way). Since it left such a bad taste in your mouth, I'll try to explain to you and uthinkimlost why I came back to ITIL after 5 years.

I always looked up to guys like Az from Gaijinchronicles.com, whose blog was what introduced me to JET in the first place, or MyArgonauts on Youtube for dispensing tons of awesome advice. I always wanted to give back in the same way - helping the next gen of JETs, which is why I think a lot of us are here. We're all trying to do the same thing really.

Like many incoming JETs, I started a blog and I had a youtube channel so I started writing and posting videos about JET and japan and stuff. And I would listen to a lot of podcasts, take tons of pics, and get into discussions about JET with people over PMs on social media constantly so eventually I figured "hey, I'm a 5th year, I like making sites, writing, shooting videos etc and I've been doing this consistently for the past 5 years. I'll just put it all together and as a side project and try to make the resource that I myself would have wanted to read as an aspiring and participating JET all these years." I'm just sort of figuring it out as I go along, but at the core I want to bring awareness to JET, help people get in, give them a place to find good advice and show them how to have the same cool experiences that I've been lucky enough to have. Living in Japan is a ride full of ups and downs which is why I called it the jet coaster.

Like I said, my sister has an interview as well which I'm doing this as well - so that she doesnt have to make all the same mistakes I made throughout my JET tenure. Yeah, I can see how it looks like I'm just trying to get people to visit my blog/the site I made, but I am trying to provide value and connect with the online JET community and ITIL. If all I wanted was to make a quick buck, there are more efficient ways to make an income online that don't require me putting myself out there. I'm using my real name, I'm trying to be transparent and be cool with peeps. Yep, I'm just human and it gets to me more than it prob should when it feels like I'm being attacked personally even though its just internet squabbles. Thats a big reason why I just lurked ITIL occasionally for the past 4 years haha. I mean I wanted to get some stuff done today but have ended up spending most of the day replying on this thread haha. Oh well.

Anyway, yeah its def nice if people click through to my sig and check out my site. I hope it inspires or helps people in some way. I'll def be more careful about the self promotion in the future though.


The problem wasn't with your original post, Apple87. The problem was with your reaction to a number of people expressing that they thought doing all of that is overkill. Forums are for discussion. If you don't want that discussion, stick to a blog. If you do want that discussion, don't get cranky when people disagree.
I love a good debate and often end up spending my whole day going back and forth like I did today. I don't think that was the main thing though - I think it was more that people were annoyed that I came across as being overly zealous in promoting my site. I felt personally attacked and got annoyed.


You can follow any rules you want. You can follow his template if you want. It will be just that, a template. You can prepare the way he suggests. These are the powers granted by BeerBaron, may be live forever.

Contribution might also be the wrong word. Nobody comes back to a community after 5 years to contribute. They come back because they want something.

Hey man, I apologize for being rude earlier. I got pretty heated up, and I'm glad Word edited out my embarassingly angry post. I don't want or need any bad blood..If you disagree with what I'm doing or my methods or how I went about with my own personal JET experience, sorry if it bugs you. I'll just do my thing and try to see things from your perspective if we disagree and butt heads again. If we aint cool, its all good, I hope you'll come around to me, but if you've made up your mind to me then all the best to you man.


We're being too harsh, though. I mean, even if he is here to push his site, his site isn't that bad. It's genki and overly-enthusiastic and such, but that's not a bad thing, and, hell, there are worse things that could happen to ITIL than the admin of a genki new JET-oriented website stopping by to make a few posts.



(Confession time: I miss Rainbow Genki)
Haha thanks Word^^ I mean I like posting here, the atmosphere can be a bit unfriendly at times, but theres a lot of good info, posters with a lot of personality, and just overall ITIL is a less stuffy and way more interesting place to drop by than the official JET forums. I intend to hang around and keep posting, though if people really don't warm up to me, I might make like a ghost and come back with a new account or just go back to lurking or something. Hopefully not! Anyway thanks for the kind words.

Ini
January 26th, 2015, 21:54
my sister has an interview

mmmmmmm candy

http://www.quickmeme.com/img/91/9134d36a01607b1371c58707a691ecd7baf578c2401e9cccd2df31496b2cf25f.jpg

Zolrak 22
January 26th, 2015, 22:04
I intend to hang around and keep posting, though if people really don't warm up to me, I might make like a ghost and come back with a new account...

I'd advice against that, as it is a bannable offense. [emoji14]

word
January 26th, 2015, 22:06
I wouldn't worry about it, anyway; pretty much everyone gets some hate when they first start posting regularly. If ya stick around, you'll grow on folks.

Jiggit
January 26th, 2015, 22:07
Correct; If you do want to make a new account please let one of the mods know first.

ambrosse
January 26th, 2015, 22:37
I wouldn't worry about it, anyway; pretty much everyone gets some hate when they first start posting regularly. If ya stick around, you'll grow on folks.

Legit.

johnny
January 26th, 2015, 23:12
I wouldn't worry about it, anyway; pretty much everyone gets some hate when they first start posting regularly. If ya stick around, you'll grow on folks.

Yeah, you definitely need to go through a rite of passage. It's also getting to know the tone of this forum though and getting to know the personalities.

Lorenzo
January 26th, 2015, 23:57
I think the most important thing I realised in the interview is that it wasn't really a big deal. I'm glad I didn't over prepare and I found word's advice to be really on point. It helped me be as calm, composed and rational as I could be before going in, which I think is absolutely the most important thing. I was still too nervous and came across as very anxious, as this is something I've wanted for a long time and my interview experience is very minimal, but I feel that if I had pre-planned all my answers it would've stifled my expression and caused me to become inconsistent. However, different approaches work for different people, and I feel that Apollo was trying to be helpful, even if there was some self-promotion.

As a first time applicant, I know I'm not really the most qualified to give advice, but having just done the interview, I'd say this: don't meticulously plan all possible eventualities as it will make you inconsistent. You want to be flexible and your speech to be natural. Know why you want to do JET (really ask yourself your personal reasons for wanting to do the Programme - it's important for your answer to represent you as an individual), and you'll be fine. That said, I did think of a few places in the UK I would take students to/British people I would teach Japanese kids about/a Japanese news event beforehand, and these all came up. I think my answers were far better than if I had thought of these on the spot, so I'd say it's worth having some ideas in mind about the more quiz-like cultural questions. Don't write out an answer though - just have some idea of who you might say.

gijoe21
January 27th, 2015, 00:31
Hello! I'm new in this site and I really appreciate the constructive material that you guys shared. I hope my journey to JET will pay off like how you guys also did years back. I wanna say thank you and I hope that I'll meet you all in case I will make it! :D

starfish
January 27th, 2015, 03:48
Just got back from my own interview.

I can now safely say step 1 is mostly a load of crap.

Its painfully obvious that the entire point of them asking you trivial questions is to cause you to stumble. They want to see how gracefully you recover from failure, not how much useless trivia you can memorize. That's why there are so many different curveballs to account for.

I never got better reactions from the bench than I did when I knew I couldn't answer a question but provided a suitable response. 5 current news articles? Fuck that. "Western media is very negative about Japan so I don't keep up with it. I am much more interested in the positive things coming out of Japan right now, like the new art exhibit in roppongi, so let's talk about the installation of flowers frozen in acrylic." They absolutely lit up.

We will see how I did. I don't think I addressed a single one of their oddball questions. What would I bring to Japan to teach kids about America? "Perspective."

Nothing about this experience was any different than any other interview I've sat for. So much ado about nothing.

hiddenlee22
January 27th, 2015, 05:06
Just got back from my own interview.

I can now safely say step 1 is mostly a load of crap.

Its painfully obvious that the entire point of them asking you trivial questions is to cause you to stumble. They want to see how gracefully you recover from failure, not how much useless trivia you can memorize. That's why there are so many different curveballs to account for.

I never got better reactions from the bench than I did when I knew I couldn't answer a question but provided a suitable response. 5 current news articles? Fuck that. "Western media is very negative about Japan so I don't keep up with it. I am much more interested in the positive things coming out of Japan right now, like the new art exhibit in roppongi, so let's talk about the installation of flowers frozen in acrylic." They absolutely lit up.

We will see how I did. I don't think I addressed a single one of their oddball questions. What would I bring to Japan to teach kids about America? "Perspective."

Nothing about this experience was any different than any other interview I've sat for. So much ado about nothing.

So a lot of trivial stuff? Great.. I do like your answers though. They were unique and seemed memorable when compared to the hundred responses of "I will bring photos of my friends/family to teach kids about Americas multiculturalism."

Sounds like you did well! :041:

starfish
January 27th, 2015, 06:27
So a lot of trivial stuff? Great.. I do like your answers though. They were unique and seemed memorable when compared to the hundred responses of "I will bring photos of my friends/family to teach kids about Americas multiculturalism."

Sounds like you did well! :041:

Thanks for the encouragement!

There wasn't a lot of trivial stuff; I only had one of those types of questions lobbed at me. I was referring mainly to the other ones designed to get you to open your mouth just wide enough to stick your foot in it. The original poster did a good job of listing those, though I do disagree with his notions of how to address them.

Nothing teaches multiculturalism better than bringing snapshots of your own homogenous friends/family...!

Tangent: I strongly suspect that applicants' predilection for obsessing over these trivia lists stems from the fact that most of them are recent graduates who have been practicing rote memorization and regurgitation of facts for the last 4 years, and think that the JET interview is yet another place that requires such a concerted and strained information dump. These people are missing the point. The JET interview is not a test of your knowledge; it's obvious the "IDGAF"/"how the hell did he get in?" types glide right through because they didn't fall for the trap by thinking it was.

In two months' time I will either be vindicated or forced to eat crow. We shall see! :)

Zolrak 22
January 27th, 2015, 06:35
I'm leaning towards the latter, even if you are right. [emoji14]

Which you probably are, as they take people without any knowledge of Japan.

So questions like history of Japan, news and etc are probably just to see how you respond.

Gizmotech
January 27th, 2015, 08:34
Obviously. Canned responses are canned, and asking you about a dynamic thing will get a genuine answer.

Not sure I would've answered with perspective... but if you sold it right who knows? I mean hell.... I was asked what famous Canadian I would introduce my students to and I answered "Red Green". You could see the look of glee on their faces when they were like "Foot in mouth... lets see how he gets out of this" and I did. I did very well in fact, and it was pretty obvious I was making this shit up on the spot as I had never considered it before.

johnny
January 27th, 2015, 08:35
Starfish,

I've been thinking about your answers. I think you might have done quite well. The "perspective" answer to the "what would you bring?" question would have likely appealed to the ex-Jet (he or she knows the students don't care). Your eagerness to talk about Japanese cultural events rather than news might have appealed quite a lot to the Japanese interviewer too. After all, the other purpose of Jet is to be a cultural exchange and not a fact-finding mission.

More than anything, it sounds like you treated the interview like a job interview and not a contest of how much you love Japan.

Good luck.

MikeCarter
January 27th, 2015, 09:03
Tangent: I strongly suspect that applicants' predilection for obsessing over these trivia lists stems from the fact that most of them are recent graduates who have been practicing rote memorization and regurgitation of facts for the last 4 years, and think that the JET interview is yet another place that requires such a concerted and strained information dump. These people are missing the point. The JET interview is not a test of your knowledge; it's obvious the "IDGAF"/"how the hell did he get in?" types glide right through because they didn't fall for the trap by thinking it was.


I think it comes from a sense of unease and a large amount of invested time you don't want to see as being wasted.

I have my interview on the 4th and my biggest issue is I simply don't know what I can do to actually prepare. I can make answers for the basic "why Japan/why JET", but the rest of the interview is largely unknown to me.

With no real way to prepare (and by the sounds of it, they don't want to see how you look prepared anyway), memorizing facts would be comforting.

Man, I hate interviews. The seem to exist solely to mess with you.

Gizmotech
January 27th, 2015, 09:28
I think it comes from a sense of unease and a large amount of invested time you don't want to see as being wasted.


I think this is the point that many successful applicants have which is important. Many (I suspect a great deal) had limited time invested in the process beyond the general passage of time. They didn't really see it is a big deal between application and interview and shortlist, the time invested was the work required, and the passage of time was just that, time.

I remember one guy in uni who never came on JET and got REALLY miffed when he didn't get a position. He really did see it as 6 months wasted because he had been invested process beyond what was required to be done, and I suspect he was invested from a much earlier point with JET as an end goal as he was a Japanese studies major. It really pissed him off that he wasn't considered good enough to go because he had done everything right (as far as he was concerned). He had put in the time, he expected the reward.

Except he forgot something, time does not equal results.

MikeCarter
January 27th, 2015, 09:42
I think this is the point that many successful applicants have which is important. Many (I suspect a great deal) had limited time invested in the process beyond the general passage of time. They didn't really see it is a big deal between application and interview and shortlist, the time invested was the work required, and the passage of time was just that, time.

I remember one guy in uni who never came on JET and got REALLY miffed when he didn't get a position. He really did see it as 6 months wasted because he had been invested process beyond what was required to be done, and I suspect he was invested from a much earlier point with JET as an end goal as he was a Japanese studies major. It really pissed him off that he wasn't considered good enough to go because he had done everything right (as far as he was concerned). He had put in the time, he expected the reward.

Except he forgot something, time does not equal results.

Most of the people I hear about that get mad about being rejected all have the same profile: a degree in Japanese studies or English and high interest in Japan. I think his issue was he thought the JET programme was something it wasn't. If you take it from the perspective of cultural exchange, someone whose only redeeming qualities are their interest/knowledge in English (just the language) or Japan, isn't someone that with have much to offer.

I'm talking more about general interview worries mixed with the unknown of what the interview will actually be about.

BeckyJones
January 27th, 2015, 09:45
apple69chan.

dude, everything you wrote could of been summed up better in my thread of advice, you should scroll down and look at it.

haitch40
January 27th, 2015, 09:47
Most of the people I hear about that get mad about being rejected all have the same profile: a degree in Japanese studies or English and high interest in Japan. I think his issue was he thought the JET programme was something it wasn't. If you take it from the perspective of cultural exchange, someone whose only redeeming qualities are their interest/knowledge in English (just the language) or Japan, isn't someone that with have much to offer.

I'm talking more about general interview worries mixed with the unknown of what the interview will actually be about.
I think the general attitude can be the reason for this. I am betting a large number of those who study English or Japanese studies feel entitled. As in that JET must take them because they did English or Japanese studies. Aka a total idiot who nobody wants to employ.

Jiggit
January 27th, 2015, 10:00
Man, I hate interviews. The seem to exist solely to mess with you.

The whole point of an interview is for them to get to see who you actually are. Anyone can (or at least should be able to) sell themselves in a written document and your grades give little indication as to what sort of person you are. It's particularly pertinent to JET teaching; if you can't stand in front of 5 people and talk with confidence for 10 minutes, how are you going to do so in front of 40 kids who can't speak English for an hour?

Not to jump on the bash Apollo bandwagon, because everyone has been doing that, but while preparing things like your clothing and transport and documentation is all good advice, I really dislike the idea that you should prepare answers for all the questions. It's almost like cheating really. They want you to answer honestly, not to anticipate everything they might ask and give some "perfect answer" that doesn't represent you. The assumption that you deserve to be in Japan but the interview is kind of a roadblock is wrong - the interview is your chance to show them how suitable you are to be an ALT and if you can't do that then you probably shouldn't be an ALT.

In the same way that people shouldn't pass a test because they stole the answers from their teacher's desk, I don't think people should pass the interview because someone gave them a list of questions that'll probably come up and told them how to answer them. That's not exactly what Apollo is saying, but still. You may pass because of this advice, you may end up being too wooden and robotic as other posters have warned - I don't know. Either way though I think you're selling yourself short. I personally look forward to interviews because I think "OK, now I can show them who I really am, they won't be judging me off some numbers on a paper or something someone else wrote about me". If you go in thinking you need to prep the answers given you by another person it's like you're saying you don't think the real you is good enough. Be more confident in yourself.

Liamers
January 27th, 2015, 10:09
sounds like it went well starfish. Wtf is that flower thing anyway?

BeckyJones
January 27th, 2015, 10:11
I think the general attitude can be the reason for this. I am betting a large number of those who study English or Japanese studies feel entitled. As in that JET must take them because they did English or Japanese studies. Aka a total idiot who nobody wants to employ.
DING DING DING. This is why if asked,I tell people not to do a bunch of prep for the interview. They don't want Japanese majors who wank to hentai porn. They want Americans, Canadians, and Brits, and those filthy aussies who don't know too much about Japan so they can teach them the Japanese way (it is no secret JET is considered a form of soft power culturally) while at the same time exposing redneck, bucktooth Japanese hillbillies to foreign cultures.

Lately, there are more Japanese weebs coming because they also now want the program to teach elementary school and elementary schools are scared to death of ENGLISH ONLY, so they are getting more Japanese majors and Japan nerds in the program, but even then... There are a lot of those people. Being a sociable person with an interest in Japan, and a sense of adventure is more likely to get you into JET and make Japan liveable than obsessively studying and preparing for the "dream job of JET".

which as most of the JETs on this forum can attest, isn't that dreamy.
ex jet, lifer here.

MikeCarter
January 27th, 2015, 10:23
I think the general attitude can be the reason for this. I am betting a large number of those who study English or Japanese studies feel entitled. As in that JET must take them because they did English or Japanese studies. Aka a total idiot who nobody wants to employ.

For sure.


The whole point of an interview is for them to get to see who you actually are. Anyone can (or at least should be able to) sell themselves in a written document and your grades give little indication as to what sort of person you are. It's particularly pertinent to JET teaching; if you can't stand in front of 5 people and talk with confidence for 10 minutes, how are you going to do so in front of 40 kids who can't speak English for an hour?


I can't agree with that comparison at all. There's a vastly different atmosphere if you compare an interview to a classroom. I'm sure plenty of people could stand in front of a classroom of children and be fine, but choke in a formal interview room, and vise versa.



In the same way that people shouldn't pass a test because they stole the answers from their teacher's desk, I don't think people should pass the interview because someone gave them a list of questions that'll probably come up and told them how to answer them. That's not exactly what Apollo is saying, but still. You may pass because of this advice, you may end up being too wooden and robotic as other posters have warned - I don't know. Either way though I think you're selling yourself short. I personally look forward to interviews because I think "OK, now I can show them who I really am, they won't be judging me off some numbers on a paper or something someone else wrote about me". If you go in thinking you need to prep the answers given you by another person it's like you're saying you don't think the real you is good enough. Be more confident in yourself.

This would be more a case where they stole the questions though. Even if you prepare an answer for every question you can come up with, your answer could still be wrong.

You're probably right. Anyone who has made it to the interview round has already been deemed qualified by the JET Programme, otherwise they wouldn't waste time interviewing them. Probably the best advice anyone can take is like you said: be confident in yourself.

I still hate interviews though.

Valkerion
January 27th, 2015, 10:25
Yeah I don't think the interview was all that bad. It was very organic and questions came depending on the responses I gave before hand. That said, a lot of the questions were some of the things you find listed on blogs and what not, and a lot of the ones I see here and else where, were not even hinted at. No questions from the SoP so that honestly, felt like a big fucking waste of time stressing over. I know it might have just been me but damn, maybe they read it and had no questions cause it was so clear but seriously not anything from it. I tried to use examples from it when answering a few questions but they kinda seemed impartial to it.

They asked "why Jet" but no why Japan, no news about japan, facts, can you name islands nada. I think they knew I could looking at my transcripts and SoP so did not bother but, really felt like they did not interview me, rather my application. They seemed to like me and most of my answers but who knows.

For the most part. Best advice is what I decided to follow early on with the thumbs up of MC and others, "be yourself, and not some pretentious generic answering d-bag." Made them laugh a few times (sorry Canada) made them jot down notes, no clue if bad. Stumbled on my words, fucked up the Japanese, asked terrible questions and walked out.

Its not that bad, but if you have anxiety about talking to people or in general are just super nervous unless you have batman like preptime, maybe this advice is for you. But if your not, this advice is definitely overkill, but not bad advice at all.

haitch40
January 27th, 2015, 12:23
DING DING DING. This is why if asked,I tell people not to do a bunch of prep for the interview. They don't want Japanese majors who wank to hentai porn. They want Americans, Canadians, and Brits, and those filthy aussies who don't know too much about Japan so they can teach them the Japanese way (it is no secret JET is considered a form of soft power culturally) while at the same time exposing redneck, bucktooth Japanese hillbillies to foreign cultures.

Lately, there are more Japanese weebs coming because they also now want the program to teach elementary school and elementary schools are scared to death of ENGLISH ONLY, so they are getting more Japanese majors and Japan nerds in the program, but even then... There are a lot of those people. Being a sociable person with an interest in Japan, and a sense of adventure is more likely to get you into JET and make Japan liveable than obsessively studying and preparing for the "dream job of JET".

which as most of the JETs on this forum can attest, isn't that dreamy.
ex jet, lifer here.
I am glad I am not the only one then that thinks that is the issue.

They don't owe you anything. You have to tell them why they should pick you. I think of it like a market. Say you sell fruit and so do 5 other people. Why should people buy your fruit and not someone else's? The only difference is you are convincing them to buy you. The questions are like people buying fruit. Where does it come from? How old is it? etc.
Give an answer that is too well prepared for and you end up with nobody caring and thus walking away. It would be like someone asking where grapes came from and you gave them the specific vine number.

sharpinthefang
January 27th, 2015, 12:28
The whole point of an interview is for them to get to see who you actually are. Anyone can (or at least should be able to) sell themselves in a written document and your grades give little indication as to what sort of person you are. It's particularly pertinent to JET teaching; if you can't stand in front of 5 people and talk with confidence for 10 minutes, how are you going to do so in front of 40 kids who can't speak English for an hour?

Not to jump on the bash Apollo bandwagon, because everyone has been doing that, but while preparing things like your clothing and transport and documentation is all good advice, I really dislike the idea that you should prepare answers for all the questions. It's almost like cheating really. They want you to answer honestly, not to anticipate everything they might ask and give some "perfect answer" that doesn't represent you. The assumption that you deserve to be in Japan but the interview is kind of a roadblock is wrong - the interview is your chance to show them how suitable you are to be an ALT and if you can't do that then you probably shouldn't be an ALT.

In the same way that people shouldn't pass a test because they stole the answers from their teacher's desk, I don't think people should pass the interview because someone gave them a list of questions that'll probably come up and told them how to answer them. That's not exactly what Apollo is saying, but still. You may pass because of this advice, you may end up being too wooden and robotic as other posters have warned - I don't know. Either way though I think you're selling yourself short. I personally look forward to interviews because I think "OK, now I can show them who I really am, they won't be judging me off some numbers on a paper or something someone else wrote about me". If you go in thinking you need to prep the answers given you by another person it's like you're saying you don't think the real you is good enough. Be more confident in yourself.

I hate where you get decline for jobs based on the 'personality' profile questions you now have to fill out for online applications. They then decline you based on that nonsense. I much prefer interviews as they do see the real you without having to jump through hoops.

Apollo87
January 27th, 2015, 13:18
Valkerion, good job on the interview man it sounds like you did fine.

I'm really enjoying the discussion going on here now, I'm definitely seeing how it looks like I'm espousing a strategy thats akin to finding a master list of questions that will be asked, preparing perfect answers and then reciting them verbatim. No, that would make you a ridiculous robot haha. But I can see how it sounds that way so yep, maybe I should make some edits to the first post? Would that be okay?

The main theme that keeps coming up seems to be “Just let them see your true self, over preparing will make you seem stilted and fake and you don’t want to develop a persona just for the interview. You want to let your real self shine through.” I mean, I completely agree with all of this.

However IMO, interviewing well is a skill that can be improved with practice. And more than letting your real self shine through, I think you want to show the interviewers the best version of yourself. You're putting on your best (tailored, right?) suit, cleaning-up as best you can and heading out to rock it, not wearing jeans and a t-shirt like you would most of the time. You're trying to put your best foot forward and I don't think that's being inauthentic or fake, it's just being smart. It's an interview!

I think there is this misconception that the more you try to prepare, the more stilted and “over-prepared” seeming you will become. Sure, if you literally memorize your “perfect answer” and then spout it out word for word, it will come across as fake. But that’s not what I’m saying. The more you practice, at anything, – the better you will get, just as the more interviews you do, the better you get at them. If you had 10 interviews for 10 different companies over the course of a couple weeks, the same sorts of questions would emerge and you would find yourself answering them in similar ways over time. Your answers would become more developed, articulate and thought out. You wouldn’t just be spitting out the first thing that comes to mind and hoping for the best. You would know what you need to say and want to express, and it would free up your mental resources to concentrate on things like paying attention to your body language, making good eye contact, smiling, and just trying to relax.

By the way, this is probably similar to how your first several classes will go once you get to Japan. You'll have to do a self introduction class in front of 30 of your new students. You may bomb the first one or it may go alright. Then you'll do the next one. It will get better. You'll be able to express yourself more naturally as things go on autopilot. You'll know what you need to talk about and you'll develop a feel for it. You won't get progressively faker and faker in your delivery of your self introduction class. In the same way, doing mock interviews will help you do better for the real one. As a JET, you'll have demo classes where all the teachers will come watch your class. You'll usually spend a couple classes before running the same lesson. Same thing man!

If you’re a prospective applicant, there’s a very easy way to see how well you will do on the interview at this current point in time. If your plan and prep up to this point has just been to randomly read up a bit on Japan, read through forums like this, read a few articles on japantimes, and look over your SOP, then stop right here and just do a mock interview with a friend. Print out the first post on this thread, give it to a friend, have them sit across from you on a table and do a quick interview like ITS FOR REAL. Maybe read through your SOP once, collect your thoughts and just go for it. You can’t reset. You can’t say “wait wait, lets do that part again.” Just go for it until the end. If it was easy and your friend gives you good feedback, then great! If it could have been better, well then..

You’ll just have to be honest with yourself and prepare appropriately after that point. All I really wanted to do was suggest themes and ideas that could be brought up in the interview. You know they will probably ask you about Japan, about your motivations, and you might have to demonstrate your Japanese ability or do a demo class. You know if you can squeeze in an interesting anecdote it might make you more memorable. Can you do that confidently the one time it will matter?

I think maybe people got a bad vibe when I said “memorize a whole bunch of lists!”..I don’t really mean it like that haha, that sounds really dumb. What I should have said was “Be prepared to drop knowledge bombs or at least be able to BS about stuff like a self introduction, current events, how you would teach, what you want to bring, what you want to accomplish, what general knowledge you can pull out of your ass about Japan or your country”. I just made a list of things I imagined might come up. And again, the best way to prepare for something is to practice.

For some people this is a big deal, for others its just whatever. However whether you acknowledge the fact or not, its an event that will take place on a predetermined date which may have a large bearing on your future. It might completely change the course of your life. And it’s a test. You either pass or you fail. For you guys who it wasn’t such a big deal for, well - how would you prepare for an interview with your DREAM company where you would be making mid six figures a year doing something you love? At what point are you no longer super chill and relaxed about it? Because really, that’s how some people feel about the JET interview, and it’s not a good thing or a bad thing – just to that person its important. I felt like some people derided that, like “Heh, its JUST JET. Chill out bro lol.” Which doesn’t really add anything of value to the conversation.

Have you guys ever seen that show “Dragons Den”? For those who haven’t, basically a guy comes up onto the floor and pitches his invention or idea or business to a bunch of seasoned entrepreneurs. Then they ask him questions and sometimes rip apart his idea. I love that show. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you can probably find it on Youtube. The JET interview is kind of a similar situation – instead of pitching an invention or idea, you are essentially pitching yourself and your skills. Just as the people on that show who are successful tend to be the ones who know their product inside out, know their competitive advantages, and are able to confidently articulate their product’s benefits AND defend them against criticisms – as a prospective JET applicant, you should be able to sell them on your skills, personality traits, experiences, uniqueness, etc.

If you are a personable, outgoing individual, you really truly may basically just be able to wing the interview and get in. Just be chill, treat it like its not a big deal, look over your SOP, and go for it. If you have the right personality type, and your interviewers are lenient and friendly, and you don’t screw up a question too hard, and you don’t blank out, and everything works out in your favour..It might work out okay, and bam you get in, and then next year you’ll be on this same thread saying “Yeah buddy, just take it easy like I did – its no big deal. You’ll be fine, I mean I got in.”

And in fact, I think that the more you wing it, the better you get at winging it. It’s the same thing – do practice interviews and keep winging it, and eventually you’ll end up saying the same things you would have said if you sat down from the beginning and thought about how you were gonna answer different questions. You’ll be like “Oh man, I should have mentioned the fact that I used to volunteer at so-and-so place. Damn!” Then the next time you do a mock interview, you’ll remember to mention it. That’s all it is.

Here’s a cold hard fact – Over 50% of those who get to the interview stage will not pass the interview. Well, I suppose it depends on the consulate but for example, in the Toronto consulate, I think its something more like 1/3 or 1/4 get in. I took a peek in the Canadian applying JETs thread and I think someone said like 300 people were granted interviews. Only around 70 will get in. That’s about 1/4. I know we say that if you get to the interview stage, they just need to see that you are who you say you are, but its actually rather competitive. Me personally, I don’t think I would want to bank on the hope that I’m just naturally the most qualified individual there, and that will just naturally shine through. I would want to totally freakin rock that interview.

Gizmotech
January 27th, 2015, 14:18
Appolo, it's not that preparing is bad, it's preparing on a topic is bad (IE JET, Japan, culture, etc...). You want to be able to answer questions and dismiss questions, not be prepared for a specific list. You're right that it's a skill, it's a skill most people don't really have, and need practice at. By teaching on a topic, you're as bad as my teachers who teach for the test. You need to teach the skill on a variety of things, not teach the knowledge the things that have occurred in the past.

You have the point the more you write, but that is the core issue that UTIL, myself, several others have had with the level of interview preparation.

Edit: Feel free to add to your original post, but editing it now seems kinda silly.

Ini
January 27th, 2015, 14:32
You'll usually spend a couple classes before running the same lesson. Same thing man!

sounds like you work with insecure teachers.....

Jiggit
January 27th, 2015, 14:53
By teaching on a topic, you're as bad as my teachers who teach for the test. You need to teach the skill on a variety of things, not teach the knowledge the things that have occurred in the past.

Right, teaching someone to pass the JET interview is not making them a better interviewee, it's just helping them do one thing, once. To be fair a lot of his post does help people more generally. But the whole "you better be prepared for this question" implies that you should be ready to recite an answer. You might not have meant that but it could easily be read that way (and evidently a lot of us did read it that way).

In my test I remember my "difficult question" was "What would you do if you had a holiday booked and your school asked you to cancel it because they wanted you to go to an event?". I wasn't expecting it at all and I had to think about it for a bit before I said something like "Well... at first I would try to find out if there were something else I could do to make up for missing the event, but if they were insistent I would see if I could reschedule the holiday... But I would ask them to try and give me more advenced notice or a schedule of club events for next time..."

Now if I'd prepared an answer to that I may well have come up with something like "Well, I think I'm going to Japan to teach, so even though it'd be a shame to miss a holiday, the students and school would come first for me." If I were an interviewer now and a candidate spewed that out it'd raise my eyebrows. They want to see someone genuinely consider their questions and answer truthfully, otherwise they wouldn't answer. That's why I say it's like cheating; if you prepare an answer that wasn't the natural answer you would have given otherwise you're basically lying to them to an extent.

Now, if we're talking about preparing because you're a very nervous interviewer who is likely going to choke up even if they do have a good answer, that makes a lot more sense. I think that's basically what you're saying now, but the whole "prepare your answers to these 20 questions" makes it seem otherwise.

greyjoy
January 27th, 2015, 15:00
so eventually I figured "hey, I'm a 5th year, I like making sites, writing, shooting videos etc and I've been doing this consistently for the past 5 years. I'll just put it all together and as a side project and try to make the resource that I myself would have wanted to read as an aspiring and participating JET all these years." I'm just sort of figuring it out as I go along, but at the core I want to bring awareness to JET, help people get in, give them a place to find good advice and show them how to have the same cool experiences that I've been lucky enough to have. Living in Japan is a ride full of ups and downs which is why I called it the jet coaster.


Man, way to take all the credit. What about all the hard work that Thomas Simmons put in? Doesn't he deserve a bit of the spotlight?

Ini
January 27th, 2015, 15:04
Man, way to take all the credit. What about all the hard work that Thomas Simmons put in? Doesn't he deserve a bit of the spotlight?

"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

Thomas Simmons is a monster in the world of 5th year jets offering advice to aspiring and participating JETs. He practically wrote the handbook on making sites, writing and shooting videos.

Jiggit
January 27th, 2015, 15:07
Is it really true that Thomas Simmons has visited every prefecture in Japan?

uthinkimlost?
January 27th, 2015, 15:09
I hear he kills men by the hundreds. And if HE were here, he'd consume ITIL with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse.

Ini
January 27th, 2015, 15:13
He's the hero 5th year JETs deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Thomas Simmons

Jiggit
January 27th, 2015, 15:15
But can he see why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch?

Ini
January 27th, 2015, 15:18
He knows so much more than that. He has been able to be accepted by the japanese people at all times - whether hes praying at a temple, bowing deeply at a tea ceremony, or undertaking a pilgrimage in traditional garb.

Apollo87
January 27th, 2015, 15:20
Man, way to take all the credit. What about all the hard work that Thomas Simmons put in? Doesn't he deserve a bit of the spotlight?Haha Thomas is one of my very best friends. We met at Toronto Orientation and came to Japan together in 2010. He's one of the nicest, most generous and friendly people I've ever met and you're right, I'm super lucky that he's working on TJC with me. I'm nowhere near organized and consistent enough to keep the blog going by myself. Basically I made the site and had a lot of difficulty finding time to both produce content and figure out what I was doing. It was coming along really slowly since I was trying to figure out and do everything by myself but after the current iteration, Thomas liked the design and asked me to work on it together. So it's like a fun side project with my bro and I'm super lucky that we see eye to eye on almost everything. I also have to give a shout-out to my friend David Namisato who drew Life After the B.O.E. (http://www.lifeaftertheboe.com) for drawing the splash screen of the site.

Ini
January 27th, 2015, 15:22
#Je suis ThomasSimmons

uthinkimlost?
January 27th, 2015, 15:24
I hear he's a maniac, maniac on the floor
And he's dancing like he never danced before

Ini
January 27th, 2015, 15:26
I hear he's a maniac, maniac on the floor
And he's dancing like he never danced before

wrong simmons. Although there is a resemblance.....

http://c3458338.r38.cf0.rackcdn.com/richard-simmons300.jpg

toumasu
January 28th, 2015, 13:09
wrong simmons. Although there is a resemblance.....

http://c3458338.r38.cf0.rackcdn.com/richard-simmons300.jpg
Dad?

Ini
January 28th, 2015, 15:56
He walks among us!

balderdash7
January 30th, 2015, 01:30
Thank you so much for writing this post. This is very detailed and helpful. I started reviewing for my interview this week and I would certainly be taking some of your questions in mind.