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worried
April 20th, 2015, 01:52
I'm a British graduate applying for Interac's summer 2015 intake, and had my seminar/video presentation a fortnight ago. During the interview, I was told I'd hear back "in a few weeks", but I [like many others no doubt] am feeling a little anxious about hearing back sooner rather than later. If I were to mark myself on my performance during the seminar, I'd say I'd get a 9/10 for the discussion portion and a 7/10 on my video presentation [I stuttered on my keigo during the self intro, stumbled on a word during the reading, wasn't as fluid for the 3-minute lesson and went over my 6-minute limit by 40 seconds].

I'm concerned that I may be judged entirely on my somewhat imperfect video presentation, without any attention being given to my application. I was looking for some reassurance from other applicants who thought their video presentation didn't go well, but ended up getting a position in the end?

I was also hoping to find out how quickly people heard back from Interac following their seminar? Are you still waiting?

BifCarbet
April 20th, 2015, 03:23
I can't comment on that process. However, my one take that may be relevant is that I've known Interac teachers who spoke zero Japanese upon arrival. Hopefully that at least partially assuages some of your concern.

worried
April 20th, 2015, 03:48
I can't comment on that process. However, my one take that may be relevant is that I've known Interac teachers who spoke zero Japanese upon arrival. Hopefully that at least partially assuages some of your concern.
Thanks! That's good to know! I can get by in the language, so I tried to highlight my skills during the video. I just hope I was as energetic when speaking Japanese as someone doing their intro entirely in English!

ken2
April 20th, 2015, 06:40
I received an employment offer via email after about two weeks.

Please don't stress too much over what you think you did wrong. Most of the video presentations at my seminar had some kind of hiccup. I asked to restart mine because I fumbled my introduction.

Gizmotech
April 20th, 2015, 09:47
Based on several of the interacs I've met over the years, the video interview seems more about making sure you're relatively attractive/charismatic and can dress yourself rather than your ability to use English, let alone Japanese.

Zolrak 22
April 20th, 2015, 12:03
making sure you're relatively attractive

I'd find it hilarious if this was actually one of the evaluation points.

People in a room going, "I give him/her 5/10." "Really? I thought he/she was an 8."

And so on.

greyjoy
April 20th, 2015, 13:28
Interac people do seem to be hotter on average than jets. I guess that's one thing they've got going for them.

enlight85
April 20th, 2015, 16:30
My seminar was in March and I heard back around three weeks later. I know the UK office is really busy and staffed by two people. I've waited two weeks for an email to be responded to as well.

worried
April 20th, 2015, 17:15
Based on several of the interacs I've met over the years, the video interview seems more about making sure you're relatively attractive/charismatic and can dress yourself rather than your ability to use English, let alone Japanese.
Oh lord, if that's the marking criteria then I've definitely got something to worry about. I have orthodontic braces, which may or may not be coming out before I leave. I wasn't asked about it, so I hope it's a non-issue. I'll wait and see!


My seminar was in March and I heard back around three weeks later. I know the UK office is really busy and staffed by two people. I've waited two weeks for an email to be responded to as well.
Thanks, that's the reassurance I was looking for! It'll be exactly two weeks tomorrow, so I'll try holding out until May before getting anxious. They've been incredibly fast with me so far. Application passed the screening stage within two weeks of submission, phone interview the following week, seminar two weeks after that, emails responded to within a week etc. Hoping my luck holds out, though the pessimist in me is preparing for the worst.

enlight85
April 20th, 2015, 17:58
In truth, your confidence is a good thing! If you came across engaging, interested and passionate then I am sure you'll do fine. For me, the process from application to offer was about... 4 months, so you're making good time!

On the teeth thing, from what I hear, that could end up being a bonus to your application!

worried
April 20th, 2015, 18:26
In truth, your confidence is a good thing! If you came across engaging, interested and passionate then I am sure you'll do fine. For me, the process from application to offer was about... 4 months, so you're making good time!

On the teeth thing, from what I hear, that could end up being a bonus to your application!
Haha, only for girls I think!
Why Crooked Teeth Are Straight Up Beautiful In Japan - Tofugu (http://www.tofugu.com/2012/04/25/why-crooked-teeth-are-straight-up-beautiful-in-japan/)

I initially thought my braces would make me look somewhat immature for a professional job. After reading the earlier post in the thread, however, I became more concerned about it being seen as a physical imperfection [even if it's temporary]. Hope that's not the case, as I'd like my recruiters opinion of my character, my experience and references to play a bigger part.

Could I ask what you think lead to your own success? Just so I can compare with another Brit :)

enlight85
April 20th, 2015, 19:41
Haha, only for girls I think!
Why Crooked Teeth Are Straight Up Beautiful In Japan - Tofugu (http://www.tofugu.com/2012/04/25/why-crooked-teeth-are-straight-up-beautiful-in-japan/)

I initially thought my braces would make me look somewhat immature for a professional job. After reading the earlier post in the thread, however, I became more concerned about it being seen as a physical imperfection [even if it's temporary]. Hope that's not the case, as I'd like my recruiters opinion of my character, my experience and references to play a bigger part.

Could I ask what you think lead to your own success? Just so I can compare with another Brit :)

That’s a difficult question to answer really, because I’ve always just tried to be myself when applying for something over trying to be what I think they want me to be.

Going through it step by step, you obviously said the right thing in your initial application and telephone interview which I think is a significant part of the battle. If you held onto that for your seminar and one to one discussion, you should really just be solidifying the expectations that have of you, they may be thinking, ‘…you clearly would like to work in Japan but do you have the confidence and life experiences to adapt to the situations you may be presented with?’. From your opening post, I don’t think confidence is an issue and you seem articulate!

In terms of my own assessment, there were four people and some alarms rang pretty early into the session. For example, one of the candidates just kept talking about this one town he had been to, the desire to go back there and having very little interest in any other place. It was like they thought the seminar was an opportunity to get across the importance of your location preference. During the session, when speaking about other locations, the candidate would just reiterate why X or Y never really seemed like a place they wanted to visit etc. They were also quite nervous, fidgeting and looking down while spoken to and didn’t come across as confident. When they spoke about something they liked, I tried to draw more out of them than, ‘I like X’, my response was ‘Oh great, what aspect did you like when you visited?’

-blank stare-

I wasn’t trying to catch anyone out, but rather I wanted to make everyone more comfortable in the open forum the interviewer was trying to create. I think she was looking to see how everyone just… ‘was’. Someone else in the group appeared qualified, had lived in Japan and was really smart and professional but just didn’t speak in the session at all and appeared to be crippled by their own nerves. The fourth person was a bit of a closed book, but has similar experiences to the third candidate. Pleasant, polite, talkative. It seemed that offering opinions of aspects of the culture, anecdotes of your own experiences rather than sweeping generalisations and a genuine interest to learn more will put you in a good position for progression. I was lucky enough not to stumble in my recording but know that everyone else did have to retake an element or two, so I wouldn’t worry there. We were even told that some people are allowed to rerecord they stuff at home and send it in later! That wouldn’t have reflected too well, I’m sure. Oh, actually, I did do something wrong in my recording… I didn’t look at the camera enough. ‘Pretend that the camera isn’t there’ does not equate to ‘ignore the camera’. I spent my time speaking to my imaginary class and had to add a snippet of video on the end where I smiled directly at the camera and thank everyone for their time. I know from my own discussions afterwards that two people in that session were offered roles (myself being one of them).

To try and offer something on your original question around what I thought went well for me, I suppose I would say;

I followed the dress code
I engaged everyone (positively) in the session when they spoke about their own experiences
I held eye contact and smiled with the interviewer
I asked questions to the interviewer and other candidates
I gave my own examples of how I thought Japan would ‘work’ and the way I would ‘work’ in Japan
I passed the test

Oh and finally!

Things that I thought would put me in a negative position to get a role;

I am married
I am 30
I am in a management position
I am unattractive

worried
April 20th, 2015, 20:42
That’s a difficult question to answer really, because I’ve always just tried to be myself when applying for something over trying to be what I think they want me to be.

Going through it step by step, you obviously said the right thing in your initial application and telephone interview which I think is a significant part of the battle. If you held onto that for your seminar and one to one discussion, you should really just be solidifying the expectations that have of you, they may be thinking, ‘…you clearly would like to work in Japan but do you have the confidence and life experiences to adapt to the situations you may be presented with?’. From your opening post, I don’t think confidence is an issue and you seem articulate!

In terms of my own assessment, there were four people and some alarms rang pretty early into the session. For example, one of the candidates just kept talking about this one town he had been to, the desire to go back there and having very little interest in any other place. It was like they thought the seminar was an opportunity to get across the importance of your location preference. During the session, when speaking about other locations, the candidate would just reiterate why X or Y never really seemed like a place they wanted to visit etc. They were also quite nervous, fidgeting and looking down while spoken to and didn’t come across as confident. When they spoke about something they liked, I tried to draw more out of them than, ‘I like X’, my response was ‘Oh great, what aspect did you like when you visited?’

-blank stare-

I wasn’t trying to catch anyone out, but rather I wanted to make everyone more comfortable in the open forum the interviewer was trying to create. I think she was looking to see how everyone just… ‘was’. Someone else in the group appeared qualified, had lived in Japan and was really smart and professional but just didn’t speak in the session at all and appeared to be crippled by their own nerves. The fourth person was a bit of a closed book, but has similar experiences to the third candidate. Pleasant, polite, talkative. It seemed that offering opinions of aspects of the culture, anecdotes of your own experiences rather than sweeping generalisations and a genuine interest to learn more will put you in a good position for progression. I was lucky enough not to stumble in my recording but know that everyone else did have to retake an element or two, so I wouldn’t worry there. We were even told that some people are allowed to rerecord they stuff at home and send it in later! That wouldn’t have reflected too well, I’m sure. Oh, actually, I did do something wrong in my recording… I didn’t look at the camera enough. ‘Pretend that the camera isn’t there’ does not equate to ‘ignore the camera’. I spent my time speaking to my imaginary class and had to add a snippet of video on the end where I smiled directly at the camera and thank everyone for their time. I know from my own discussions afterwards that two people in that session were offered roles (myself being one of them).

To try and offer something on your original question around what I thought went well for me, I suppose I would say;

I followed the dress code
I engaged everyone (positively) in the session when they spoke about their own experiences
I held eye contact and smiled with the interviewer
I asked questions to the interviewer and other candidates
I gave my own examples of how I thought Japan would ‘work’ and the way I would ‘work’ in Japan
I passed the test

Oh and finally!

Things that I thought would put me in a negative position to get a role;

I am married
I am 30
I am in a management position
I am unattractive
enlighten85, you truly are a legend. Thank you for giving me such a thorough breakdown of your experience! Glad to hear what you thought of as negatives didn't end up hindering you. My own negative points seem so inconsequential now.

Then again, you had a fluid video demo, which I imagine trumps anything you thought would be a negative mark against your application. You say someone from your session got offered a position, as well? Guessing it wasn't the "I want to go to X" guy? It's okay to state a preference, but we really shouldn't come across as neurotic and inflexible. I had a preference for the city I studied abroad in for a year, and the recruiter and I ended up bonding over a mutual contact. After that, she felt so at ease with me that we had a nice chat about how she was the British host mother to a Japanese princess back in the day. If it were up to her, I think I'd get the job. But it's all down to the Tokyo office, who only have the video demo and what's written on paper to go on. It could go either way, I feel.

Really surprised to hear you were given the option to submit your video from home! I have a perfect rehearsal video on hand, and wished I'd been able to submit that instead. Suppose it's best for my recruiters to see me at my "worst" rather than at my best after a hundred takes xD

enlight85
April 20th, 2015, 20:49
enlighten85, you truly are a legend. Thank you for giving me such a thorough breakdown of your experience! Glad to hear what you thought of as negatives didn't end up hindering you. My own negative points seem so inconsequential now.

Then again, you had a fluid video demo, which I imagine trumps anything you thought would be a negative mark against your application. You say someone from your session got offered a position, as well? Guessing it wasn't the "I want to go to X" guy? It's okay to state a preference, but we really shouldn't come across as neurotic and inflexible. I had a preference for the city I studied abroad in for a year, and the recruiter and I ended up bonding over a mutual contact. After that, she felt so at ease with me that we had a nice chat about how she was the British host mother to a Japanese princess back in the day. If it were up to her, I think I'd get the job. But it's all down to the Tokyo office, who only have the video demo and what's written on paper to go on. It could go either way, I feel.

Really surprised to hear you were given the option to submit your video from home! I have a perfect rehearsal video on hand, and wished I'd been able to submit that instead. Suppose it's best for my recruiters to see me at my "worst" rather than at my best after a hundred takes xD

Absolutely on the preferences, yes. I had three of my own. But still managed to flesh out a discussion on why other locations in Japan would be just as wonderful!

I personally wasn't offered the option to film at home, but one of the candidates looked very nervous and I think that was her way of calming the applicant down...

Also, not to get your hopes up but during our session, the recruiter explained to us that whoever she sends to Tokyo with her recommendations usually gets accepted. So if you made a good case for yourself with her and it was sent to Tokyo, I imagine that's a good sign. Even if the Tokyo branch pull you up on something, the person they will be asking is the interviewer who, from the sounds of things, has a good opinion of you. The future is bright!

worried
April 21st, 2015, 00:43
Absolutely on the preferences, yes. I had three of my own. But still managed to flesh out a discussion on why other locations in Japan would be just as wonderful!

I personally wasn't offered the option to film at home, but one of the candidates looked very nervous and I think that was her way of calming the applicant down...

Also, not to get your hopes up but during our session, the recruiter explained to us that whoever she sends to Tokyo with her recommendations usually gets accepted. So if you made a good case for yourself with her and it was sent to Tokyo, I imagine that's a good sign. Even if the Tokyo branch pull you up on something, the person they will be asking is the interviewer who, from the sounds of things, has a good opinion of you. The future is bright!
Whoa, I didn't realise that my application making it to Tokyo was in itself a stage to pass. I assumed everyone who made it to the seminar had their application forwarded. If I've gotten the recruiter's seal of approval and it's actually taken into consideration, I'd put my chances at a lot higher than I would have before I posted on this forum.

Just need to play the waiting game now. Once I have the offer, the next three years of my life will fall into place. Another rejection [JET :(], and I shall find myself in career limbo again. Fingers and toes crossed!

BifCarbet
April 21st, 2015, 02:27
I always look at people with braces as people who care about their appearance to a high level, and will take major steps to keep themselves looking good. I would think that even if they were looking for highly-presentable people, braces would not be a deterrent.

worried
April 21st, 2015, 19:52
I always look at people with braces as people who care about their appearance to a high level, and will take major steps to keep themselves looking good. I would think that even if they were looking for highly-presentable people, braces would not be a deterrent.
Seems all my worrying was for nothing. Two weeks since the interview and I received an offer of employment an hour ago.

Thanks for the reassurance, everyone!

Time to save up!

enlight85
April 21st, 2015, 20:42
Seems all my worrying was for nothing. Two weeks since the interview and I received an offer of employment an hour ago.

Thanks for the reassurance, everyone!

Time to save up!

タダー!
Congratulations!

worried
April 21st, 2015, 21:54
タダー!
Congratulations!
Thanks man! So much love for Interac today.