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View Full Version : BIG QUESTION on applying for JET...



andymaniac
October 27th, 2005, 16:26
Hello, everyone! I am writing to ask for a favour
and hoping that I'd receive some answers from the JET
alumni/current JETs' perspective on some questions.

I have just graduated with a BEd and have a background
in Social/ESL/English and I am applying for the JET
programme. I understand the JET requires the
applicants to have some knowledge of Japanese culture
and demonstratre an appreciation for the culture while
sharing their own culture with others. I have always
been interested in Japanese culture and teaching
there, I've read a lot about the culture there..news,
history, etc but because of my schedule, I haven't
PARTCIPATED in many Japanese cultural events. Would
that seriously mar my chances at obtaining an
interview/position?

In your experience/opinion, do I need to be a total
Japanese culture buff to apply or may I simply share
with the panel what I have done (e.g. taught part of a
Social unit on Japan, enjoy Japanese crafts/food and
am just curious about Japanese culture, etc) and just
show I am willing to learn more of the culture and to
share my own?

I really appreciate any feedback/experience you'd like
to share, even a few lines would be great. Thanks lots! Hope to hear from some of you guys soon!

~ andymaniac

Cynthia
October 27th, 2005, 16:40
You really don't have to know that much about Japanese culture to be on JET. Willingness to learn and a certain amount of curiosity are good, but being too much of a Japanophile is probably a deterrent. They don't want you to come over here and be Japanese. They want you to come over here and be a weird foreigner so the kids get to experience "internationalization."

That being said, it wouldn't hurt to brush up on some basic cultural knowledge and current events before your interview (assuming you get one). I have heard that some panels ask questions about culture, government, geography, etc. It's good to prepare for that eventuality, IF you get an interview. In the meantime, don't worry about it.

Doomer
October 27th, 2005, 17:45
Go with what you have...like Cynth said...they dont want us to BE japanese...they have plenty of those over here...its a great thing that you know a little bit about the culture, that helps...it helps you be better prepared for life over here...not participating in any cultural events wont hurt your app at all...the extent of my jap exp back home was hanging out with my friends who were from japan and being a conversation partner at my school none of which are actual cultural events so dont worry about it!! Show them how your are flexible, can deal with being away from the life you know, and want to learn more about japan and you sould be fine!!

Good luck!! :wink:

Pandilex
October 27th, 2005, 23:40
The JET selection process is 75% random. The 25% non random part is the least suitable candidates. Just look at BD.

Auburn
October 28th, 2005, 15:01
My knowledge of Japan before I came here was completely limited to what I learned from "MXC" and being forced to watch "Princess Mononoke".

Yet, I am here, so clearly you don't need to show that much of an interest in it.

As has been said many, many times, it is impossible to build a profile of "The Ideal JET", because application and interview criteria vary so drastically, even within the same country.

All the same, good luck.

Ini
October 29th, 2005, 02:24
I'm the ideal jet, anything else is just unimportant - like a single parent nigger at a haliburton stockholders meeting

Faustus
October 30th, 2005, 15:07
The JET selection process is 75% random. The 25% non random part is the least suitable candidates. Just look at BD.

Including you and your 250-odd posts there, right? :roll:

Anyway, to the OP, I wouldn't worry about it. If you say that you've been reading up, and you can demonstrate that you have some basic knowledge of Japan and current events, chances are good that you'll be okay. I know JETs who majored in Asian studies and/or Japanese, and I know JETs who knew very, very little about Japan or Japanese culture before they came over here. It's definitely a toss-up.

I would avoid saying that you learned about Japan from anime or video games or something, though. Even if it's true (I don't know, I'm just speaking generally), I don't think it would go over well with most interview panels. That's sort of common sense, though.

andymaniac
October 31st, 2005, 14:48
Thanks for your posts so far..they have been very helpful :)

Ini
October 31st, 2005, 20:30
We
Are always happy to show a
New person to the boards a
Kind word and offer
Every piece of advice possible. feel free to tap this
Resource as much as you like.

Shotokai
November 1st, 2005, 06:52
I would say tone down what you know and replace it with an enthusiasm to learn. as this is an exchange the JET programme want you to learn while your here and those with less knowledge about Japan will gain more from the experience in this respect so this could mean knowing too much may be negative to your application!

Auburn
November 1st, 2005, 15:36
That's a good point Shotokai... I think we tend to forget about the exchange part of the programme.

Andy, instead of just concentrating on what you like/know about Japan, you might also want to think about what you can bring from your home culture to share with the Japanese you will meet. Most people I have met are genuinely interested in how foreigners live and see the world.

MrSnrub
November 6th, 2005, 09:55
The JET selection process is 75% random. The 25% non random part is the least suitable candidates. Just look at BD.Rubbish.

No, actually it's utter rubbish.

As for the OP, as everyone else has pointed out minimal Japanese experience or language ability etc. is absolutely no obstacle. You would be expected to tell Japanese about your culture, not their own. However, if you claim to have some interest in Japan (as evidenced by applying in the first place) then just be prepared to answer the most basic question which is "why do you want to go to Japan?" and demonstrate some extremely basic knowledge about the country.

dobharrison
November 6th, 2005, 12:29
The JET selection process is 75% random. The 25% non random part is the least suitable candidates. Just look at BD.Rubbish.

No, actually it's utter rubbish.

Why is it rubbish? I don't think a 15-minute interview would be all that appropriate for realistically determining a person's qualities.

MrSnrub
November 6th, 2005, 13:57
Well, I'll elaborate:

When I read "random" I think of something that is entirely or greatly the result of chance, factors out of someones control (in this case the applicant).

Any job/programme placement interview is going to contain random elements out of your control. What I'm saying though is a prepared candidate and/or someone who meets the expectations of the interviewers will only be minorly affected in the usual run of things. If you have some sort of strange antipathy between you and an interviewer then it could go wrong, but even then you do have some control. 20-25 mins. is not enough to delve deeply into anyones personality, the panel are forced to rely on this small chance. Everyone has the same opportunity to represent themselves however and the interviews are "scored" using agreed criteria.

Also I was thinking of the process as a whole. The scoring of the written application is again standardised. The marking of the SoP is clearly subjective but my feelings are similar to what I think of the interview, chances are the same SoP will get a similar rating from different people.

Many people look around, decide some of the people they see on JET are unsuitable while back home their best mate didn't get in and he/she was perfect therefore the process is random. I would consider the following first:
Where you with the person who didn't make it every stage of the process?
What are the actual scoring criteria? I don't know.
What is the quality of the pool that JET chooses from?

The summary: The process is not random because so much is in the control of the applicant.

dobharrison
November 6th, 2005, 21:51
I see your point, and fair enough. But I still think that a great amount of the process is simply invisible to us, so saying what is expected or giving specific advice is almost impossible.

Ock
November 7th, 2005, 12:42
retired

shadowrook
November 8th, 2005, 05:53
While 75% may seem random to us, that's because we can't really control who's performing the interview.

Now, just remember...we have two or three people sitting in a room making snap decisions about the hundreds of people who come through that door. One can't really expect that the interviewers are going to pay attention to everything. More than likely they're going to take shortcuts (processing information peripherally) at least to some degree. If you're relatively attractive, well-groomed, and eloquent your chances of getting the position are higher. Then there's what you actually say, and your overall attitude and fit to the ideal candidate...this is where you get the interviewers processing centrally the info you give (or at least you hope they do).

So really, just by being rested and calm throughout the interview can do you a whole lot of good. If you want more tips...take a psychology course that discusses attitudes and opinion. =P

MaxCapacitor
November 10th, 2005, 14:44
If you're relatively attractive, well-groomed, and eloquent your chances of getting the position are higher.
In other words, it's just one big elaborate dog and pony show.

I wonder if there's alot of 'hands on observation' being conducted during these interviews like the judges do at the AKC dog shows. Maybe a little prancing around afterwards...

(Strangely enough, just like a dog show, if your papers aren't up to snuff, you're instantly disqualified. Coincidence? I think not.)

Cynthia
November 10th, 2005, 18:28
If you're relatively attractive, well-groomed, and eloquent your chances of getting the position are higher.
In other words, it's just one big elaborate dog and pony show.

I wonder if there's alot of 'hands on observation' being conducted during these interviews like the judges do at the AKC dog shows. Maybe a little prancing around afterwards...

(Strangely enough, just like a dog show, if your papers aren't up to snuff, you're instantly disqualified. Coincidence? I think not.)

That makes a lot more sense than it should!

Ini
November 10th, 2005, 22:12
well i did take a massive dump on the floor and then started humping the guys leg so maybe you have a point.....

andymaniac
January 1st, 2006, 04:16
Hi!! Just want to thank eveyone for reading and answering my questions...I just got a letter from JET last week asking me to have an interview with them in Feb. Bet I'll have loads more questions in the coming weeks...but just wanted to let you guys know. Thanks so much and happy new year wherever you are :)

~ Annie

dobharrison
January 1st, 2006, 20:44
Good luck!