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Doomer
November 24th, 2005, 07:14
I found this list of questions last year while I was preparing for my interview...while I know they are still a ways off right now I figure you will all find em useful...good luck on your interviews everyone and if there is a question you want to add just post it and ill stick it up top!!!!

(Questions complied by cartonofmilk from BD www.bigdaikon.com)

1)Who is the Prime Minister?
2)What are the main islands of Japan?
3)What is the Emperor’s name?
4)How will you present America to the Japanese?
5)What is the population of Japan?
6)Who is the current governing party of Japan?
7)Have you ever used drugs?
8)What is your opinion on physical punishment in schools?
9)What are your attitudes towards discipline?
10)Why Japan?
11)What would you do if one of the students were disrupting class?
12)How would you react to coworkers asking personal questions?
13)What would you do if your boss wanted you to go out drinking but you already had plans?
14)What would you do if the teacher left you alone in the classroom?
15)What aspects of American culture would you like to share?
16)What do you do if the teacher makes an obvious English mistake?
17)How do you think education will differ in Japan?
18)What kind of negative experiences did you anticipate encountering and how would you deal with them?
19)What makes you special; why should we hire you?
20)Present a sample lesson plan.
21)What would you do if school wanted you to cancel your weekend plans for a school activity?
22)Please introduce yourself nihongo de.
23)What would you do if your students were sleeping or reading manga in class?
24)Whose face is on the $10 bill?
25)If you only had a dictionary as a textbook, how would you teach English?
26)What is something that you have created?
27)There can be rancor[bad feelings] between American and non-American JETs[this was pre 9-11], so how will you deal with it?
28)How would you respond to a Japanese teacher who is teaching profoundly incorrect English to their students in your presence?
29)What would you do if you had a disagreement in a bar?
30)Have you ever been in a fight?
31)Do you consider yourself a violent person?
your strengths and weaknesses
32)what would you do if your boss makes advances at you?
33)headlines in Canada and Japan
34)name one challenge that you have overcome
35)how would you get your students to be interested in your class
36)[for ALTs with some degree of jpns fluency] why didn't you apply for CIR? (very tricky question)
37)what do you want to get out of the JET Program
38)Why do you want to be on the JET Program?
39) What skills do you think an ALT needs? Or, what do you think makes a good ALT?
40) How did you hear about the JET Programme?
41) How did you first get interested in Japan?
42) What would you do if you were groped on a train?
43) What representative dish of your country would you bring to a dinner party?
44) What would you do if you went to a class and the children started crying when they saw you?
45) What would you do if a student asked you for your sizes (bust size etc)?
46) What would you do if you were stuck in the middle of nowhere in the snow?
47) You will probably have to work around people who smoke. Will this be a problem for you?
4 You will be asked to attend enkais where people drink. It is an important part of Japanese culture. What will you do? Will you drink?
49) What are your future plans and how do you see JET contributing towards them?
50) You may encounter JETs from other countries who dislike your country, how will you deal with this?
51) How would you use your vacation time?
52) What would you do to motivate students / what would you do if your students were falling asleep?
53) What would you do if the JTE asked you to pronounce and spell in an American way?
54) What would you do if you were the only foreigner in your small town?
55) What will you do if you were required to perform activities in what you considered to be your own time?
56) How do you think Japanese people and American people differ?
57) What would you do if the town held a fair and you were asked to put up a display of American culture?
5 What cultural activities do you want to take part in?
59) How will you deal with culture shock?
60) What would you do if a student told you “all
61) What would you say are the two biggest factors affecting Japanese society today?
62) How do you see yourself being different from someone else applying for the JET Program?
63) Have you always felt comfortable living in your own country?
64) Please teach us about an American holiday of your choice.
65) If you were responsible for forming some kind of after-school English club, what kind would you form?
66) What do you think about eating whale?
67) What would you do if a teacher at your school used you like a tape recorder in class and asked you to sit in a corner when you weren’t being used?
6 Do you want to learn Japanese?
69) How much Japanese can you speak?
70) What would you say is the most important thing about teaching?
71) Define American culture.
72) If you had to plan a one-hour lesson about Valentine’s Day, what would you do?
73) What books have you read lately?
74) Why did you choose to apply to the JET Program?
75) What if you get placed at the other end of the country to where you want to go? Would you still accept the position?
76) What sort of activities would you get involved with in your spare time?
77) If you had to show Japanese tourists two things in America what would they be?
7 What would you do if your JTE said they were cancelling your carefully planned lesson in favour of just reading from the textbook?
79) Please do a self-introduction in Japanese.
80) Name the four main islands of Japan.
81) What Japanese authors do you like?
82) What movie would you show to a class of 14 year olds?
83) Describe yourself in three words.
84) Tell us about your work and how it relates to the JET Program.
85) How will you prepare for your time in the JET Program?
86) How often do you deal with children? / What experience have you had with children?
87) How could you get an inflexible, old-fashioned teacher to incorporate new teaching methods in the classroom?
8 What would you say if you had to give a speech about the atomic bombing of Japan?
89) What would you do if the JTE had to suddenly leave the classroom and you were alone?
90) If you could introduce any person dead or alive to your class, who would it be?
91) What would I do if talk of Americans being racist came up?
92) What would you do if you got lost?
93) If you had to give a speech about your country, what are three possible topics?
94) What would you use to present a speech on America? What resources? Why?
95) You have a good job, why would you want to leave that job and work in Japan?
96) Won’t JET cause you to fall behind in your career?
97) How would you feel about being placed in a rural area?
9 What would do you do if your supervisor did not speak English?
99) Can you tell us about a time you were in an alien situation and how you adapted well to it?
100) What are the problems facing Japanese students / schools today?
101) What annoys you about the Japanese people?
102) What would you do if you saw a teacher hitting a student?
103) What will you do if you live in a town 3 hours away from the next English speaker?
104) What will you do if you have a stalker?
105) What will you do if your teacher ignores you?
106) What will you do if your students hate you?
107) What will you do if you get sick?
108) What will you do if you make no friends?
109) What will you do if you are homesick?
110) What travel experience do you have?
111) What teaching experience do you have?
112)Will you still accept the position if you get placed in Okinawa or Kagoshima etc? How would you feel living in a rural area?
113)How would you deal with a student who was (for example) putting makeup on in class time?
114)What can you bring to the JET program?
115)Can you tell us about a time you were in an alien situation and how you dealt with it?
116)What would you do if your JTE went to class and left you in the teacher's lounge by yourself?
117) What interests you about the Japanese culture?
118) Why did you choose the JET programme over other options?
119) What is the main purpose of the JET programme?
120) How would you react if a student refused to participate?
121) How would you deal with a co-worker who was rude or mean to you?
122) What would you do if you were asked to change your hair or manner of dress?
123) Why should we choose you over someone else with similar teaching experience?
124) What experience do you have with Japanese history/culture?
125) What are the highlights of your international experience?
126) What have you done or participated in that proves your flexibility?
127) Describe your teaching style.
128) What would you say are the problems affecting Japanese schools today?
129) What would you do if you were the only foreigner in your small town?
130) Can you tell us about a time you were in an alien situation and how you dealt with it?
131) Explain how to play American-style football.
132) What are some historical encounters between Japan and the West?
133) What are historical high points or famous people from America that you would emphasize?
134) What are the questions you would like to ask us?
135) What is a recent news story or scandal from Japan?
136) How do you plan to learn Japanese in Japan?
137) Why interrupt your current life plans to take a year or three in Japan?
138) How long do you plan to stay?
139) Why Japan and not another Asian or Eastern country?
140) How would you respond to someone making rude comments about your girlfriend/wife?
141) What is your current perception of Japan?
142) What if the males in the office gave you a hard time about making tea? (men) -OR- what if they expected you to do it? (women)
143) What will you teach students specifically about your state?
144) How do you expect education to be different from American education?
145) What American holiday is your favorite, and why?
146)Name some recent Japanese innovations.
147)How would you respond if you were asked to serve tea at the office?
148)Who are some famous Japanese people?
149)Give us an example of something representative of American culture. How would you teach it to your students?

And these ones come from the wonderful people here at ITIL:


1.(If you have been to Japan before) "What was the worst thing about Japan?"
2. What would you do if a member of staff invited to to go to an onsen with them?
3. Explain why your GPA is so low? (If it is low...)
4. Why do you want to be in the JET Program?
5. Why do you want to teach in Japan?
6. How do you see yourself being different from someone else applying for the JET Program?
7. How will you present America to the Japanese?
8. Name one challenge that you have overcome.
9. What are your future plans and how do you see JET contributing towards them?
10. How will you prepare for your time in the JET Program?
11. How often do you deal with children? / What experience have you had with children?
12. Can you tell us about a time you were in an alien situation and how you adapted well to it?
13. What do you want to get out of the JET Program?
14. What aspects of American culture would you like to share?
15. "If you were to teach a song to a bunch of middle schoolers, how would you go about doing so?"


Here's the questions database from the Yahoo group. (Thanks Dynamis)

BASICS

Why do you want to join the JET program?

If you have a specific region requested - why did you request it?

From Interview for 2004, London: What's in the Japanese news at the moment?

What do you know about Japan?

If you are reapplying to the JET program, why do you think you did not get accepted last time? What have you done to improve your chances this time?

Give the committee a 60 second (or more) introduction about yourself as you might use when presenting yourself to a class for the first time.

Are you familiar with the Japanese language? What do you know?

What was the last book you read?

Who is your favorite author? Why?

From London ALT interview: Name three influential Britons and explain how and why you think they are important.

If you specified a preference for assignment to a specific region, why?

From Edmonton: How long have you been interested in Japan? Why Japan and not Spain, Brazil, etc. ?

From Edmonton: If you don't have a teaching degree or background, why do you wish to pursue teaching for a career?

From Perth Interview WA 04: What do you think your role is as an ALT?

From Houston, TX: What volunteer activities are you involved in?

Have you ever travelled to or lived in Japan? If so, where? For how long?

CULTURE

If you are a vegetarian, how would you handle a situation where you are the guest of a government official or program representative who serves you a meal which consists mainly of meat dishes?

How would you respond if someone asked for your opinion on your country's leader?

Your supervisor/boss comments that you have rather large earrings; you notice that none of your coworkers are wearing earrings. What do you say? What do you do?

Describe an instance where you have helped someone learn something they were unfamiliar with.

From JET Program Guide: A local farmer confronts you and accuses you and your country with responsibility for the demise of his farm and his livelihood. What do you do?

Tell the committee something about your culture (tradition, holiday, etc.) What do you do? Who celebrates it? What is the history behind it?

From U.K. - 2004: Name a famous Japanese sports figure or celebrity.

From JET-L Mail List: Your boss invites you and your coworkers for a night out drinking after work, but you either do not drink or are not in the mood for going out. What do you say? What do you do?

From London: What do you think of the Japanes conduct in World War II?

What kind of experience do you have with living abroad?

From Edmonton: What is the Prime Minister's (of Japan) name?

From Edmonton: What is the population of Japan?

From Edmonton: How would you teach about native people and buffalo to Japanese schoolchildren?

From Edmonton: What would you do if you entered a road race and your were told that: (a) you couldn't participate because you are a woman -or- (b) you had to be at school on a Sunday and only given a day's notice.

From Edmonton : Can you sleep on a Japanese tatami?

From Edmonton: Can you use a Japanese toilet?

From Edmonton: Sing the Canadian (or your own nation's) antem right now in your chair!

From Edmonton: Who is the Emperor?

From Edmonton: What Japanese cultural activities do you want to do in Japan and why?

Describe a situation where dealing with a different culture made things awkward or uncomfortable. What did you do?

From Edmonton: What international experience/travelling do you have?

What Japanese news story are you currently following?

From London: If you could take 3 historical people from the U.K. to Japan to help teach the students, who would you take?

From London: If you were to explain to a Japanese person the difference between England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland?

From London: Where would you take a group of Japanese students if they have already been to London, Oxford and Stratford upon Avon?

From London: Who is a good ambassador for Britain today?

From Edinburgh: Where in Japan would you like to go on holiday?

From Perth Interview WA 04: What Australian Culture would you like to share with Japanese ppl?

From Perth Interview WA 04: What do you think is different about the Japanese culture apart from the language, that you might find difficult to adjust to?

From Houston, TX: Can you eat Japanese foods like sushi?

From Houston, TX: How will you try to break through the gaijin perception and become part of your community?

From Houston, TX: What aspect of Japanese culture would you find hardest to adapt to? What aspect would you find easiest?

From Edinburgh: Who is the leader of the conservative party?

From Edinburgh, 2004: What is the population of the UK?

MISC

What will you do if you are not accepted into the JET program this year?

There are many programs out there for teaching in Japan; why do you wish to pursue an assignment with JET?

From Houston, TX: What do you know about Japan's involvement in the Iraq situation?

From Houston, TX: If you had to choose one lesson from American history to teach a Japanese class, what would it be?

Brisbane CIR interview: Have you seen the movie "The Last Samurai"? Who is your favourite Japanese movie star????

TEACHING

From Interview for 2004, London: JTE hardly uses you at all, and you have some great ideas during the lesson, what do you do?

From Interview for 2004, London: What makes a lesson successful?

How do you distinguish and explain the use of "the" and "a/an" to a student?

What would you do if you were teaching in front of a class where most of the students appeared bored, was sleeping or doing something else like reading manga?

Situation: you already have plans for the upcoming weekend, but your boss tells you that the school needs you to be available for the weekend to support a school activity; what do you do?

Your teaching partner does not show up for class; what do you do?

Describe a situation where you had to play the role as a teacher. What did you do? What did you learn from the experience?

You catch a student cheating on homework or an exam. What do you do?

A student or group of students are clearly not paying attention and are disrupting the rest of the class during your lesson (talking loudly, not paying attention, etc.) What do you do?

Situation: You have a lot of great ideas for teaching class but the JTE only wants to use you as a tape recorder. What do you do?

From Edmonton: What experience do you have working with children?

Please demonstrate a mini-lesson on diversity in America; you have five minutes.

How would you explain about 9-11 to other students?

From London: What would you do with a class of 40 students to make them all talk in 30 minutes?

Perform for us a short lesson (impromptu) on a basic concept in English grammar.

From Perth Interview WA 04: You Have no teaching exp, how will you cope?

What kind of experience do you have with teaching?

From Houston, TX: What age groups do you have experience teaching to?

From Houston, TX: What would be your greatest strengths as a teacher? Your greatest weaknesses?

Your accompanying instructor contradicts you during class but is obviously incorrect - how do you handle this situation?

From Singapore, 2004: There are 4 Japanese teachers that you work with. All were doing well except for one with which you have problems. How would you attempt to remedy the situation?

V
November 24th, 2005, 16:45
1.(If you have been to Japan before :) "What was the worst thing about Japan?"
2. What would you do if a member of staff invited to to go to an onsen with them?

(p.s. it may well happen, i was taken by 2 of my supervisors on my first day in the prefecture so they could "check out the new girl")

Doomer
November 24th, 2005, 17:58
Yeah i was pretty stoked when i found it too!!! Made me feel a whole hell of alot better during my interview...i spent my days walking my beat while going through answers to these questions in my head (cause there was nothing else to do...shit never happens at a univeristy)...after reading it i felt that there wasnt much they could ask me that could blindside me...some of these questions were pretty damn good!!!

V did you get asked those questions? Or are those questions youd ask if you were interviewing?

dobharrison
November 25th, 2005, 22:53
I wonder how many Japanese people know those answers?

V
November 26th, 2005, 01:28
V did you get asked those questions? Or are those questions youd ask if you were interviewing?
i was asked Q1 but not Q2. however I had heard of other people being asked about the onsen and it did happen to me as soon as i arrived in my prefecture!!

Doomer
November 26th, 2005, 08:38
Cool, well theyve been added thanks for your input!! :-)

Alex_X
November 30th, 2005, 08:05
"Explain why your GPA is so low"

This was asked to a friend of mine whose GPA was 2.6.

Doomer
November 30th, 2005, 11:28
"Explain why your GPA is so low"

This was asked to a friend of mine whose GPA was 2.6.

Thats like a C+ isnt it?...the way my uni worked 2.8 or 2.9 was a borderline B- ...so a 2.6 would be somewhere around the average level...and the program looks towards hiring "above average" people...how successful they are is debatable...

What was your friends major? Some majors are harder than others...

Still...a good question none the less...Ill stick it up top!!

redadmiral
November 30th, 2005, 17:40
My interview opened with:

"If you were writing a quiz, and had to summarise the differences between British culture and Japanese culture in the form of a single question, what would that question be?"

10 months later, I still can't find a decent answer to that one.

redadmiral
November 30th, 2005, 18:20
Yes, that was more or less what I thought about it. Unfortunately, they kind of wanted a serious answer. I ended up mumbling some awful banality - I can' even remember what it was, it was so bad.

This was the same interview panel who's method of quizzing me about my placement choices was to ignore my first choice (Hokkaido) - except for mentioning that "It is very cold there" whilst the non-English speaking guy made shivering motions - and asking me numerous, detailed questions about my third choice, half of which I couldn't really answer.

...and remember, kiddies, I still got on the programme (even if it was via the alternate list), so no matter how crappy your interview is, there's still hope.

curstilace
November 30th, 2005, 20:08
right now my gpa is 3.23, and when i graduated from community college my gpa there was 3.4 and i got my associates cum laude. but - and this is a big but - my very first semester in college i kinda went a little crazy going to concerts/clubbing/partying/etc and i got 3 Fs and withdrew from 1 class. :smt030 my gpa that semester was 0.00!! since then i've done really well, getting mostly As and Bs. sooo...if i get to the interview stage do you think they'll ask me why i did so badly that one semester? or maybe they'll just ignore it and look at everything else i've done? :?:

Danimalcrackers
December 1st, 2005, 00:18
My gpa is good (3.2) but I'd withdraw from a course at least once per semester, which looks really bad when you think about it. My only answer is that I had a pretty tough life back then. Every week, I'd litterally have to make a choice between paying for school or paying my rent... or eating. My college years were the lowest years of my life, and that made it difficult to get through school.

Auburn
December 1st, 2005, 09:20
...if i get to the interview stage do you think they'll ask me why i did so badly that one semester? or maybe they'll just ignore it and look at everything else i've done? :?:

It really depends on how you spin it. If it was your first semester in a new place, you can say something like, the transition between the two systems was difficult, etc... But if go that route, be prepared to describe how you've overcome it, as they will likely point out that the transition to Japan will be difficult too!

My advice (to everyone), is that you should think about all the potentially negative things the interview panel could focus on, and devise a solid strategy for presenting them in a positive light. Even if 99% of the stuff never comes up, the fact that you are prepared for most things will give you an enormous boost to your confidence.

Dynamis
December 2nd, 2005, 00:41
Here's the questions database from the Yahoo group.

BASICS

Why do you want to join the JET program?

If you have a specific region requested - why did you request it?

From Interview for 2004, London: What's in the Japanese news at the moment?

What do you know about Japan?

If you are reapplying to the JET program, why do you think you did not get accepted last time? What have you done to improve your chances this time?

Give the committee a 60 second (or more) introduction about yourself as you might use when presenting yourself to a class for the first time.

Are you familiar with the Japanese language? What do you know?

What was the last book you read?

Who is your favorite author? Why?

From London ALT interview: Name three influential Britons and explain how and why you think they are important.

If you specified a preference for assignment to a specific region, why?

From Edmonton: How long have you been interested in Japan? Why Japan and not Spain, Brazil, etc. ?

From Edmonton: If you don't have a teaching degree or background, why do you wish to pursue teaching for a career?

From Perth Interview WA 04: What do you think your role is as an ALT?

From Houston, TX: What volunteer activities are you involved in?

Have you ever travelled to or lived in Japan? If so, where? For how long?

CULTURE

If you are a vegetarian, how would you handle a situation where you are the guest of a government official or program representative who serves you a meal which consists mainly of meat dishes?

How would you respond if someone asked for your opinion on your country's leader?

Your supervisor/boss comments that you have rather large earrings; you notice that none of your coworkers are wearing earrings. What do you say? What do you do?

Describe an instance where you have helped someone learn something they were unfamiliar with.

From JET Program Guide: A local farmer confronts you and accuses you and your country with responsibility for the demise of his farm and his livelihood. What do you do?

Tell the committee something about your culture (tradition, holiday, etc.) What do you do? Who celebrates it? What is the history behind it?

From U.K. - 2004: Name a famous Japanese sports figure or celebrity.

From JET-L Mail List: Your boss invites you and your coworkers for a night out drinking after work, but you either do not drink or are not in the mood for going out. What do you say? What do you do?

From London: What do you think of the Japanes conduct in World War II?

What kind of experience do you have with living abroad?

From Edmonton: What is the Prime Minister's (of Japan) name?

From Edmonton: What is the population of Japan?

From Edmonton: How would you teach about native people and buffalo to Japanese schoolchildren?

From Edmonton: What would you do if you entered a road race and your were told that: (a) you couldn't participate because you are a woman -or- (b) you had to be at school on a Sunday and only given a day's notice.

From Edmonton : Can you sleep on a Japanese tatami?

From Edmonton: Can you use a Japanese toilet?

From Edmonton: Sing the Canadian (or your own nation's) antem right now in your chair!

From Edmonton: Who is the Emperor?

From Edmonton: What Japanese cultural activities do you want to do in Japan and why?

Describe a situation where dealing with a different culture made things awkward or uncomfortable. What did you do?

From Edmonton: What international experience/travelling do you have?

What Japanese news story are you currently following?

From London: If you could take 3 historical people from the U.K. to Japan to help teach the students, who would you take?

From London: If you were to explain to a Japanese person the difference between England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland?

From London: Where would you take a group of Japanese students if they have already been to London, Oxford and Stratford upon Avon?

From London: Who is a good ambassador for Britain today?

From Edinburgh: Where in Japan would you like to go on holiday?

From Perth Interview WA 04: What Australian Culture would you like to share with Japanese ppl?

From Perth Interview WA 04: What do you think is different about the Japanese culture apart from the language, that you might find difficult to adjust to?

From Houston, TX: Can you eat Japanese foods like sushi?

From Houston, TX: How will you try to break through the gaijin perception and become part of your community?

From Houston, TX: What aspect of Japanese culture would you find hardest to adapt to? What aspect would you find easiest?

From Edinburgh: Who is the leader of the conservative party?

From Edinburgh, 2004: What is the population of the UK?

MISC

What will you do if you are not accepted into the JET program this year?

There are many programs out there for teaching in Japan; why do you wish to pursue an assignment with JET?

From Houston, TX: What do you know about Japan's involvement in the Iraq situation?

From Houston, TX: If you had to choose one lesson from American history to teach a Japanese class, what would it be?

Brisbane CIR interview: Have you seen the movie "The Last Samurai"? Who is your favourite Japanese movie star????

TEACHING

From Interview for 2004, London: JTE hardly uses you at all, and you have some great ideas during the lesson, what do you do?

From Interview for 2004, London: What makes a lesson successful?

How do you distinguish and explain the use of "the" and "a/an" to a student?

What would you do if you were teaching in front of a class where most of the students appeared bored, was sleeping or doing something else like reading manga?

Situation: you already have plans for the upcoming weekend, but your boss tells you that the school needs you to be available for the weekend to support a school activity; what do you do?

Your teaching partner does not show up for class; what do you do?

Describe a situation where you had to play the role as a teacher. What did you do? What did you learn from the experience?

You catch a student cheating on homework or an exam. What do you do?

A student or group of students are clearly not paying attention and are disrupting the rest of the class during your lesson (talking loudly, not paying attention, etc.) What do you do?

Situation: You have a lot of great ideas for teaching class but the JTE only wants to use you as a tape recorder. What do you do?

From Edmonton: What experience do you have working with children?

Please demonstrate a mini-lesson on diversity in America; you have five minutes.

How would you explain about 9-11 to other students?

From London: What would you do with a class of 40 students to make them all talk in 30 minutes?

Perform for us a short lesson (impromptu) on a basic concept in English grammar.

From Perth Interview WA 04: You Have no teaching exp, how will you cope?

What kind of experience do you have with teaching?

From Houston, TX: What age groups do you have experience teaching to?

From Houston, TX: What would be your greatest strengths as a teacher? Your greatest weaknesses?

Your accompanying instructor contradicts you during class but is obviously incorrect - how do you handle this situation?

From Singapore, 2004: There are 4 Japanese teachers that you work with. All were doing well except for one with which you have problems. How would you attempt to remedy the situation?


The above questions are in the Application / Interview sticky, which has now been moved to the correct forum.

Dynamis
December 4th, 2005, 18:48
Your supervisor/boss comments that you have rather large earrings; you notice that none of your coworkers are wearing earrings. What do you say? What do you do?

hah. how do i answer this question when i'm wearing 1 inch plugs? do i mention buddha's lobes, or how lobe stretching was an ancient japanese practice?

The discussion on the above question has been split to its own topic: http://www.ithinkimlost.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=3060 Please reply there.

amagaeru
December 4th, 2005, 19:02
when I was preparing for my interview, in addition to studying the longer question lists like those posted above, I compiled this shorter list of 'the biggies'- the common sort of interview questions I was sure I'd be asked, in one form or another. in my interview I was asked questions 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9.

----------------------------------------------------

1. Why do you want to be in the JET Program?

2. Why do you want to teach in Japan?

3. How do you see yourself being different from someone else applying for the JET Program?

4. How will you present America to the Japanese?

5. Name one challenge that you have overcome.

6. What are your future plans and how do you see JET contributing towards them?

7. How will you prepare for your time in the JET Program?

8. How often do you deal with children? / What experience have you had with children?

9. Can you tell us about a time you were in an alien situation and how you adapted well to it?

10. What do you want to get out of the JET Program?

11. What aspects of American culture would you like to share?

CharlieBrown
January 20th, 2006, 15:40
I'm a qualified primary school teacher, so I was asked a lot about whether I was willing to be an assistant and not be in charge, how I would feel about this, and how I would deal with a Japanese team teacher whose teaching style is very different from mine.

Last year I was told before the interview they are often reluctant to hire qualified teachers because they are worried how they will cope/act. So, I emphasised that while I thought being a teacher meant I had a lot of ideas I would love to share, I thought the role of assistant was the best role for me because I don't have the knowledge of Japan education and the students like the JTE. They seemed to like that.

Also, in addition to what questions you'll be asked by them, think about a good question to ask the interviewers.

Are there any qualified teachers out there applying? Good luck to you!

dobharrison
January 20th, 2006, 17:28
I got the same question due to my EFL experience. I told them it would be nice to have less responsibility for a change!

How the hell did I get this job? :?:

Hannah
January 20th, 2006, 21:03
As a qualified/experienced teacher it is a shock to the system to see how poor teaching/classroom management is here... (in my situation anyway). Just about every part of school life is shocking to me... actually, I think my schools would be shocking to anyone, let alone a real teacher ALT!

Charlie B - I'm interested in your perspective having taught before.
Where did you teach before? How do you find your teachers? Do they respect the fact you are a teacher?

I have respect from one or two teachers but a few are threatened by this I think. Pervy (stares at me all day) woman is the only teacher who calls me Hannah san rather than Hannah "sensei" Maybe I am paranoid, but I think she does it on purpose.

I would be quite happy being assistant if I didn't think I could do a better job than the teachers here... God, maybe I have got too big for my boots (which would explain why my indoor boots are coming apart at the seems!)

Marsha
January 21st, 2006, 11:40
I am 27, but just now finishing my degree in elementary education (student teaching in 2nd grade). I have applied for the 2006 JET program. After reading that last post, I'm kind of scared now. Have other ALT's had similar experiences? Are there any certified teacher ALT's who haven't had such bad experiences? I would hate to get over there and be miserable!!

dobharrison
January 21st, 2006, 11:52
My colleague is a certified teacher in Canada and she seems to be having a good time! She has quite a bit of responsibility at our school as it's a good school with an international course, so you never know!

Hannah
January 22nd, 2006, 15:48
I am 27, but just now finishing my degree in elementary education (student teaching in 2nd grade). I have applied for the 2006 JET program. After reading that last post, I'm kind of scared now. Have other ALT's had similar experiences? Are there any certified teacher ALT's who haven't had such bad experiences? I would hate to get over there and be miserable!!
Oh, I'm sorry Marsha, please don't let my post put you off. I don't regret coming on the JET program at all. I am in my 2nd year - kinda considering a third so it's not all bad!

I do have a pretty crappy situation, and what annoys me most is that they are wasting me... I can/want to do so much more. Not everyone's situation is like this, as Dob says, but there are a lot of placements like that, so you have to be prepared. Some people coming over here like having not much to do at school cos it gives them the chance to do other things. If you don't care so much about teaching then it's fine.

On the other hand I know people who are not qualified teachers (straight out of uni) to be throw totally in at the deep end, given huge amounts of responsibility (solo class teaching, total control of the curriculum etc) when they have no training or prior experience! It's really hit and miss.

Be aware of these things but don't let it put you off aplying. I hate to say it but ESID....

Marsha
January 22nd, 2006, 16:10
Thank you so much. I do feel a little bit better. I hope I get placed somehwere that I can be really involved...I love teaching. I guess I should just concentrate on getting accepted now! Again, thanks so much.

Cynthia
January 22nd, 2006, 19:48
I just remembered a question to add to the list, although it's kind of silly (I think).

"Even now in Japan, women are expected to serve tea to male staff members in particular. How would you feel if one of your male co-workers expected you to serve him tea?"

I just kind of laughed it off, and said it was no different than my then-fiancee calling to me from the computer room: "Baby, could you bring me a glass of juice, please!" They chuckled, and moved on. Would anybody really be offended by that? Has anyone been asked to serve tea.



PS: Sorry if this straddles the line between applying to JET/living in Japan! Wasn't wuite sure where to put it.

Hannah
January 22nd, 2006, 22:24
I've had tea made for me by men before!! whoopy do!

As a gaijin woman, you have your own status seperate from Japanese women.

I've never been expected to make and serve tea to anyone. If I was asked to, to help out of course I'd be happy to. It probably wouldn't even occur to me that I was being asked just cos I was a woman!!

solacegirl
January 26th, 2006, 09:06
Yeah and how they say it too:-
Excuse me for me rudeness, excuse me
Please is it ok to bring forth a cup of hot green Japanese tea
Please excuse me
I'm sorry

or

Bitch put your knickers on and make me a cup of tea.

The man from Del Monte (fuckin' ell why does it have to be a man, can't it be a woman...even better, a woman burning her bra) says....

montericoverde
January 28th, 2006, 12:33
My first post. WooT!!!

I hope my experiences can help.

Here is the list of quesitons I was asked:

http://jetapplicant.blogspot.com/2005/02/my-interview-questions.html

This is how my interview went:

http://jetapplicant.blogspot.com/2005/02/interview.html

These are the experiences of a JET interviewer:

http://jetapplicant.blogspot.com/2005/02/advice-from-jet-interviewer.html

I hope it helps. Good luck to all of you!

Suk
February 16th, 2006, 00:46
This question for ethnics, I was asked, as im a british asian, "The stereotypical English man is white, with brown eyes and brown hair etc, how would you explain yourself as British?"

Kowareru
January 22nd, 2007, 00:06
My first post. WooT!!!

I hope my experiences can help.

Here is the list of quesitons I was asked:

http://jetapplicant.blogspot.com/2005/02/my-interview-questions.html

This is how my interview went:

http://jetapplicant.blogspot.com/2005/02/interview.html

These are the experiences of a JET interviewer:

http://jetapplicant.blogspot.com/2005/02/advice-from-jet-interviewer.html

I hope it helps. Good luck to all of you!

After reading all of this, I'm feeling much more at ease. I can answer all of those. Probably. If I don't puke from nervousness.

Tealeaf
January 29th, 2007, 17:47
Thanks to everyone for the interview questions...they are really helpful!

fragglerocker
February 7th, 2007, 21:29
Thanks for all the info people - very useful! My interview's on Friday so I'm gonna do some 'practice interviews' with my family today and tomorrow.. Fingers crossed 8)

eliciel
February 17th, 2007, 07:50
(context: I'm an American woman from Portland, OR in the Pacific Northwest.)

Why did you choose to apply to JET: both, why do you want to teach English abroad and why did you choose JET as the institution you would apply to?

Will anyone be accompanying you? (I wrote on the application that I am married and that my husband is also applying to JET.)
==> What would you do if one of you isn't accepted?
==> What would you do if you were both accepted and stationed across the country from each other?

Along with teaching, as a JET you will be representing your country to others in your community. How will you describe America?
==> You have mentioned some complex concepts. How will you describe America to people who can't speak English well?

What will you do if the people at your school ask you to make tea all the time?

Do you have any hobbies that you would form an afterschool club around? (I taught Middle Eastern dance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belly_dance) in college and various other places.)
==> Show us one quick lesson!
==> The costumes of that dance are somewhat revealing. What would you do in a conservative community?

Do you enjoy Karaoke?

You said you wanted to be stationed in Kyoto or Sapporo. What was your reason behind those choices?
(Sapporo is Portland, Oregon's sister city.)

You said you want to be a physician. Do you think going to Japan will delay your career?
(In answering, I reveal that I'm interested in Alternative medicine as a specialty.)
==> How will you react if alternative medicine is met with suspicion or disdain in countries you visit?[/i][/url]

You said you had friends who have taught abroad before. What would you say was their hardest moment?
(From answering "why JET?" I had given examples of people being hired to teach English in a foreign country and arriving to find the situation is a total mess; here I added a situation a friend stationed in Sakai had where a carefully crafted lesson plan was casually dismissed as "too hard" so her effort and creativity went to waste, and she didn't know what was actually wrong with the lesson.)

-----

I'm kind of sad they didn't ask for a sample grammar lesson. I had a lesson about definite and indefinite articles all ready to go. I was also not asked any trivia about Japan, nor did they ask me anything about my proficiency at Japanese (though I have taken 5 semesters of it at a college level).

monogatari
February 17th, 2007, 08:19
Did you interview in Portland today too, eliciel? If it was this morning, maybe I saw you lol.

I got asked the question of whether someone will be accompanying me even though I had put 'no' on my application as they wanted to confirm somethings on my application, but I didn't get asked any of those other questions.

I swear I got off lucky with my interview...

eliciel
February 17th, 2007, 08:31
Did you interview in Portland today too, eliciel? If it was this morning, maybe I saw you lol. I interviewed in Portland yesterday at 1:30. My husband interviewed this afternoon at around 1, though!


I swear I got off lucky with my interview... I feel the same way! While I'd like to believe that they like me and responded positively, I am worried that they were just exceedingly nice and personable with all the applicants. I talked to another friend (I don't know if she has a username here) about her interview which was about an hour after mine, and she had similarly easy questions. Not about an S.O. though.
My husband had another easy interview. It only took 15 minutes! (Mine took about 20.) Along with questions like off the list like, "You will be asked to go to the bar after work to drink with coworkers. Your wife (who speaks Japanese) won't be invited, so you will be there alone in a Japanese-speaking place. What will you do?" he was also asked, "We are going to pretend to be 2nd grade kids. Please teach us the vocabulary for Head, Shoulders, Knees, Toes." (And then he forgot the kids song by the same name and instead just taught the concepts. Apparently he did well, though.)

monogatari
February 17th, 2007, 09:07
Wow.... thank god I didn't get asked to pretend adults were 2nd grades and sing "heads, shoulders, knees and toes"... I would have been so caught off guard that I would probably have screwed that up lol. My interview was at 10:20, though, and I had panel #2.

It seems that couples tend to get a whole nother set of questions thrown at them, though.

Hyakuman
May 22nd, 2007, 04:54
I had an interesting question in my interview that I don't think was on the list:

"If you were to teach a song to a bunch of middle schoolers, how would you go about doing so?"

Thank god I watched the episode of Kelly Osbourne Turning Japanese a few days before that had her doing that exact situation! I told the interviewers:

"Um, I would write up the lyrics with blanks in them for a classic kids song and then sing it to them while they filled in the blanks."

Hehe, and then they retorted by asking me which song I'd sing to them. I paused for so long that I thought I blew the interview right there, but in the end I just said "Mary had a little lamb!"

keepmeasecret
May 24th, 2007, 04:04
Here are the questions I was asked in London, other than the obvious starters of 'Why Japan/JET?' and ones already mentioned like 'Who's the Prime Minister of Japan?', and a few my friend got asked. Some are very specific to me - they picked up that I'd done a lot through my church (ending about 3 years ago) and seemed to focus on that. I also had to declare 'Mild anxiety' from 3 years ago on my form, and I'd applied with my then-boyfriend but listed him as a close friend.

1 ) So, you're a Christian... How do you think your faith with cope in Japan? I mean, you're very unlikely to find another Christian person, let alone a church...
2 ) So, this anxiety, this *depression* (it's on my medical records as a 2 week period of 'mild anxiety' 3 years ago), I mean, we can't send you off to Japan and have you.. breaking down on us... How much of a problem is it going to be??
3 ) So your relationship with xxx (guy I'd asked to be placed with), is it romantic?
4 ) How would it affect your participation in the JET programme if one of you didn't get it? Would you drop out?
5 ) What is the population of Japan?
6 ) What is the population of the UK?
7 ) Which is bigger: Great Britain or the UK?
8 ) Would you be willing to get involved in the wider community?
9 ) If your school principle commented that your earrings were large, what would you do?
10 ) Stand in the far corner of the room, introduce yourself to us as if you were doing a self introduction to a class of 40 students.
11 ) Set phrase on the board: "I .... to go to ....." with the options hope/like/need and hell/the toilet/Big Ben - how would you turn this into a game? (The guy was dissatisfied with my answer and suggested using dice to mix and match answers - I felt it was inappropriate as you wouldn't say 'I like/hope to go to hell/the toilet really... but didn't answer him back!)
12 ) What is the one question or area we haven't asked you about that you were really hoping would come up? (Careful here, they won't like it if you look like you already know the potential questions)
13 ) If you could teach Japanese children about any two British historical figures, who would you choose? (My friend picked Queen Victoria and David Beckham - I would have gone for King Arthur and Robin Hood or Guy Fawkes or something)
14 ) What are relations between Japan and China like?

JohnHerman254
August 2nd, 2007, 12:29
How did everyone (that has been to the interviews) answer the questions above, how many questions, on average, do they ask at an interview?

plasticsoul
August 2nd, 2007, 12:58
How did everyone (that has been to the interviews) answer the questions above, how many questions, on average, do they ask at an interview?

I'm sorry, but I think you ask way too many questions. I doubt anyone's going to go through the entire list of interview questions just to tell you their answers. The list is here to give you an idea of common questions so that you can prepare for your interview by looking up things and planning your own answers.

I think I was asked 15-20 questions. Basically it'll depend on your consulate. You're from TX, right? I interviewed in Houston. It tends to be one of the easier consulates, so I hear. My interview wasn't hard at all. But then again I got placed on the alternate list.

JohnHerman254
August 2nd, 2007, 13:02
Lol, yea good point, that would have been alot of questions. Wow 15-20 isn't too bad but of course, ESID! Thanks for the help!

thestoryofjune
August 2nd, 2007, 13:24
How did everyone (that has been to the interviews) answer the questions above, how many questions, on average, do they ask at an interview?

Again, coming from another alternate, I wasn't personally asked any of the questions on the main page. They took things directly from my application and statement of purpose, and just kinda riffed on them. I ended up talking about Japanese lit, comparing and contrasting Japanese and American families, and defining 'American cuisine' by the time my interview was over. But, like I said, I am an alternate who still hasn't been upgraded, so take what I say with a grain of 'I don't believe you'.

FSEffect
January 30th, 2008, 02:10
Having just done the interview I got asked which 3 influential people I would pick, and I said Churchill (I bet everyone has said Churchill) Alexander Flemming, and Alan Turing.

One of first questions was, what do I feel apprehensive about going to Japan, and I said racism because I'm BBC.

wicket
January 30th, 2008, 12:38
YOU'RE bringbackchef?
:D

FSEffect
January 31st, 2008, 01:16
YOU'RE bringbackchef?
:D

:?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:

It means British Born Chinese (in case you really didn't know)

Zephy
January 31st, 2008, 01:40
One of first questions was, what do I feel apprehensive about going to Japan, and I said racism because I'm BBC.

I was kinda confused X_X I kept thinking to myself "Why the heck would he be referring to himself as a British television channel?!"

Elfen
January 31st, 2008, 01:42
I was kinda confused X_X I kept thinking to myself "Why the heck would he be referring to himself as a British television channel?!"

*snerk!* Ditto.

WesleyCrusher
January 31st, 2008, 02:11
YOU'RE bringbackchef?
:D

:?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:

It means British Born Chinese (in case you really didn't know)

Aw, like ABC.

FSEffect
January 31st, 2008, 02:17
YOU'RE bringbackchef?
:D

:?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:

It means British Born Chinese (in case you really didn't know)

Aw, like ABC.

Yea well apperently we're all associated with broadcasting stations for some reason :lol:

enrique_suave
January 31st, 2008, 03:50
I was going with Blond-haired Blue-eyed Caucasian in my mind. Couldn't have missed by more, I guess.

Elfen
February 1st, 2008, 07:06
I'm studying for my interview, and I'm looking at historical encounters between Japan and the West. I was wondering if there is anything that, for cultural reasons, shouldn't be mentioned in the interview? (i.e. the Japanese interviewer might not appreciate mention of Pearl Harbor, etc...)


And yes, yes, I do realize that I put too much thought into things.

WesleyCrusher
February 2nd, 2008, 00:26
I'm studying for my interview, and I'm looking at historical encounters between Japan and the West. I was wondering if there is anything that, for cultural reasons, shouldn't be mentioned in the interview? (i.e. the Japanese interviewer might not appreciate mention of Pearl Harbor, etc...)


And yes, yes, I do realize that I put too much thought into things.

Better to be overprepared than grossly underprepared. The only thing I would worry about besides obvious US-JP conflicts and disagreements like PH and the Yasukuni Shrine blah blah blah is making general statements and assumptions about cultural differences.

Elfen
February 2nd, 2008, 03:12
Better to be overprepared than grossly underprepared. The only thing I would worry about besides obvious US-JP conflicts and disagreements like PH and the Yasukuni Shrine blah blah blah is making general statements and assumptions about cultural differences.

I talked to one of my coworkers who used to teach in Japan and has been married to a Japanese gentlemen for some 10+ years (man, I wish I'd known her when I was getting Letters of Recommendation!).

Her advice was that while you shouldn't just omit mention of such events as though they didn't happen, you should also acknowledge that there are two sides to every story and that the Japanese side is not often taught to American students, and vice versa. For example, a lot of Americans are taught that the attack on Pearl Harbor was unprovoked, which ignores the fact that America and Europe had been seeking to enforce unfair political double standards on Japan, such as allowing Europe to colonize large parts of Asia but refusing to allow Japan to attempt the same.

patjs
February 2nd, 2008, 03:23
Better to be overprepared than grossly underprepared. The only thing I would worry about besides obvious US-JP conflicts and disagreements like PH and the Yasukuni Shrine blah blah blah is making general statements and assumptions about cultural differences.

I talked to one of my coworkers who used to teach in Japan and has been married to a Japanese gentlemen for some 10+ years (man, I wish I'd known her when I was getting Letters of Recommendation!).

Her advice was that while you shouldn't just omit mention of such events as though they didn't happen, you should also acknowledge that there are two sides to every story and that the Japanese side is not often taught to American students, and vice versa. For example, a lot of Americans are taught that the attack on Pearl Harbor was unprovoked, which ignores the fact that America and Europe had been seeking to enforce unfair political double standards on Japan, such as allowing Europe to colonize large parts of Asia but refusing to allow Japan to attempt the same.

I agree, there is no harm in discussing Pearl Harbor or Yasukuni. The Yasukuni issue is discussed and probably isn't going to offend anyone unless you're a jerk about it. Just be diplomatic. I've had discussions about the war with Japanese people, and never had an issue with people getting offended by the topic alone.

Like Elfen said, the key is to be aware of the other side of each issue.

Ini
February 2nd, 2008, 03:24
Why would you mention pearl harbour in an interview for a job with the Japanese government?

In fact why would you mention anything remotely political? You are going to be teaching "what do you like sports?" to a bunch of inbred hicks. Stick a big shit eating grin on your face, act like Barney the dinosaur on crack and despite your natural instincts as an American try not to get into a debate on any war that has occurred in the last 100 years, religion or George Bush.

Elfen
February 2nd, 2008, 03:27
Why would you mention pearl harbour in an interview for a job with the Japanese government?

In fact why would you mention anything remotely political? You are going to be teaching "what do you like sports?" to a bunch of inbred hicks. Stick a big shit eating grin on your face, act like Barney the dinosaur on crack and despite your natural instincts as an American try not to get into a debate on any war that has occurred in the last 100 years, religion or George Bush.

Well, according to this thread, one of the potential interview questions is "What are some historic encounters between Japan and the West?" By and large, most of those encounters have involved warfare, so it's kind of unavoidable if you're asked about them.

I'm certainly not going to bring it up on my own. I just want to be prepared in case I'm asked.

Ini
February 2nd, 2008, 03:36
just mention arakawa spanking the yanks in the figure skating, that'll appeal to their cold yellow hearts

MostHolyPorcine
February 3rd, 2008, 15:20
In my interview, in talking about my thesis, said that I believe the Japanese government consciously uses propaganda in the school system to create a generation sympathetic to right wing politics, nationalism, and eventual remilitarization. I don't think it hurt me at all, and I wouldn't be surprised if showing an interest and knowledge of Japanese history and politics actually helped me to get accepted. The people doing the interviews actually do care about internationalization, and having differing opinions is part of that. Just be diplomatic about it, and you can surely show that you have differences with Japanese politics and culture.

wicket
February 3rd, 2008, 15:51
Bit late, but I actually DIDN'T know that BBC means British born Chinese. I don't really like the term - puts the emphasis on the Chinese part and makes the person sound excluded from being "truly" British.
In Australia we say "Chinese-Australian", with the emphasis on the person being an Australian citizen of Chinese heritage, which works better for me for people who've never even been to the countries their parents are from.
Would be interested in others' views, though, since I'm Irish-Australian, which is hardly the same thing.

Timoshi
February 3rd, 2008, 15:59
We have ABC's in Australia too

Chinese-Australians tend to use it themselves to differentiate themselves from overseas students or migrants or vice-versa.

katiebee
February 3rd, 2008, 16:05
Bit late, but I actually DIDN'T know that BBC means British born Chinese. I don't really like the term - puts the emphasis on the Chinese part and makes the person sound excluded from being "truly" British.
In Australia we say "Chinese-Australian", with the emphasis on the person being an Australian citizen of Chinese heritage, which works better for me for people who've never even been to the countries their parents are from.
Would be interested in others' views, though, since I'm Irish-Australian, which is hardly the same thing.

I totally didn't pick up on the meaning either. People not living in Britain are exempt from not knowing the short form I think, despite FSEffect's shock :^_^: In Canada it's Chinese-Canadian, similar to Australia, though in Canada it feels like most people are never just "Canadian", we're either a hyphenated variety, or a strange mix of too many different backgrounds to trace (like myself, a regular ol' Canadian mutt)

FSEffect
February 3rd, 2008, 21:24
I totally didn't pick up on the meaning either. People not living in Britain are exempt from not knowing the short form I think, despite FSEffect's shock :^_^: In Canada it's Chinese-Canadian, similar to Australia, though in Canada it feels like most people are never just "Canadian", we're either a hyphenated variety, or a strange mix of too many different backgrounds to trace (like myself, a regular ol' Canadian mutt)

Oh I'm not shocked. Just confused as to what bringbackchef was.
:?:
As to the usage of BBC, I don't really care on what it emphasizes on- I am a human being first. A rather short human being, with poor eyesight, and rather geeky, but a human being non-the-less.
:^_^:

wicket
February 3rd, 2008, 22:00
bringbackchef was a sad little overconfident poster who was going to come and get us all once he got onto JET. sadly, he wasn't accepted and then just faded away into obscurity.

Blank
February 4th, 2008, 02:06
I'm British, and I didn't know what BBC meant either.

Doomer
February 5th, 2008, 03:13
Lets keep this thread on topic people...

wicket
February 5th, 2008, 21:46
Lets keep this thread on topic people...
Settle down. You're not a cop yet. :D
Ooops, I mean "Sorry occifer"

patjs
February 5th, 2008, 23:50
In my interview, in talking about my thesis, said that I believe the Japanese government consciously uses propaganda in the school system to create a generation sympathetic to right wing politics, nationalism, and eventual remilitarization. I don't think it hurt me at all, and I wouldn't be surprised if showing an interest and knowledge of Japanese history and politics actually helped me to get accepted. The people doing the interviews actually do care about internationalization, and having differing opinions is part of that. Just be diplomatic about it, and you can surely show that you have differences with Japanese politics and culture.

Suggesting the government actively uses propaganda to a Japanese diplomat seems like a dangerous road to tread... that's just my opinion though..

Elfen
February 6th, 2008, 00:07
In my interview, in talking about my thesis, said that I believe the Japanese government consciously uses propaganda in the school system to create a generation sympathetic to right wing politics, nationalism, and eventual remilitarization. I don't think it hurt me at all, and I wouldn't be surprised if showing an interest and knowledge of Japanese history and politics actually helped me to get accepted. The people doing the interviews actually do care about internationalization, and having differing opinions is part of that. Just be diplomatic about it, and you can surely show that you have differences with Japanese politics and culture.

Suggesting the government actively uses propaganda to a Japanese diplomat seems like a dangerous road to tread... that's just my opinion though..

I agree, but I think it could depend on the way in which you phrase it. It also couldn't hurt to mention in the same breath that America is also guilty of omitting its less-than-glowing decisions from history books. In my experience, most Americans aren't aware of the fact that we had concentration camps here during WWII. I learned about it by sheer accident rather than hearing about it in school.

Also, this one could be heavily ESID. After all, they probably knew at least something about MHP's thesis from his application, I'm guessing, so it would have been strange for him not to mention it when talk of politics came up.

Tegan
February 6th, 2008, 04:54
You must have had a pretty bad primary education to not learn about how we treated our own Citizens during WWII...at least I hope its just your neck of the woods. :smt009
My schools always made sure we knew enough of the bad things the US has done to make us feel just the right amount of shame. :oops:

Most American's might not know what happened during WWII NOT because they weren't taught about it...but simply b/c most are stupid and seem to forget any bit of our past that doesn't make the US sound perfect...that we always are "fighting for freedom"

I hope the people applying for JET are a bit more intelligent than the average American...they should all have a college education at least. Sadly on about 27% of Americans seem to have a college education. :?

Elfen
February 6th, 2008, 04:58
You must have had a pretty bad primary education to not learn about how we treated our own Citizens during WWII...at least I hope its just your neck of the woods. :smt009
My schools always made sure we knew enough of the bad things the US has done to make us feel just the right amount of shame. :oops:

Out of curiosity, where are you from? I was talking to a friend from Cali about this last week, and she said the same thing, and guessed the reason behind it was because of the cultural difference between Cali and Texas. As she put it, "You're all a bunch of proud bastards in Texas. In California, all the hippies want to make sure you feel good and guilty."

Zephy
February 6th, 2008, 05:11
Yeah, we didn't learn about it here in a lower-middle class public school PA either. I managed to pick it up from somewhere outside of school during my High School years / Freshman year of college. A friend who grew up in California was shocked to hear that I hadn't realized it until that late. Perhaps our state / BoE didn't think telling us of Japanese internment camps in California was at all pertinent to what we HAD to know, being 3000 miles away and all.

Tegan
February 6th, 2008, 05:23
I'm actually from North Carolina. I am in the heart of Bible belt county, though thankfully we also have at least one hippie pocket...yay Asheville!!
I am sure people think in the southern states we are taught about the "war of northern aggression" as opposed the the Civil War and all that junk, but that is simply not true. Oh, and I don't know a single person who has ever gone "cow tipping"

:P

Trenody
February 6th, 2008, 05:59
Out of curiosity, where are you from? I was talking to a friend from Cali about this last week, and she said the same thing, and guessed the reason behind it was because of the cultural difference between Cali and Texas. As she put it, "You're all a bunch of proud bastards in Texas. In California, all the hippies want to make sure you feel good and guilty."

I'm from California, and we definitely learned about such things in school...which is ironic, considering that we statistically have one of the worst educational systems in the country. :?

patjs
February 6th, 2008, 11:03
In my interview, in talking about my thesis, said that I believe the Japanese government consciously uses propaganda in the school system to create a generation sympathetic to right wing politics, nationalism, and eventual remilitarization. I don't think it hurt me at all, and I wouldn't be surprised if showing an interest and knowledge of Japanese history and politics actually helped me to get accepted. The people doing the interviews actually do care about internationalization, and having differing opinions is part of that. Just be diplomatic about it, and you can surely show that you have differences with Japanese politics and culture.

Suggesting the government actively uses propaganda to a Japanese diplomat seems like a dangerous road to tread... that's just my opinion though..

I agree, but I think it could depend on the way in which you phrase it. It also couldn't hurt to mention in the same breath that America is also guilty of omitting its less-than-glowing decisions from history books. In my experience, most Americans aren't aware of the fact that we had concentration camps here during WWII. I learned about it by sheer accident rather than hearing about it in school.

Also, this one could be heavily ESID. After all, they probably knew at least something about MHP's thesis from his application, I'm guessing, so it would have been strange for him not to mention it when talk of politics came up.

I think the basic idea for the interviews is to clearly state that there are two sides to any of these potential sensitive issues. I'm sure they just want to make sure people don't have extreme views that are going to cause a bunch of problems.

Kuukai
February 15th, 2008, 01:00
One question that I was completely unprepared for:

"It's been generally noticed that females in schools tend to be more open to studying English, while males don't show as much interest in the language. With this in mind, what would you do to try and make your English classes accessible to both genders?"

Complete curveball there.

patjs
February 15th, 2008, 02:44
One question that I was completely unprepared for:

"It's been generally noticed that females in schools tend to be more open to studying English, while males don't show as much interest in the language. With this in mind, what would you do to try and make your English classes accessible to both genders?"

Complete curveball there.

That's interesting, because it's definitely true. The university I studied at there was literally close to 3/4 female :D

basilbelly
February 16th, 2008, 15:51
in case this helps anyone!

We’ve all read your statement, seen your transcripts and considered your entire application. Tell us something about you that isn’t reflected in your application.

What makes a good teacher?

What was it like to work with Person Who Wrote Your Recommendation?

You mentioned that a good teacher is approachable. How are you going to lead shy students to approach you? What if they are terrified?

It sounds like you really want to be creative in your teaching. How will you feel if your JTE doesn’t want you to be creative and instead just expects you to be a human tape recorder?

Why not Korea, Thailand or China? Why Japan?

How long have you lived in New York? Why?

The Japanese government spends millions of dollars to fund the JET program. Why do you think this is?

You’re studying Japanese. How is that going?

Where do you see yourself in five years?

You are going to be a minority. How is this going to be?

Japanese people will ask you a lot of questions that Americans would never ask. Let’s do a roleplay, let us know how you would respond to the following questions:

• Do you like Japanese men?
• Do you want a Japanese boyfriend?
• Why not?
• Which do you prefer? Chinese food or Japanese food?
• Why did the US invade Iraq?
• Do you think this was a good thing?
• Why did the US bomb Hiroshima?
• Do you think this was a good thing?

Do you have any questions for us?

EisforElissa
February 21st, 2008, 10:13
I hear different things from day to day...but in general, during the role play scenarios...do you explain your topic in English or fumble around in Japanese? :wink:

patjs
February 21st, 2008, 11:54
I hear different things from day to day...but in general, during the role play scenarios...do you explain your topic in English or fumble around in Japanese? :wink:

English.

HeartNana
February 22nd, 2008, 16:26
I hear different things from day to day...but in general, during the role play scenarios...do you explain your topic in English or fumble around in Japanese? :wink: I would stick to English unless you're asked to speak otherwise. And that goes for the whole interview.

blind
February 23rd, 2008, 02:46
I got mostly softballs ("How does JET fit into your future plans?" "Could you live in a remote location?" "What are some of your weaknesses?") and no questions about my Japanese proficiency.

My favorite one was when one of the panelists posed this question: "How would you handle a situation where your students asked you the meaning of a bad word?" "How bad?" I asked. "Very bad words," she replied. I went off for a bit about cultural context and how I would try to explain not just the meaning of the words but the historical context and circumstances in which they're situated, then elaborated by using the n-word as an example. It went pretty well, I think, based on smiles and nods.

patjs
February 23rd, 2008, 03:15
I got mostly softballs ("How does JET fit into your future plans?" "Could you live in a remote location?" "What are some of your weaknesses?") and no questions about my Japanese proficiency.

My favorite one was when one of the panelists posed this question: "How would you handle a situation where your students asked you the meaning of a bad word?" "How bad?" I asked. "Very bad words," she replied. I went off for a bit about cultural context and how I would try to explain not just the meaning of the words but the historical context and circumstances in which they're situated, then elaborated by using the n-word as an example. It went pretty well, I think, based on smiles and nods.

Blind my interview was very similar. I didn't even get asked why JET. Just how it fits into my career, any problems I encountered in Japan before and how to deal with them, one weird question about the electoral college, and they asked me to clarify what prefecture I wanted to request.

I'm hoping those of us who got it really easy maybe had really good apps and they didn't need to grill us?

krskrft
February 23rd, 2008, 03:44
I got mostly softballs ("How does JET fit into your future plans?" "Could you live in a remote location?" "What are some of your weaknesses?") and no questions about my Japanese proficiency.

My favorite one was when one of the panelists posed this question: "How would you handle a situation where your students asked you the meaning of a bad word?" "How bad?" I asked. "Very bad words," she replied. I went off for a bit about cultural context and how I would try to explain not just the meaning of the words but the historical context and circumstances in which they're situated, then elaborated by using the n-word as an example. It went pretty well, I think, based on smiles and nods.

Blind my interview was very similar. I didn't even get asked why JET. Just how it fits into my career, any problems I encountered in Japan before and how to deal with them, one weird question about the electoral college, and they asked me to clarify what prefecture I wanted to request.

I'm hoping those of us who got it really easy maybe had really good apps and they didn't need to grill us?

Yeah, that's what I'm hoping as well. Before I went into the interview process, I kind of figured that I would be in a position where they'd be looking for reasons to reject me rather than reasons to accept me, and that's pretty much what I got at the interview. If they're asking you "Why Japan?" or "Why JET?" or hitting you up on inconsequential cultural questions, that indicates, to me, that they're still uncertain whether you're "for real" as an applicant. Of course, who the hell really knows what this means? Plenty of people who were asked "Why JET?" or "Why Japan?" must have been accepted in the past, so there's no way to tell, other than to gauge how your individual interview left you feeling when it was over. I was really encouraged by mine, so I'm feeling pretty solid about my chances of being accepted at this point.

baby_bytes
February 23rd, 2008, 09:08
oops i accidently pushed NSFW on one of the posts on here :( sorry....

EisforElissa
February 24th, 2008, 08:13
For me...I really can't tell if my interview went amazing or just mediocre. I got the Why Jet? Question, but I also got specific ones like "If your JTE doesn't like you, what will you do" and "Would you rather be placed where there are a lot of JETs or None" and "What's your greatest weakness"

I mean, it really felt like they were easy questions overall...I had prepared for much harder ones...and because things were so straight forward, it kind of flustered me. I kind of struggled on some, not because I didn't have an answer...it was just like a block in my head..."this question isn't hard...what do I say?" Interviews make the brain crazy.

THey smiled and nodded a lot, and sometimes I felt like I really had their attention...but some questions I answered, I also felt like I didn't make myself very clear...so I feel like It could go either way. I could get it....I could not. I wish I could go back and do it again!

wicket
February 24th, 2008, 11:29
I think they knew I was a serious applicant, but they still gave me the "Why JET?" question, because I'd done JET before and this time around they were wondering why I didn't just want to go to Japan on my own and teach eikaiwa or something.

Hoshi
February 26th, 2008, 00:48
I feel like It could go either way. I could get it....I could not. I wish I could go back and do it again!

That was EXACTLY how I felt last year after my interview. I was an alternate. And I think one of the last ones upgraded from my consulate in time for C group, because I was missing from a lot of the maps and stuff for our prefecture. (Me and one other guy who was also an upgraded alternate.) So good luck! Waiting was the hardest part throughout the whole JET application process.

KeroHazel
February 26th, 2008, 02:31
I think they knew I was a serious applicant, but they still gave me the "Why JET?" question, because I'd done JET before and this time around they were wondering why I didn't just want to go to Japan on my own and teach eikaiwa or something.

So why didn't you? I'm asking because I'm applying for the first time, and my original plan was to apply to eikaiwa if I didn't get in. But after meeting former JETs and learning more about the program, I think I'm more interested in specifically doing JET.

wicket
February 26th, 2008, 21:14
I think they knew I was a serious applicant, but they still gave me the "Why JET?" question, because I'd done JET before and this time around they were wondering why I didn't just want to go to Japan on my own and teach eikaiwa or something.

So why didn't you? I'm asking because I'm applying for the first time, and my original plan was to apply to eikaiwa if I didn't get in. But after meeting former JETs and learning more about the program, I think I'm more interested in specifically doing JET.

A number of reasons.
First, I wanted to be placed in a government (preferably senior) high school for research purposes.
Second, I had a good time on JET first time around, learned a lot about teaching, Japan and myself and appreciated the support and security the programme offers.
Third, (and feel free to flame) I agree with the aims of the programme and wanted to be involved in something that isn't just about teaching English. I feel like I had unfinished business from the first time and wanted to do it again to complete those things - like being a TOA, finishing the CLAIR courses, doing demonstration lessons etc.
Fourth, since it's a government sponsored programme, I was more likely to have my principal in Australia agree to leave without pay, meaning my job back home is being held for me.

mrsjones
May 14th, 2008, 19:26
Though I was mildly miffed that I had revised my famous Japanese people, places etc only to never be asked about them, these were the questions I got:

1) Why did you request Shimonseki?
2) What is the teaching at SOAS like, have you enjoyed studying there?
3) I see you do a Japanese course, what do you think of the language?
4) Why are you interested in Japan?
5) Why JET?
6) What did you enjoy/learn from your previous teaching experience?
7) How would you aquaint Japanese (high school) students with your culture?
8) How would you go about making friends in Japan?
9) Please stand up and, envisioning the filing cabinet over there as your audience, introduce yourself as you would to a class.
10) Explain Pancake Day. (Loved this question)

tanuki
May 15th, 2008, 03:35
oops i accidently pushed NSFW on one of the posts on here :( sorry....

:smt009

Mindflux
May 17th, 2008, 05:52
My favorite questions were:

If you were going to bring 3 things from America to Japan to express both yourself and American culture, what would you bring?
Answer: What? Uh, ummm, a baseball?

Your JTE asks you to set up a party for America Day, what do you do?
Answer: America Day? That's not a real thing right, so I could make up whatever? ...

I see you did <completely irrelevant aspect of application>, how would this help you be an ALT? (in my case, history chair of a fraternity)
Answer: Uh, it wouldn't? OBVIOUSLY...

I also enjoyed that, for every question they asked, the CLAIR rep and Japanese Professor would both stair at me cock-eyed as if I was either partially retarded or had said something potentially offensive. Then they'd proceed to question every aspect of my answer until I couldn't reasonably respond...it was great...

Shiitake
May 17th, 2008, 17:29
I was interviewed in Brisbane, Australia by a panel of three - two older Japanese people and an Australian former JET. I wasn't asked anything difficult at all! My interview was very pleasant, with no tricky questions.

The only question that I was asked aside from the usual 'why JET', 'how does JET fit into your career plans' etc, was:

"If a student asked you whether it is better to use British or American English grammar and spelling, what would you say?", to which I replied "both forms of English are equally acceptable". My answer must have been correct, because I've been offered placement.

I did have to introduce myself in Japanese, but you don't have to be particularly proficient to pull that one off - I think just a very basic level of Japanese is all that's needed.

The interview lasted about 15 minutes and was much less painful than I expected.

Powers
May 18th, 2008, 02:05
My favorite questions were:

If you were going to bring 3 things from America to Japan to express both yourself and American culture, what would you bring?
Answer: What? Uh, ummm, a baseball?

Your JTE asks you to set up a party for America Day, what do you do?
Answer: America Day? That's not a real thing right, so I could make up whatever? ...

I see you did <completely irrelevant aspect of application>, how would this help you be an ALT? (in my case, history chair of a fraternity)
Answer: Uh, it wouldn't? OBVIOUSLY...

I also enjoyed that, for every question they asked, the CLAIR rep and Japanese Professor would both stair at me cock-eyed as if I was either partially retarded or had said something potentially offensive. Then they'd proceed to question every aspect of my answer until I couldn't reasonably respond...it was great...

Your gonna have to up your bullshit-game if you want to teach english in this country...

urusaimon
May 18th, 2008, 19:05
I was interviewed by Melbourne peeps and like shiitake I was asked about British vs American English. I was also, like a lot of other people, asked 'why JET?'. Surprisingly I wasn't asked about my placement preferences at all (am I doomed? 8O )

All I can suggest is know your SoP back to front. I got heaps of questions relating to what I had written.

Oh, yeah, and I was asked three questions in Japanese :?:

karumu
May 18th, 2008, 21:00
I was interviewed by Melbourne peeps and like shiitake I was asked about British vs American English. I was also, like a lot of other people, asked 'why JET?'. Surprisingly I wasn't asked about my placement preferences at all (am I doomed? 8O )

All I can suggest is know your SoP back to front. I got heaps of questions relating to what I had written.

Oh, yeah, and I was asked three questions in Japanese :?:

interesting, perhaps i had the other panel to you.

i would have loved to have got the british vs american english.

I got asked a politics question relating to our PM and relations with China, didn't get asked anything about my SoP. just got asked about why JET and what can i offer JET (i guess i had written these things in my SoP so you could say it was questioning my SoP)
I got asked about my preference of Miyazaki, they understood my preferences i listed for Kansai because i have already lived, studied and worked there but they were curious about Miyazaki and found my response of surfing to be pretty interesting. I also got tested on my Japanese. easy question then jump right up to difficult question.

urusaimon
May 19th, 2008, 14:35
Yeah sounds pretty much what happened with me. They did the test question in Japanese then they asked me about Australia trading with China and did I think this would influence Aus-Japan relations. Understood it completely but was nervous as hell so just answered in English. They were cool with that.

gingerbread
September 8th, 2008, 12:43
I really want to know what the applicant's answer was to the onsen questions. "I am totally down with getting naked in front of my coworkers!! Yeah!!!!" or what? :lol:

The questions for couples are nerve-wracking. Especially the "what would you do if you were placed REALLY far away from each other?" question. I'm guessing the right answer is "we'd still accept placement and visit each other when we could," but does that ever really happen? I doubt it. I assume one person would just decline and end up traveling in on a spouse visa.

chissprincess
September 10th, 2008, 02:57
You know, there was a website I was reading not too long ago about interview questions (I can try to find it again if you're interested) that addressed that very issue, gingerbread. Apparently some of the questions they ask are just meant to test your commitment to the program, so yeah, they're looking for you to say it wouldn't matter and both of you will still go anyway, even though pretty much every human being on the planet realizes that realistically that sort of thing would be a HUGE strain on a relationship and that couples placed far apart would probably do exactly what you suggested.

(Obviously that's just what this particular website claimed, I can't say much about its accuracy myself since I haven't been through the interview process yet.)

Hoonta
September 19th, 2008, 13:31
The parts that stumped me most in the interview were surprisingly easy American history/politics questions.
I was asked "how would you explain checks and balances to a room full of kids". I wasn't expecting this at all and asked for a bit more clarification, which then turned into me giving a mock lesson on the 4th of July. What kinds of things would I talk about, props I would maybe use, history of the day.
I think those are the parts that made me an alternate instead of being shortlisted. The rest of the interview went really well.

Anyway, here is a link that talks about the JET interview process from someone who conducted some interviews in Canada.
http://karatethejapaneseway.com/all_about_japan/jet_interview.html

gingerbread
September 21st, 2008, 07:33
Anyway, here is a link that talks about the JET interview process from someone who conducted some interviews in Canada.
http://karatethejapaneseway.com/all_about_japan/jet_interview.html

The thing that confuses me about that page is this:
"Anyway, should you both get accepted, one of you should take the JET job and the other decline at the last possible minute. The one that declines will find private work in Japan easily enough."

... why? Why not both be JETs if you are both accepted and given housing together? Why should one decline at the last possible minute?

maidenindigo
September 21st, 2008, 07:48
Maybe he meant to say "If by some freak chance you do get different placements, one should decline at the last minute" or something? But yeah, that is a little weird.

The rest of the advice looks good. Thanks for the page. :)

Hopefully I'll be able to get to the freaking interview stage to use said advice. I was thoroughly convinced I'd have no problem getting in, but as time wears on I'm getting more and more grounded.

kiwimusume
September 21st, 2008, 11:06
Maybe he meant to say "If by some freak chance you do get different placements, one should decline at the last minute" or something?

That was what I took it to mean. The "at the last minute" thing sounded weird to me, though, unless by "last minute" he meant when you get your placements.

I got the question about having to teach 50 little bastards on my own and how I'd discipline them, and I hadn't known that it was a trick question. I have no experience with anything like that and had no idea what I'd do, so I said I'd talk to some other ALTs who had more experience than me and ask them for advice, and worried that they'd hold my lack of knowledge about classroom control against me. And then I read that ages later and found out that what I'd said had actually been better! Woot! :D

verity359
November 5th, 2008, 13:21
I dunno if this helps anybody, but I'm an ALT in Kagoshima-ken right now and when I interviewed last year, I had read all the questions other people got on the internet already and was fully prepared, EXCEPT for this one which hit me out of the blue:

Them: "So you said you'd try to use your own enthusiasm to encourage student interest in English, is that right?"

Me: "Yep."

Them: "Ok, could you demonstrate that to us right now by standing up and singing a song?"

Me: "....... uh, what? Now? What kind of song? For what age group?"

Them: "Anything is fine."

Me: "Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... ok... I'm a little teapot, short and stout..." etc. etc. etc.
I did the little dance that goes with the song, too. I obviously have no way of knowing, but I'm pretty convinced that the teapot song was what saved my interview. They were testing me to see if I'd freeze up in front of a room full of kids, I think.

jonesinjapan
November 6th, 2008, 08:40
Yeah my off the wall question was what holiday would you demonstrate to the student that is in the US and not in Japan, me being the idiot that I am, decided to do flag day, it was really hard but they seemed to have liked it alot... so here I am in Japan!!!!

AliDimayev
November 6th, 2008, 11:31
I had no surprise questions. But the older white guy was being a real jerk to be honest. I know that is sometimes their intent (to see if they can rile you).

patjs
November 7th, 2008, 18:32
I dunno if this helps anybody, but I'm an ALT in Kagoshima-ken right now and when I interviewed last year, I had read all the questions other people got on the internet already and was fully prepared, EXCEPT for this one which hit me out of the blue:

Them: "So you said you'd try to use your own enthusiasm to encourage student interest in English, is that right?"

Me: "Yep."

Them: "Ok, could you demonstrate that to us right now by standing up and singing a song?"


You didn't come across this online? Before I applied several things I read online mentioned some people were asked to sing.

And as far as my interview... it was VERY easy with absolutely nothing that threw me off. I don't even think it lasted the full scheduled time.

LostInTranslation
November 9th, 2008, 13:47
I imagine one of the interviewers acts the part of a difficult person to see if they can get you to lose your composure. That is probably what the off-beat questions are also designed to do.

It is a common tactic to determine honesty, level of cooperation and the psychological state of the person you are interrogating. Or so I'd guess :)

HeartNana
November 18th, 2008, 12:08
Its the whole good cop, bad cop mentality. If you're gonna crack at an interview, you're not gonna be doing well when placed in a foreign country where things can be a gazillion times more stressful. Those are the people who leave early, and JET just wants to weed out those who would leave before their contract.

AliDimayev
November 18th, 2008, 14:04
The older guy was the biggest douche ever. I just killed him with kindness though. And the former JET was also being a bad cop, leaving the old Japanese woman to the be the good guy. But I made some joke and the former Jet started cracking up, so he dropped the act after that. The best part of the interview day was spending the day in boston afterwards.

charmed_23
November 26th, 2008, 11:31
Ok what I can remember from mine (Adelaide, Australia):

1) You say here you have some experience with Japanese language, so can I ask you some questions in Japanese? *Cue question about favourite food in Japanese*

2) What would you do if your students asked you why you eat Kangaroos in Australia?

3) How would you feel about being placed in the countryside?

4) What experience have you had with being independent?

5) What would you say are the main differences between Japan and Australia?

6) Why did you request your placement city?

That's all I can think of now!!
x

princessgarnet
January 22nd, 2009, 23:07
I know it might be hard to answer but roughly how long should i speak for each question, I'm just preparing the answers to some questions as my interview is Monday and I guess I'm worried I'll go on answering a question for too long. Has anyone been interrupted and had them move on to the next question before?

ExclamationMark
January 22nd, 2009, 23:22
I know it might be hard to answer but roughly how long should i speak for each question, I'm just preparing the answers to some questions as my interview is Monday and I guess I'm worried I'll go on answering a question for too long. Has anyone been interrupted and had them move on to the next question before?

I would say just go with what feels natural. Answer the question to the best of your abilities and if you catch yourself rambling, try to end it as quickly as possible :)

I'm sure you'll spend more time on some questions than on others, so I wouldn't worry about a certain time limit for each question. Unless, of course, you have a tendency to babble on (like I do).

paule
January 23rd, 2009, 00:23
Good advice, Ian, best thing you can do is: when you answer the question - show your knowledge of the topic as best you can and as effectively as possible. This may mean speaking for a minute or two, but sometimes that's necessary. What you DON'T want to do is ramble on about useless information that doesn't pertain to the circumstances or the question. If you feel you've answered the question, stop talking. If they need clarification, they will probably ask you a follow up question.

kbetter
January 23rd, 2009, 05:53
For the record, I'd totally sing/dance if I made it to the interview stage.

I would also bring my MD crab hat. :kaosotnpshigeko-cha

HeartNana
January 23rd, 2009, 09:28
I know it might be hard to answer but roughly how long should i speak for each question, I'm just preparing the answers to some questions as my interview is Monday and I guess I'm worried I'll go on answering a question for too long. Has anyone been interrupted and had them move on to the next question before?
Studies have shown exactly 1:37 seconds for each answer, no matter what the question is. If you have to stop mid-sentence, that's ok, too.

And bonus points if you look at your watch counting how much time you have for each answer, so you don't go above or below the scientifically proven answer duration.

princessgarnet
January 23rd, 2009, 22:47
very funny i guess it was a silly question in a way, i was just a bit nervous as I've never gone to an interview like this and wasn't sure if when they asked you questions they expected a few minutes of me explaining my reasons in detail or if the questions came quite quick and a just a few sentences were expected, but anyway i'll just see how it does on Monday.

ExclamationMark
January 24th, 2009, 12:50
Naw, it wasn't a silly question. It's a nerve-wracking thing, I imagine :D

You'll be fine, though!

princessgarnet
January 25th, 2009, 03:22
I notice that one of the questions is about recent events happening in Japan, does anyone know of any good sites to find out information about Japanese news stories occuring at the moment?

Jaceryl
January 25th, 2009, 06:27
http://www.asahi.com/english/

Try that.

paule
January 25th, 2009, 08:48
Japantimes.com

Langus
January 25th, 2009, 16:27
This blog is pretty fantastic. The guy does weekly news updates with what the top headlines are from the various newspapers as well as informational bits about different tourist spots to check out in Japan.

http://japanvisitor.blogspot.com/

omnichelle
January 28th, 2009, 11:01
So sorry if this is already explained somewhere on the site and I just don't know where it is (because I don't), but I have a question.... And also, sorry if this is not the best place to ask this question, I really don't know (because I don't)....

With all that out of the way, does anyone know how flexible the consulates are about re-scheduling interviews? I have a "real job," so to speak, and they want to send me on a business trip the second week of February... I have a sneaking suspicion that this is when my interview will be scheduled (because this is just how things work, right?). I am in the process of stalling my boss on saying yes to the trip, but if I just go ahead and say yes, will the consulate re-schedule for me? Has anyone else run into this issue? Many thanks for a response or suggestions or whatever (i.e., linkage to a similar situation).

HeartNana
January 28th, 2009, 11:04
You schedule your own interview, so you should be ok.

capn jazz
January 28th, 2009, 11:23
God, this thread is making me so nervous. Some of the questions seem pretty ridiculous.... but I guess I should get started thinking about sample answers.

HeartNana
January 28th, 2009, 12:47
God, this thread is making me so nervous. Then don't read it.

Seriously.

You want to NOT be nervous and not show that you buckle under pressure, so if this is causing more stress for you, then it's only gonna hurt you.

JackAttack
January 28th, 2009, 14:00
God, this thread is making me so nervous. Some of the questions seem pretty ridiculous.... but I guess I should get started thinking about sample answers.

Agreed. I think this thread is designed to give you an idea of what you could be asked, not to make you panic. Sample answers won't save you when you're thrown something not on the list. So calm down, k? :)

Also.... it seems that some consulates will pre-schedule your interview? :| Might wanna check on that.

capn jazz
January 28th, 2009, 21:13
Agreed. I think this thread is designed to give you an idea of what you could be asked, not to make you panic. Sample answers won't save you when you're thrown something not on the list. So calm down, k? :)

Also.... it seems that some consulates will pre-schedule your interview? :| Might wanna check on that.


What do you mean by "pre-schedule"? As in, they tell you to come in at 11 AM Thursday, no ifs ands or buts? I figured I'd just wait for a call or email.

princessgarnet
January 28th, 2009, 21:23
God, this thread is making me so nervous. Some of the questions seem pretty ridiculous.... but I guess I should get started thinking about sample answers.

I felt the same when I printed out lots and lots of pages of questions but actually in the interview quite a lot of them came up and I was so glad that I had taken the time to think about them, as when she was reading some of the questions that i wouldn't have been ready had i not read them here, I did feel more confident.

omnichelle
January 28th, 2009, 22:12
You schedule your own interview, so you should be ok.

Really? That's faaaantastic news!! Thank you so much!!

HeartNana
January 28th, 2009, 22:15
Actually, Jack-attack said that some do it for you. In Chicago, we did it on our own. I got to schedule it for a day off of work and school in the middle of the day (so I could sleep late), so there were 0 conflicts.

But yeah, check with your consulate.

ohheythere
January 29th, 2009, 04:10
I JUST received an email from the NYC consulate:

"Interviews in New York will take place on February 13, 17, 18, 19, 20 and
23. Within a week from today, we will be sending out a letter to you
informing the exact date and time of your interview as well as other
important details. "

heyitsme
January 29th, 2009, 05:35
i got that email too -- one of those days is my birthday, i really hope it's not that day :( ... plus i was gonna call in sick from work on my interview day and everyone at work will think i'm just skipping because of my birthday! oh well.. at least it's an interview! :D

maidenindigo
January 29th, 2009, 05:36
Nothing from DC yet.

(Ooooh, that made me sound all important and government-y)

knuth12
January 29th, 2009, 05:53
Nothing from DC yet.

(Ooooh, that made me sound all important and government-y)
Nothing from Portland yet.

.....yeah. It just doesn't sound the same. To me, saying Portland or Oregon sounds kind of hick.

(No offense to the fine people of the city of Portland and residents of the fine state of Oregon.)

Sugar SMAP Peas
January 29th, 2009, 05:56
Nothing from Nashville yet either. :) ... so no getting paranoid folks. It'll come ^_^

maidenindigo
January 29th, 2009, 06:03
... so no getting paranoid folks. It'll come ^_^
..........
......

...that's what she said.

Sugar SMAP Peas
January 29th, 2009, 06:07
Lol. Well, I guess if you were the only one who hadn't received an e-mail yet and others from your consulate had received them ... I'd be worried, but so far ... I haven't heard of anyone from Nashville getting anything ... so :-P ...

knuth12
January 29th, 2009, 06:30
Eh, they said they'll start emailing people sometime in the coming week. So I'm not too worried. Still 2 more work days left in the week, with a few hours left (at least for me) today. ;)

HeyItsBryan
February 1st, 2009, 21:09
I interviewed in the sauna that was the Chicago Consulate:

1. Why JET?
2. You have never been out of the country before. What do your parents think of all this?
3. What three things representative of American culture would you bring to share?
4. You will be a minority. How does that make you feel?
5. What challenges do you anticipate?
6. What interests you about Japan?
7. Pretend that we're middle schoolers with limited English. Teach us about Thanksgiving. (During my "lesson," they interrupted with stuff like, "What's a turkey? A bird? Cheep cheep?")
8. Do you have any questions for us?

...and I think that's it. My interview was literally ten minutes. They were each stone-faced and had the sense of humor of an executioner, but the questions were few and very predictable. Just be confident, personable, and don't get flustered. Emphasize your adaptability and willingness to learn.

Can't believe that was already a year ago--hawt damn! Best of luck to the 2009 applicants! :)

paule
February 2nd, 2009, 09:48
Bryan, did you make it in?

HeyItsBryan
February 2nd, 2009, 22:11
Bryan, did you make it in?

yeah, I was shortlisted.

coleman
February 4th, 2009, 03:20
how long after the interview are you guys finding out if your shortlisted or not?

Neb
February 4th, 2009, 08:17
early april i believe

the information desk
February 4th, 2009, 19:46
how long after the interview are you guys finding out if your shortlisted or not?

early april

houk
February 5th, 2009, 02:09
i'm thinking early april

paule
February 5th, 2009, 05:14
So.. early april sounds great and all, but is it going to be like the interview notice was? Like... will they consider April 15th 'early' or am I going to find out the first or the second? Also, do they post a list or send you a letter, or call, or what?

maidenindigo
February 5th, 2009, 05:19
So.. early april sounds great and all, but is it going to be like the interview notice was? Like... will they consider April 15th 'early' or am I going to find out the first or the second? Also, do they post a list or send you a letter, or call, or what?
I theeenk last year they sent a notification email for US applicants. And early April is a very, very rough estimate. Like in many government programs, the deadlines JET sets for itself should rarely be taken seriously. (The deadlines they set for you, however, should be respected and feared)

Eira
February 5th, 2009, 05:21
Looking through journals of people who applied a couple of years ago, people (Chicago consulte, if that matters) found out April third late afternoon.

vdog
February 5th, 2009, 15:06
What is question 60 supposed to say?


60) What would you do if a student told you “all

Neb
February 5th, 2009, 17:00
whatever it is, the chances are the answer would be
"that's an inappropriate question"

maidenindigo
February 5th, 2009, 19:18
What is question 60 supposed to say?
I imagined it was another stereotype question. "What if a student told you 'all Americans (Canadians/Australians/British) are...something something something'?"

Eira
February 6th, 2009, 00:12
My fiance got asked why he wasn't fat since he's American by one of his JTEs. I had to laugh when I heard that (especially since we both lived in what was formerly the most obese city in the world), until I started study abroad. All of the other American girls were chubby, leaving me to look like a twig like the European/Asian girls... It took almost a year, but finally the last of my teachers got it through her head that I'm American ~_~ I don't know how many more questions regarding British culture and life I could handle.

So if you're American and very thin, you might get weird questions from random Japanese people about your weight. Sigh.

paule
February 6th, 2009, 02:04
Haha, I wish people would take the hint

steadilylazy
February 6th, 2009, 12:59
I have my interview on the 20th, and looking over my application I realized I made some mistakes. So 2 questions:

1) Do the interviewers have your transcripts in addition to your application with them during your interview? I wrote different grades then appear on my transcript by mistake. Think they are going to berate me with questions about honesty?

2) I wrote that I was planning on taking a TEFL certification course that would be completed before the interview, but money ended up being too tight to pay for it ($1100). I'm saving up to take the course, and I've read a bunch of books from the library about TEFL to try to make up for it. How do you think this will play out?

Hoonta
February 6th, 2009, 21:48
1) Do the interviewers have your transcripts in addition to your application with them during your interview? I wrote different grades then appear on my transcript by mistake. Think they are going to berate me with questions about honesty?

They have all of the application that you mailed in a 3 ring binder. Including your transcripts, SOP, reference letters. If they question it tell them the truth. It was a mistake right? You weren't trying to falsify your app. If they had a problem with it they would have just disqualified you before the interview.



2) I wrote that I was planning on taking a TEFL certification course that would be completed before the interview, but money ended up being too tight to pay for it ($1100). I'm saving up to take the course, and I've read a bunch of books from the library about TEFL to try to make up for it. How do you think this will play out?

You were planning on taking it, not signed up for it.
Just be honest about it. Tell them that since you couldn't sign up for the actual course you've been doing your own research and self study.

LostInTranslation
February 7th, 2009, 12:48
It's a well known fact that 99% of Americans are fat, wear cowboy hats, and speak with a West Texas accent.

Neb
February 7th, 2009, 14:38
ah tell you hwat

fidelity
February 7th, 2009, 14:51
That's East Texas.

houk
February 7th, 2009, 15:37
yeeeehaw!

princessgarnet
February 7th, 2009, 23:20
I have my interview on the 20th, and looking over my application I realized I made some mistakes. So 2 questions:

1) Do the interviewers have your transcripts in addition to your application with them during your interview? I wrote different grades then appear on my transcript by mistake. Think they are going to berate me with questions about honesty?


I actually had a similar worry as i had sent the application online and also had to print it out and hand it in but i noticed a mistake with dates, so i corrected it on the print out version but the online version had already been sent - they never questioned me but i guess the interviewers are more interested in who you are and what you can bring rather than going over your application verifying everything, but then i guess it just depends as they might notice it, just be prepared to explain why there are different grades.

Isaac
February 10th, 2009, 10:53
What should I wear to the interview? Any suggestions?

fidelity
February 10th, 2009, 11:15
What should I wear to the interview? Any suggestions?

If you can pick one of these numbers (http://www.deitchley.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/boombox.jpg) up at the Men's Warehouse, it would be perfect.

Or you could read this thread: http://www.ithinkimlost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4408

Phoenix
February 10th, 2009, 11:27
I have a question sort of related to the interveiw and I don't feel like starting a new thread. The interview voucher says:

1. Attach one 3 x 4cm color photograph in the box indicated below. This photograph must have been taken within six months prior to the interview and should be an official passport-sized photo.

So does that mean it has to be an actual passport photo(with the white background etc) or just the same size? Because I don't really feel like going out and buying more passport photos.

Isaac
February 10th, 2009, 11:41
If you can pick one of these numbers (http://www.deitchley.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/boombox.jpg) up at the Men's Warehouse, it would be perfect.

Or you could read this thread: http://www.ithinkimlost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4408


haha point taken. thanks

vdog
February 10th, 2009, 11:44
I have a question sort of related to the interveiw and I don't feel like starting a new thread. The interview voucher says:

1. Attach one 3 x 4cm color photograph in the box indicated below. This photograph must have been taken within six months prior to the interview and should be an official passport-sized photo.

So does that mean it has to be an actual passport photo(with the white background etc) or just the same size? Because I don't really feel like going out and buying more passport photos.



Not sure if it needs to be pro, but it should at least be pro-quality.

Anyway, the Detroit consulate told me the standard 2in x 2in US passport size should be fine if we can't find a place that does 3cm x 4cm.

Phoenix
February 10th, 2009, 11:48
Not sure if it needs to be pro, but it should at least be pro-quality.

Anyway, the Detroit consulate told me the standard 2in x 2in US passport size should be fine if we can't find a place that does 3cm x 4cm.

Damn...I just wanted to take a random photo and cut it to the right size.

vdog
February 10th, 2009, 13:50
Damn...I just wanted to take a random photo and cut it to the right size.

That might be okay? I made a thread about this over at japanistan, some of them did that. I got my passport photo for 7 dollars last year though, so I'm just going to do that again.

Phoenix
February 10th, 2009, 15:07
That might be okay? I made a thread about this over at japanistan, some of them did that. I got my passport photo for 7 dollars last year though, so I'm just going to do that again.

But why pay 7 dollars if you can print out and cut one for like 29 cents?
I guess I'll just get one taken to be one the safe side. :rolleyes:

vdog
February 10th, 2009, 15:42
Well if it does need the proper background I'd have to find a good place to take it, then I'd have to go someplace to have it printed anyway, and then I'd have to cut it out. And on top of that you have to make sure the proportions are right so you're head isn't giant or really tiny.

Just seems easier to pay the 7 bucks and not have to worry about it :-p

wicket
February 10th, 2009, 16:08
Just get a mate to take a photo of you head-on, on a plain background, resize it in photoshop and print it off yourself.
I did and it worked.

JackAttack
February 10th, 2009, 21:05
Yeah you don't need a professional photo done... And I don't know about anyone else, but I always look HORRIBLE in those passport photos! Bad angles or something... My friend took my picture last year, photoshopped out the earring, cropped, and printed. :) Easy as pie!

AliDimayev
February 10th, 2009, 21:15
that's illegal for passport, though

JackAttack
February 10th, 2009, 22:45
that's illegal for passport, though

Yeah... which is exactly why my passport photo is horrible. XD

Ruairi
February 12th, 2009, 00:52
Interview = lol

will report back later

Bluebin
February 12th, 2009, 20:06
Don't stress out over it too much. I gave mine in yesterday and all it is is a way for the interview panel to remember who was who. Remember to smile in it unlike the passport ones!

Ruairi
February 12th, 2009, 23:35
I don't know many people who are happy with those kinda photos. Definitely not something to worry about.

HeartNana
February 13th, 2009, 14:59
You guys are missing the point of the pictures. They're so if you get accepted and sent here, your Board of Education can have a photo of you so when you meet the superintendent or whoever, they can know a bit about you before they meet you, and have your photo with some info about you when they talk to you for the first time. Just get a normal picture of yourself that LOOKS LIKE YOU (hence why the say past 6 months), and you're good.

paule
February 14th, 2009, 00:31
I know some of you had your interviews yesterday and today! Clue the rest of us in on some of the questions you got asked!

vdog
February 14th, 2009, 04:53
Interview = lol

will report back later

Have you reported back anywhere?

Ruairi
February 17th, 2009, 00:24
hmmm I did but it appears to have disappeared. I think it was in this thread.

fidelity
February 17th, 2009, 00:32
Some posts disappeared in the move.

Isaac
February 17th, 2009, 00:36
hmmm I did but it appears to have disappeared. I think it was in this thread.


report back again please.

Ruairi
February 17th, 2009, 00:37
k, here it is again, roughly:

My interview:
Got the standards 'why Japan?', 'why Jet?'
I was asked about my teaching experience, problems and successes. What I would do if a JTE was teaching a grammar point incorrectly?
How would I feel if I was asked without much notice to plan a weeks worth of lessons on a very specific topic?
How did I think my time would be spent during first fortnight in school?
What do I think Japanese people know about Ireland?
How would I introduce Irish culture to Japanese people?
Who's my favourite Japanese author/whats my favourite book?
How would I cope with being away from family?
How would I relax?
What would I do I wasnt accepted?

Isaac
February 17th, 2009, 00:41
k, here it is again, roughly:

My interview:
Got the standards 'why Japan?', 'why Jet?'
I was asked about my teaching experience, problems and successes. What I would do if a JTE was teaching a grammar point incorrectly?
How would I feel if I was asked without much notice to plan a weeks worth of lessons on a very specific topic?
How did I think my time would be spent during first fortnight in school?
What do I think Japanese people know about Ireland?
How would I introduce Irish culture to Japanese people?
Who's my favourite Japanese author/whats my favourite book?
How would I cope with being away from family?
How would I relax?
What would I do I wasnt accepted?

man.....sounds sorta difficult.....i don't know any Japanese authors.

Ruairi
February 17th, 2009, 00:43
Just to provide a context, I had mentioned Japanese literature and cinema in my SoP. A lot of questions related to information on my application form or SoP in one way or another.

Isaac
February 17th, 2009, 00:44
Just to provide a context, I had mentioned Japanese literature and cinema in my SoP. Almost all their questions directly related to information on my application form or SoP.


good to know. thanks.

Ruairi
February 17th, 2009, 00:45
np, best advice I've seen on these boards is to know your application and SoP very well. If it's something you mentioned you will more than likely be given the chance to talk about it some (seems to me).

Isaac
February 17th, 2009, 00:47
np, best advice I've seen on these boards is to know your application and SoP very well. If it's something you mentioned you will more than likely be given the chance to talk about it some (seems to me).

yea i'm sorta nervous. I don't want to be generic.

fidelity
February 17th, 2009, 00:59
yea i'm sorta nervous. I don't want to be generic.

You'll do fine. Just don't bring up that whole thing about how your dad thought God told him to kill you unless they do first.

Isaac
February 17th, 2009, 01:05
You'll do fine. Just don't bring up that whole thing about how your dad thought God told him to kill you unless they do first.


lol. yea and my sister is named Sarah, who's also my mother...lol.... I'll leave that one out too.

Ruairi
February 17th, 2009, 01:06
lol the penny drops :D

Isaac
February 17th, 2009, 03:12
any advise on what to do if you get wait-listed?

Phoenix
February 17th, 2009, 03:16
It is a little early to be asking those sort of questions...have u even done ur interview yet? Be optimistic!

Isaac
February 17th, 2009, 03:25
It is a little early to be asking those sort of questions...have u even done ur interview yet? Be optimistic!


good point

vdog
February 17th, 2009, 03:51
any advise on what to do if you get wait-listed?

Take it as a license to continue to lurk ITIL, of course!

Honestly, If i'm alternate'd I'll just try to forget about JET and focus on getting a good job here. If I get the call I get the call, if not, well at least I didn't waste 4 months waiting for a call that never came.

Isaac
February 17th, 2009, 04:09
yea i have a "real job" and I told them I'd have a yes or no for JET by April. I don't think they would take kindly to the...."I'll tell you for sure in the next 4 months" deal.

vdog
February 17th, 2009, 05:59
Do you plan on returning to your "real job" after JET?

Isaac
February 17th, 2009, 06:30
Do you plan on returning to your "real job" after JET?

yea maybe.

fidelity
February 17th, 2009, 08:22
I told mine I'd know by April too, mentioned the alternate list, but said I wouldn't go if I got called up as an alternate. Based on how much I hate my job, though, I'd probably go anyway as long as I had enough time to arrange shit.

rain_endless
February 17th, 2009, 16:46
(I know this comes late for many of you, but...)

Having read through *all* the questions listed on this thread, I have come up with the following Interview preparation prompts, which subsume many of the basic and complex questions into larger catagories you can more easily be prepared to answer.
(Please don't quote and add to these, as they are supposed to be over-arching rather than specific)

I intend to draft answers for myself to each of these prompts, so that I can be as ready as possible for this interview.:^_^:

Here are the prompts:
--------------------------------------------
Main Points from my SOP/Application to elaborate on:


Japan info basics:
-the emperor is
-the current prime minister is
-the governing political party is
-the four main islands of japan are
-the current era is
-the previous era was

Some Japanese Current events:


Skimming the surface of J History:


Useful greetings & Self-Introduction:


My International / Intercultural experience:


Why I want to teach in Japan/ JET:


What I want to represent about my country:


How I am prepared for JET, and Why I am a great candidate:


How I would handle social tensions with students or teachers:


My general teaching ideas (pedagogy):


Sample Lesson:

Langus
February 17th, 2009, 16:49
^^ That's a really helpful list of categories you've got there. Thanks for putting it together. It'll definitely help me prep!

Eira
February 19th, 2009, 02:38
Some of my questions (nothing out of the ordinary):


-Self introduction in Japanese.
-Why JET?
-What are JET's goals?
-What will you do if you are placed in Okinawa? (My fiance lives in Tohoku.)
-How long do you plan on participating in the JET Program? followed by a What will you do if your fiance wants to leave Japan before that time is up?
-You probably won't get placed with your fiance, but I notice that you only put his prefecture as your placement request. Is it only there that you will be willing to live? Is JET only an option if you are close to him?
-Have you taken the JLPT?
-What would you want to teach Japanese students about America? followed by a How will you present this? That's a broad topic. (I said diversity.)
-How would you teach about American minorites? followed by a Do you think that Japan has any minority groups?
-What will you do if your teacher only uses you as a tape recorder? What if they ONLY use you to push play on a tape recorder?
-What will you do if you work at a school where the students don't pay attention? followed by a What will you do if the teachers and students don't care about anything you have to say or teach?
-What club did you join when you were studying abroad?
-How did you deal with culture shock when you were abroad?
-Since you will be moving into a different place that will be your home, how do you plan on making the city your new home? followed by a How will you handle culture shock?
-What activities do you plan on participating in around school?
-What activities do you plan on participating in around the community? What martial art did your brother teach? (I said I wanted to take martial arts because my brother used to teach karate.)
-Would you rather work at a high school or a junior high school? Why?
-What do you plan on doing after JET? Grad school? followed by a What do you want to do after grad school?


That's all I can remember right off hand. They didn't seem to have a list of questions they wanted to ask me. I think they had a few questions they had in mind and then played off of my answers.

Obviously one of, if not THE biggest concern was what I would do if I couldn't live with my SO. I answered honestly and just said that we had talked about it both last year (when I was studying abroad and he was starting JET) and this time around, and that we would deal with whatever placement I was given. If you are in a relationship with someone who is in or currently applying to JET, be prepared for questions like this. The same thing happened with my fiance when he interviewed, so be forewarned.


And you really will be overthinking it if you plan on drafting out answers to everything. Just know the basic facts (emperor, PM, population, current events), and skim over the conceptual questions/know some basic facts about a holiday or something for a sample lesson. It all goes by so fast that you probably won't remember half of what you had planned to say anyway. I had a few ideas for some of the questions they asked me (such as what I would do if the students didn't pay attention), and I completely forgot anything I had thought about saying. I actually liked my answer I gave a lot more than the one I thought up beforehand even though it just came to me as they asked it.

coleman
February 19th, 2009, 03:00
Okay, So I had my interview yesterday. I thought it was a breeze. They asked me to introduce myself to japanese children with very limited english skills using a whiteboard. That asked how I would use my experience in a mental hostpitol (working experience people) to help teach japanese children. They asked how I would handle those who did not seem interested in learning the American culture. They asked how I would handle shy children whom did not show an interest in speaking with me. They asked me how I would handle being homesick, if I became homesick. They asked me how I would make friends, socialize. They asked me how I would react to punishment that I did not agree with. They asked me if I would be willing to stay after school and weekends in order to fulfill my duties to the school. They asked me how I would handle invitations to go drinking after work. All kinds of softballs. What were my expectations? They asked questions that I have read on these blogs a hundred times. I feel good about the whole thing. There were people in the waiting room with no travel experience, teaching experience or work experience. I felt like I was the best canidate out of the group I met. I hope I don't jinx myself, but confidence is good in the case of the japanese.

Isaac
February 19th, 2009, 03:05
Okay, So I had my interview yesterday. I thought it was a breeze. They asked me to introduce myself to japanese children with very limited english skills using a whiteboard. That asked how I would use my experience in a mental hostpitol (working experience people) to help teach japanese children. They asked how I would handle those who did not seem interested in learning the American culture. They asked how I would handle shy children whom did not show an interest in speaking with me. They asked me how I would handle being homesick, if I became homesick. They asked me how I would make friends, socialize. They asked me how I would react to punishment that I did not agree with. They asked me if I would be willing to stay after school and weekends in order to fulfill my duties to the school. They asked me how I would handle invitations to go drinking after work. All kinds of softballs. What were my expectations? They asked questions that I have read on these blogs a hundred times. I feel good about the whole thing. There were people in the waiting room with no travel experience, teaching experience or work experience. I felt like I was the best canidate out of the group I met. I hope I don't jinx myself, but confidence is good in the case of the japanese.


what did you say about drinking after work? Isn't that common and "expected" in Japan?

Langus
February 19th, 2009, 03:10
I'm just gonna throw in a few of the ones they asked me that I hadn't seen around before.

- If your friends invited you for a weekend out and you wouldn't return home until late Sunday night and you had a big day Monday what would you do?

- Describe your typical day, as you see it, as an ALT.

That's all for now... Good luck to anyone who still has to interview!

esuta
February 19th, 2009, 03:40
Wow, the categories are great! Thanks!

Freyanator
February 19th, 2009, 04:09
I also got the "describe a typical day as an ALT" question, which I think was the only one I hadn't seen up there.

vdog
February 19th, 2009, 05:25
I also got the "describe a typical day as an ALT" question, which I think was the only one I hadn't seen up there.

How would you answer that one? With the mantra of ESID i don't know what they would want you to say.

Freyanator
February 19th, 2009, 05:28
How would you answer that one? With the mantra of ESID i don't know what they would want you to say.

Yeah it's my most hated/feared "interview question" because how do you know unless you're there?

I said something about how ESID considering location, CO, and JTE but from what my friends who are current JETs say, this is how they help the JTEs and after-school clubs, etc.

Isaac
February 19th, 2009, 05:31
Yeah it's my most hated/feared "interview question" because how do you know unless you're there?

I said something about how ESID considering location, CO, and JTE but from what my friends who are current JETs say, this is how they help the JTEs and after-school clubs, etc.

what are all the acronyms you guys are throwing around?

maidenindigo
February 19th, 2009, 05:35
what are all the acronyms you guys are throwing around?
ESID: every situation is different
CO: contracting organization
JTE: Japanese teacher of English

paule
February 19th, 2009, 06:28
Biggest advice I can offer is:
Study what's weakest on your application/SOP and be ready to explain the shit out of yourself.

Eira
February 19th, 2009, 07:45
Biggest advice I can offer is:
Study what's weakest on your application/SOP and be ready to explain the shit out of yourself.

I agree 100%. I was shocked that my fiance was brought up 3-5 times in the short interview, so I think they were trying to get me to say I would give up on JET if I didn't get placed with or near him. Luckily I've gone through those conversations dozens of times and was able to say without any delay that I would go regardless of where I was dropped.

Langus
February 19th, 2009, 10:20
For the describe your day I basically said I'd arrive early to school to get myself ready for the lesson and once the JTE arrived I'd see if there was any way I could help them prepare and possibly go over the lesson ahead of time. By lunch I'd sit with my students or colleagues to get to know them better since that creates a good working relationship and I've found that once students get to know you they have more respect for you in the classroom. If I had some free time I'd study Japanese because that will be an ongoing process for me while I'm there. After classes I'd participate in one of the after school clubs, such as the English Club, or explore cultural activities like Kendo or Flower Arranging. And then after that long day I'd head home, make myself dinner and head to bed after prepping for the next day's lessons.

I hope that's what they were looking for.

Freyanator
February 19th, 2009, 10:26
For the describe your day I basically said I'd arrive early to school to get myself ready for the lesson and once the JTE arrived I'd see if there was any way I could help them prepare and possibly go over the lesson ahead of time. By lunch I'd sit with my students or colleagues to get to know them better since that creates a good working relationship and I've found that once students get to know you they have more respect for you in the classroom. If I had some free time I'd study Japanese because that will be an ongoing process for me while I'm there. After classes I'd participate in one of the after school clubs, such as the English Club, or explore cultural activities like Kendo or Flower Arranging. And then after that long day I'd head home, make myself dinner and head to bed after prepping for the next day's lessons.

I hope that's what they were looking for.


Wow. I wish mine had been as detailed as yours. dang.

capn jazz
February 19th, 2009, 10:33
my interview is tomorrow afternoon. i am so nervous! even though i've given thought to most of the questions here and i know i have good reasons for doing this, and a good amount of teaching experience to help answer the questions... but i am still nervous!

hopefully my boyfriend will meet me downtown after the interview and take me out to dinner...

GoddessCarlie
February 19th, 2009, 10:58
Just got back from my interview. I think I did as good as I could have! But everyone there who I chatted to before hand seemed equally as determined, enthusiastic, etc as me. So I'm not sure!

99% of my questions were directly from my application, asking questions about things. I had a previous JET, a Japanese man who I know I was speaking too fast for, and I didn't understand his english a couple of times, eep! And a really nice Japanese lady who was very encouraging.

I was asked to say some words in Japanese, and all I could say was "Hello, I'm Carlie. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu". I'm sure they wanted more.

So, over all it went well. I think some of my answers were a bit too rehearsed sounding. But I guess I'm in with a fair chance. They said we should get a letter in the first or second week of April.

jeanne
February 19th, 2009, 14:49
For the describe your day I basically said I'd arrive early to school to get myself ready for the lesson and once the JTE arrived I'd see if there was any way I could help them prepare and possibly go over the lesson ahead of time. By lunch I'd sit with my students or colleagues to get to know them better since that creates a good working relationship and I've found that once students get to know you they have more respect for you in the classroom. If I had some free time I'd study Japanese because that will be an ongoing process for me while I'm there. After classes I'd participate in one of the after school clubs, such as the English Club, or explore cultural activities like Kendo or Flower Arranging. And then after that long day I'd head home, make myself dinner and head to bed after prepping for the next day's lessons.

I hope that's what they were looking for.


Were you interviewed in room 177 today? LOL i got almost the exact same questions. the work ethic one threw me off though, only because they asked me to describe my work ethic and compare it to the japanese work ethic.. something along those lines. that's the only question that threw me off. Everything else was pretty straightforward. ..

devtin
February 19th, 2009, 16:46
Just got back from my interview. I think I did as good as I could have! But everyone there who I chatted to before hand seemed equally as determined, enthusiastic, etc as me. So I'm not sure!

99% of my questions were directly from my application, asking questions about things. I had a previous JET, a Japanese man who I know I was speaking too fast for, and I didn't understand his english a couple of times, eep! And a really nice Japanese lady who was very encouraging.

I was asked to say some words in Japanese, and all I could say was "Hello, I'm Carlie. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu". I'm sure they wanted more.

So, over all it went well. I think some of my answers were a bit too rehearsed sounding. But I guess I'm in with a fair chance. They said we should get a letter in the first or second week of April.
Good to hear it went well. I had a similar problem with my self intro where I second guessed myself and I didn't say all I could say so it sounded like I knew shit all

Langus
February 20th, 2009, 08:08
Were you interviewed in room 177 today? LOL i got almost the exact same questions. the work ethic one threw me off though, only because they asked me to describe my work ethic and compare it to the japanese work ethic.. something along those lines. that's the only question that threw me off. Everything else was pretty straightforward. ..

No, sorry! :) They probably had similar questions all round though.

Shankerbelle
September 30th, 2009, 22:20
In London there was a question with regards to being an ALT whwere the interviewer asked "How would you explain the word 'Fizzy' to a pupil"

3737
October 2nd, 2009, 09:15
Fizzy is the word we use for the way soda goes pssshhhhhhhhh with lots of small bubbles.

Variable Rush
October 8th, 2009, 22:01
What's a good question to ask for the "Do you have any questions for us" question? I always freeze up at that point in interviews because I have most likely already answered any question I may have had by Googling it.

Waldroon
October 8th, 2009, 22:04
Ask one of the questions you googled.

JackAttack
October 8th, 2009, 22:07
You don't have to ask any questions when they ask that! I just told them no.

Variable Rush
October 8th, 2009, 22:20
Jack, were you selected for the Program?

JackAttack
October 8th, 2009, 22:35
Jack, were you selected for the Program?

Why yes I was!

Variable Rush
October 8th, 2009, 22:36
Okay, now I feel better. I'm off to school now.

SSJup81
October 10th, 2009, 04:49
What's a good question to ask for the "Do you have any questions for us" question? I always freeze up at that point in interviews because I have most likely already answered any question I may have had by Googling it.I usually end up in this predicament as well. Either I already know the answer to what I already wanted to know, or either the interviewer inadvertently answered any question I might have considered asking.

Usually, I might say to the interviewer that he/she was very thorough, and how he/she pretty much answered all the questions I might have had in mind, and then give a slight example. "You answered most everything I was already planning on asking, like how you explained about <insert whatever>"...

AliDimayev
October 10th, 2009, 06:44
I asked the exJET how he dealt with any bouts of homesickness that he may have gotten.

Wanderlust King
October 12th, 2009, 16:11
I asked the friendly guy on my panel to tell me something that he wished someone had told him before he did the program. It went over really well and kinda puts the ball in their court for a minute or two of precious interview time.

Analyzing these questions for more than like 10 minutes is a little silly I think, and you'll end up hyping yourself up so much for the interview that you may come across too stiff and rehearsed. Maybe I'm a fluke, but I went into the interview with a very conversative lackadaisical approach to the whole thing, and it went really well. I think the correctness of your answers matter a lot less than a genki, cheerful delivery and ability to showcase a modicum of social skill.

So far I'm finding that to be a pretty good rule of thumb for this entire job.

WesleyCrusher
October 13th, 2009, 09:47
The necessity of the modicum of social skill is debatable ;)

They could pick one issue and just spend the majority of your interview time talking about that. I spent most of mine explaining and justifying that I would still do the program even if my (fictional) fiance was not accepted or placed away from me.

Neb
October 14th, 2009, 15:32
I just asked how important a role ALTs played in the classroom and whether it was possible to make a difference and inspire them to do this and that, they seemed to have liked the question. I kinda thought it up while waiting for my interview, so I dunno, the interview wasnt really all that hard. In fact, i left thinking pretty good. On my way back home though, feeling slowly turned to disappointed as I slow began to think I screwed up this and that. Basically, I started microanalyizing all my answers and what went wrong with them. By the time results rolled around I thought I was going to be rejected for sure. Fortunately it was all in my head. Trust the feeling you get as soon as you exit!

Langus
October 15th, 2009, 14:01
I just asked how important a role ALTs played in the classroom and whether it was possible to make a difference and inspire them to do this and that, they seemed to have liked the question. I kinda thought it up while waiting for my interview, so I dunno, the interview wasnt really all that hard. In fact, i left thinking pretty good. On my way back home though, feeling slowly turned to disappointed as I slow began to think I screwed up this and that. Basically, I started microanalyizing all my answers and what went wrong with them. By the time results rolled around I thought I was going to be rejected for sure. Fortunately it was all in my head. Trust the feeling you get as soon as you exit!

This was exactly my feeling too. Don't let yourself microanalyze and lose sleep over the interview. At that point it's entirely out of your hands. What will be, will be.

wry bread
October 16th, 2009, 12:20
I think I asked what the former JET on the panel felt were the best and most difficult aspects of the program.

Really, you just have to not freak out during the interview. Project calm, but also enthusiasm for teaching. They will put you on the spot; try not to freeze up. Take a moment if you need to.

hammer
November 7th, 2009, 19:07
Has anyone ever got questions in regards to their placement requests? i.e. the reasoning behind their choices

ScienceDivison
November 9th, 2009, 02:04
Has anyone ever got questions in regards to their placement requests? i.e. the reasoning behind their choices

From what I have read, thats a very common question.

wicket
November 9th, 2009, 06:26
Yes, I was asked why Osaka. And if you've chosen Osaka or Kyoto, you'd better have a damned good answer to that question.

Lydscl
November 10th, 2009, 12:02
they went the other way with me, they noted my choices and asked how i would cope if i were placed in the countryside or not in one of those areas.

i just said i was used to small towns because of where i lived with my family, i was happy in small cities because of my university years and that i feel perfectly comfortable in big cities too.

basically just try and constantly cover all areas.

Hive
November 11th, 2009, 10:56
when they asked me "why Osaka", i told them about my trip there and the impressions it made on me, in terms of the local food, dialect, and vibrant neighborhoods. (among other things)

I also expressed, sincerely, that I just want the opportunity to work with JET, regardless of my placement. Anywhere they want to send me, I'll be content.

sounds fishy! haha
but it might make an impression

WesleyCrusher
November 11th, 2009, 11:07
Are you a real applicant? You never grovel at an interview.

Hive
November 11th, 2009, 11:16
Are you a real applicant? You never grovel at an interview.

I didn't. You're imagining things. ^_^

WesleyCrusher
November 11th, 2009, 11:18
Saying "Oh but I'm just happy anywhere if you take me" or anything of that nature seems grovel-y

Hive
November 11th, 2009, 11:30
Saying "Oh but I'm just happy anywhere if you take me" or anything of that nature seems grovel-y

right.
I need to care much more about where they send me, otherwise I could be reduced to additional grovel. kk

WesleyCrusher
November 11th, 2009, 11:33
Not even that so much as making sure you come across as open-minded and flexible versus being desperate to be accepted.

houk
November 11th, 2009, 13:48
i didnt tell them id go anywhere they sent me until they asked outright

on my app i unabashedly requested urban placements. when they asked why in the interview, i told them id lived in all kinds of places, rural urban and suburban, and i fit in best in urban settings, which would make me more positive and a better teacher in the long run. when they asked if i would accept a rural setting i told them i would make the best of whatever situation i found myself in. still got in.

epilogue: i got a tiny town thats reasonably close to a number of big cities. day-to-day is kinda blowy but the weekends offer a multitude of options

cielya
November 12th, 2009, 23:12
right.
I need to care much more about where they send me, otherwise I could be reduced to additional grovel. kk

Yea, I totally agree with Hive on this one.
It'd be "groveling" if I was lying, maybe, but I really would be okay with going anywhere should I make it that far. Sure I might have put warm places in my preferences list, and some places that I've been to before, but I didn't pick them as if they were the ONLY places I would want to live. If I was lucky enough to make it through and get stuck in cold weather country, well, I'd learn to bundle up and I'd love it there, too!

It's not groveling, it's just being excited about the prospect in general. Jeeze.

Absolute
November 13th, 2009, 11:33
Yea, I totally agree with Hive on this one.
It'd be "groveling" if I was lying, maybe, but I really would be okay with going anywhere should I make it that far. Sure I might have put warm places in my preferences list, and some places that I've been to before, but I didn't pick them as if they were the ONLY places I would want to live. If I was lucky enough to make it through and get stuck in cold weather country, well, I'd learn to bundle up and I'd love it there, too!

It's not groveling, it's just being excited about the prospect in general. Jeeze.It can be a fine line though.
In the interview, sound confident over excited.

I never actually got asked about my placement requests at all.

tenderRondo
November 19th, 2009, 07:32
Yes, I was asked why Osaka. And if you've chosen Osaka or Kyoto, you'd better have a damned good answer to that question.

Why does it have to be "damned good"? What is wrong with "Ive seen pictures and it looks like a nice place"


when they asked me "why Osaka", i told them about my trip there and the impressions it made on me, in terms of the local food, dialect, and vibrant neighborhoods. (among other things)


Have you already applied and been rejected before?

Irish_Swindler
November 19th, 2009, 10:44
I would say if you wanted Kyoto or Osaka giving them a "damn good reason" improves the slight chance of being placed there.