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Thread: CIR: 2005 applicants, how did you guys go?

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    Default CIR: 2005 applicants, how did you guys go?

    Had the CIR interview in Perth, Western Australia, on Tuesday (15 Feb 2005). Went reasonably well, but could have answered a bit better. If I don't get through, at least I'll do better next year.

    Anyway, I felt they asked fairly simple stuff, I was expecting to get grilled, so I hadn't really thought out good answers to the generic stuff. Two days on, I'm kicking myself thinking about how I could have explained my purpose for applying for the CIR position better. But, I think I went ok. A pass mark, but obviously things will depend on the other talent available. A couple of the unis in Perth have very strong Japanese studies programs (I won't say which is the best, even though everyone knows), so there is plenty of talent out there, so I'm very nervous about getting pipped by a couple of ace Jap Studies students.Anyhoo, crossing fingers and waiting.

    Just FYI, the interview was entirely in Japanese.

    Hey, how did you other guys from Perth go (there were 8 of us)? Everywhere else in the world?

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    (I won't say which is the best, even though everyone knows)
    Your not implying Murdoch university right?

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    Default Re: You're not implying Murdoch University are you?

    Hey, I'm not saying. I mean, I have my own opinions and everything. Anyway, 'the best' is a subjective term, and therefore it depends on the individual. I would expect most people to think that the university they went to was the best (there are always exceptions). There may be a general understanding around the Japan interest community that one university is regarded as better than others... I mean, I didn't put the word 'Murdoch' in your mouth or anything, that statement must have come from somewhere.

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    stop being so defensive!


    Murdoch university is by far the POWER HOUSE of Japanese language education in Perth amongst all the institutions. And this is further proven by the fact that they are awarded the highest number of scholarships/awards etc every year compared to most other unis even in OZ. Their program is very comprehensive and broad in comparison to others and also involves more work and study too.

    And no i did not study at MURDOCH uni. It was a distance thing for me.


    Not to mention that 1st year Japanese students from Murdoch Japanese know helluva lot more than say ECU and can actually hold a decent conversation in comparison to say 2nd year ECU student etc. The biggest downfall of other unis i think is their intense focus on learning Grammar and not enough actual practise etc. This smacks of the Japanese Way of even studying english.

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    The interview was really all in Japanese? Did you write in your application that you were completely fluent? Now I'm terrified...I'd heard different accounts on how much Japanese was actually necessary, and I knew that at least part of it would be in Japanese, but all of it? Eek! You didn't have to read a newspaper article, did you? As long as I can have conversations that stay away from difficult specialized vocab I don't really know and don't have to read a kiji I'll be fine, but...

    As you can see, this CIR interviewee is starting to freak out. Any words of assurance, anyone?

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    Your doooooommmeedd! Doomed i tells yah!


    Well as far as I knew all CIR interviews are in Japanese with a smidgen of English. After all you are expected to fit right in in an office environment etc hence your japanese as is expected needs to be sufficiently proficient to abe able to cope.

    If your unsure maybe also indicate your interest for ALT position too.


    Good Luck. mimigee

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    Quote Originally Posted by mimigee
    The interview was really all in Japanese? Did you write in your application that you were completely fluent? Now I'm terrified...I'd heard different accounts on how much Japanese was actually necessary, and I knew that at least part of it would be in Japanese, but all of it? Eek! You didn't have to read a newspaper article, did you? As long as I can have conversations that stay away from difficult specialized vocab I don't really know and don't have to read a kiji I'll be fine, but...

    As you can see, this CIR interviewee is starting to freak out. Any words of assurance, anyone?
    Well, I can't help, since I've only ever been to one CIR interview, so that's all I know. Yes, on my application it was clear that I can speak Japanese, so I guess they just went with that. They did have a test where we had to read a couple of short articles. And I mean short, like about 10 lines or something. I have read of people having their entire interviews in Japanese before, but I think that they also do CIR interviews in English and Japanese.

    But hey, every place is different, from what I've read. The interviewers in Perth, Western Australia were really nice the whole time, but some posts and sites around the web said that their interviews were quite stressful.

    There really isn't that much about the CIR interview either, which is kind of why I started this thread. I don't know if it's because there are less prospective CIRs applying than prospective ALTs, or because the type of people that apply as CIRs are less likely to want to post stuff all over the net (for various reasons).

    But anyhoo, what I can say about the interview is remember the basics. Why do you want to go? How can you contribute? How will you help others understand your culture, and how will you help understanding of the Japanese culture. I f----- up there slightly, because I had a whole bunch of complicated stuff that I had wanted to talk about, but they only asked really simple questions. I mean I made do, but hey, I think the basics are really important, and I wouild have thought more about how to get my point across in the least amount of time, because in the end I felt that the whole thing was way too short. The basics, the basics.

    No, if you have indicated what your level of Japanese is, they will probably go with that. There's no point grilling someone just to find out that they actually aren't at an advance level when they already wrote that on their application. That would be totally unproductive. They want to have a coherent conversation with you, and find out about you. The interview is your opportunity to show them that you're suitable. But look at it from their side: their aim is to find suitable applicants, so the interview is *their* chance to do this. It's in their best interested to facilitate this as much as possible. I guess I forgot about this a little, and when in very tight, when I should have been a lot looser.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evangelionpunk
    Well as far as I knew all CIR interviews are in Japanese with a smidgen of English. After all you are expected to fit right in in an office environment etc hence your japanese as is expected needs to be sufficiently proficient to abe able to cope.
    That's true, but you wouldn't have an interview in the first place if they thought you had no chance. I mean, you were honest on your application, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by evangelionpunk
    If your unsure maybe also indicate your interest for ALT position too.
    At the risk of this being a "me too" post... ah, yeah, I was actually told by a consulate staff member that you could ask to be considered for ALT if you weren't suitable for CIR, even though you can't write that on your application. But I'd be careful about appearing too desperate just to get any old position. I mean, you could mention that you were interested both positions, but applied for CIR since you can only apply for one, and that you think you would also make a great ALT.

    Good luck.

    Also, evangelionpunk, about the Murdoch thing: I was actually being coy, not defensive. I mean, I do think that Murdoch clearly stands out. I had friends at Murdoch, UWA and Curtin. UWA sounded crap. Curtin actually sounds like they're getting somewhere. ECU... is that actually classified as a real university?

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    ECU... is that actually classified as a real university?


    Yeah ECU does classify as a University! They are quite good in some areas eg IT but suck ass in Japanese Language.


    Id rate them as follows:
    1)Murdoch
    2)Curtin
    3-4) ECU, UWA they both suck equally.


    I remember meeting this guy from 1st year Japanese @Murdoch and the guy spoke quite fluently and knew quite a bit. A friend also studies there and has surpassed me due to that fact. They really are that good.

    But then its much better, easier and quicker when your forced to use the language all the time hence Japan.

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    thanks, staples. That's exactly what I was looking for.

    I've noticed the dearth of CIR related topics on the web, too, which is why I was stoked to see your post. I think it's mostly because there are so many fewer people who apply for the position. The number of CIRs hired relative to ALTs every year is ridiculously small, but even despite that fact I've read in places that the chances of landing a CIR position once you get to the interview stage is significantly higher than the ALT. Probably for the same reason--a fairly small applicant pool, both because more people would rather teach english as well as because only people who know they are qualified for the position tend to apply.

    I figure my best bet is to reread my application, figure out my answers to "the basics," and make sure I know how to tell them in Japanese that my kanji's a little rusty at the moment but I swear it gets better. : )

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    Good approach mimigee.

    The most important thing is that your interview matches up to your application form - if you say you are fluent, you had better be. Conversely, if you happen to have a 'variable' Japanese level, as long as you are able to express that and are able to communicate a need for assistance with stuff, you would still be able to make a favourable impression. (I think being able to ask for help is a major selling point - it shows that when stuck you can do things that will get you started again).

    While being strong in Japanese is a good selling point, it doesn't exclude you from the CIR position if you can't have a 30 minute conversation in the language. Be confident in your current abilities.

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    Default Ugh.

    Well, interview's done, and I was a little disappointed in myself. First of all, the only part in Japanese was when I had to read two short articles (the first really easy with furigana and the second with a bunch of ikkyuu kanji and no furigana) where I'd have a minute to look at it and then I'd have to read it out loud and answer questions. The second one had me asking questions and not knowing readings all over the place to the point where I couldn't even get to the end. Embarrassing.

    Before that, though, I got asked a lot of questions that seemed odd (one of my interviewers seemed not so happy...asked a lot of questions about my potential prejudices towards the midwest with a little bit of bitterness, it seemed), but mainly the basics (what would you contribute, why do you want to go, why japanese, etc). Maybe they're trained to hide all emotion from you, but basically I left feeling very unsure. Started strong, but ended in a flaming blaze of humility. Oh well. It's a good thing I wasn't counting on this job next year.

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    Default Chin up

    I feel like punching myself in the face for using a cliche, but chin up and stay positive. You never know. Anyway, JET is not the be all and end all. I have felt myself get a sort of tunnel vision thinking about how the interview went over the past week, but life goes on, and there are plenty of opportunities out there if you would like to work in Japan, or dealing with Japanese. I wish I didn't have to wait until April to find out, but if I let it take over my every thought, or get depressed or whatever, then I'm going to be in a fucked up state if and when the rejection letter comes.

    So, good luck! And thanks for posting in this thread, since there were only about three people that contributed in the end.

    I found another forum dedicated to CIR discussion at www.cirhomepage.org. There's not much there either since it's relatively new, but hey, if you get through it might be a useful resource.
    Knock, knock. Who's there? Shut your pie. Shut your pie who? Shut your pie hole (please visit Penny-Arcade.com).

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