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Thread: Interview Questions and Advice 2014

  1. #1

    Default Interview Questions and Advice 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Wasabi View Post
    Corvus - Last year I received my interview notification via e-mail on Tuesday January 29th from the Boston Consulate. It's possible that because the application deadline was a few days later this year they might not send notices as early this time around. The interview dates for that consulate were February 20 - 22 and I got an e-mail about my Alternate status on April 2nd. We still have a ways to go, so sit back & relax

    The application process has been much better the second time around. My top concern is that I won't get an interview despite having made it to Alternate this year. I don't know that I have the gumption to apply for a third time >_<
    Could you tell us about your experience with the interview process? For example: How did you prepare? How long did you prepare? What types of questions do you remember the committee asking you? Did any questions really throw you off? What do you think were the weakest points in your application and how did you address those in the interview?

  2. #2

    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    How did you prepare?
    Back in the good ol' days when the official JET forum still had the Aspiring Forums open, I spent time reading as many relevant interview threads as possible and amassed a word document with the ones I came across most frequently as well as ones I felt I had a tough time answering off the cuff. I went through them every so often and practiced what I would say (protip: don't try to 'memorize a script' for answers, just have bullet points in mind so you sound natural when responding). I did a little bit of face to face practice with some family members but as they weren't familiar with the interview process itself I don't know that it helped me a bunch.

    How long did you prepare?
    I had been browsing interview threads casually since I decided to apply in August of 2012, so it's hard to quantify. I think I started seriously preparing a few days after I got notification that I had been granted an interview. I would look over my question list and go over my answers before bed a few times a week. The night before the only real preparing I did was to set out my outfit and make sure I set my alarm early enough for the next morning. Luckily I was staying with a friend near Boston, so I tried my best to put the whole thing out of my mind and relax. The next morning on the T-ride in, I took the ~45 minutes I had and glanced over my questions, SoP & Application.

    What types of questions do you remember the committee asking you?
    Honestly, they were mostly easy questions. I had read so many stories of interviewers that were really mean or other horror stories that I was surprised how easy most of the questions were. I don't remember most of them verbatim, but they mainly centered around my motivation to participate in JET, my application & my (very few) relevant experiences. They wanted to know about the tutoring I had done in high school & college. I was prepared for them to really lay into me for having no Japanese ability but I lucked out by having a JET alum on my panel who knew virtually no Japanese before going to Japan (and by their own admission didn't leave Japan with much language ability either).

    Did any questions really throw you off?
    As I said above, I was thrown off a bit by the fact that they had asked pretty easy questions. It seems like they always try to ask at least 1 question that will really make you squirm and mine was "What would you tell a student if they asked you why the US still has forces stationed in Okinawa?" It did trip me up a bit as I really have no bleeping idea why, but the main takeaway from it is just to remain calm and try to make your answer sound good.

    What do you think were the weakest points in your application and how did you address those in the interview?
    My weakest points were my experience & my Japanese ability. I have a degree in Accounting and work for a bank, so I really had to dig deep and try to play up my tutoring experiences in high school & college. I also emphasized my flexibility and willingness to learn and adapt to new situations. I went into the interview being able to recognize ~70% of all kana, knowing a basic Japanese introduction, and having a general idea of how Japanese and English are functionally different (verb tenses, sentence structure, polite vs impolite speech form) so it goes without saying that I got no points for that. I do, however, have three semesters of Mandarin Chinese and a minor in French so I used this as evidence to show that I am naturally good at languages and have the discipline to study a new language.

    I also was very lucky that they didn't mention my boyfriend at all - we applied together and though he wasn't granted an interview, I still had put his name & relationship to me on the application where indicated. It doesn't qualify as a weakness per se, but it's something many people in my situation are asked about so I was ready just in case.
    I came here to laugh at you.

  3. #3

    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    Thank you for telling us about your experience Wasabi.

    It's very helpful for me to see how others experienced the interview process so that I can begin successfully preparing for them. And to comment on your responses, I've also read that many of the interviewers try to trip you by asking really difficult questions relating to international relations between the U.S. and Japan.

    In addition to the questions, did they ask you do perform a student-teacher role-playing part? And another question: what is different about your application this year, and why do you think it will make you a successful candidate?

  4. #4
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    How did you prepare?
    I didn't.
    How long did you prepare?
    0 minutes
    What types of questions do you remember the committee asking you?
    I'm an alcoholic, it was three years ago, my brain doesn't remember small details from that far back anymore.
    Did any questions really throw you off?
    Ya. When the interviewer mentioned my beginners Japanese on the form, and I replied "It's been like 7 months since I last studied" and the interviewer dropped the line of questioning.
    What do you think were the weakest points in your application and how did you address those in the interview?
    My abysmal GPA to date? I just said all the course I got crappy marks in were electives I took to see what the topic was about, and pointed to my really good record in my major classes (Which were all Linguistics/ESL theory).

    BTW: If anyone thinks I'm being snarky about this, check my forum registration dates. They are both after I came to Japan. I seriously looked at the JET programme as "If I get in, I get in. If I don't, I don't. No use worrying about it". In the end I was shortlisted with the absolute least amount of preparation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  5. #5

    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    Gizmotech: I'll be completely honest, your story seems highly implausible to me. I'm somewhat skeptical as to your presumably 'lax' attitude during the application process. Also, your post isn't particularly helpful to anybody on this thread as you've given no detail as to your application process; not that you're obliged to by any means. If anything, it seems more your way of showing how effortlessly you were shortlisted...if your story is to be believed.

  6. #6
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaddyPakku View Post
    Gizmotech: I'll be completely honest, your story seems highly implausible to me. I'm somewhat skeptical as to your presumably 'lax' attitude during the application process. Also, your post isn't particularly helpful to anybody on this thread as you've given no detail as to your application process; not that you're obliged to by any means. If anything, it seems more your way of showing how effortlessly you were shortlisted...if your story is to be believed.
    Right, the purpose of my post is to highlight that preparation is in itself unnecessary for the interview. If you are a capable individual, who can react to spontaneous events, the interview becomes an evaluation of your character which is impossible to prepare for. No amount of "What did they ask when you went" can help you prepare for the question they didn't ask someone else. Therefore, to maintain a consistent appearance it is most advisable to go in with no preparation, so that your answers look and feel similar to each other, instead of solid and terribad. Also, if during the interview you are constantly answering new questions, when an awkward or uncomfortable question arises, you have a better chance of controlling your reaction because through the entire process you were already doing it, which will create a much better image as compared to the shock moment.

    Furthermore, your ability to react to the unknown and sudden change of events is a rather important skill when coming to Japan. You would be amazed at the types of questions I have been asked in passing which I am in no way prepared for.

    But you'll note that none of this information is what was requested by the previous poster, so I didn't bother to include it because it wasn't the information the poster was looking for. I also can't provide clear information anymore because the interview was 3 years ago now, and frankly wasn't that memorable beyond the Japanese dude dropping the language thing, and my colossal fuck up during my mock lesson.

    As for the story being implausible, many of the shortlisted JETs I have met here while on the program got in with very little concern or preparation. It actually seems more rare that the super prepared get in (from my totally varied and extensive anecdotal experiences), possibly because they come off as neurotic and insecure which are both pretty bad qualities to have when working in Japan.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  7. #7
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    How did I prepare?:

    I read up on Japan a little. I read a little recent history and made sure I knew some famous Japanese people outside of the videogame an anime world. I read up on Japanese geography and some other stuff. No questions about Japan came up during my interview though.

    The questions they did ask:

    They asked about how I would do with culture shock. They asked about my teaching experience. How I deal with stress, superiors, etc. at work. They wanted to know why I wanted to come to Japan and why I chose the locations that I did. Basically, they want to know why you want to be a JET.

    The big question they asked was this: If you had spare room in your suitcase to bring a cultural item to use it a lesson plan, what would you bring and what would you say about it?

    The follow up questions went on for several minutes after that in a really rapid-fire manner.

    One specific question I got was the former JET asked how I would feel about people constantly making observations like "you use chopsticks so well!".

    I told them that I got this comment a lot in Korea, and I expected that they were just trying to be polite with limited English.

    One final question I can remember is that they asked me what I would do if I did not get accepted into JET. I don't know if this was a good idea or not, but I told them the truth. I told them that I would stay at my current job because I was happy there and that if I worked as an educator in Japan that I only wanted to do it with JET because it is the best.

  8. #8
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    Right, the purpose of my post is to highlight that preparation is in itself unnecessary for the interview. If you are a capable individual, who can react to spontaneous events, the interview becomes an evaluation of your character which is impossible to prepare for. No amount of "What did they ask when you went" can help you prepare for the question they didn't ask someone else. Therefore, to maintain a consistent appearance it is most advisable to go in with no preparation, so that your answers look and feel similar to each other, instead of solid and terribad. Also, if during the interview you are constantly answering new questions, when an awkward or uncomfortable question arises, you have a better chance of controlling your reaction because through the entire process you were already doing it, which will create a much better image as compared to the shock moment.

    Furthermore, your ability to react to the unknown and sudden change of events is a rather important skill when coming to Japan. You would be amazed at the types of questions I have been asked in passing which I am in no way prepared for.

    But you'll note that none of this information is what was requested by the previous poster, so I didn't bother to include it because it wasn't the information the poster was looking for. I also can't provide clear information anymore because the interview was 3 years ago now, and frankly wasn't that memorable beyond the Japanese dude dropping the language thing, and my colossal fuck up during my mock lesson.

    As for the story being implausible, many of the shortlisted JETs I have met here while on the program got in with very little concern or preparation. It actually seems more rare that the super prepared get in (from my totally varied and extensive anecdotal experiences), possibly because they come off as neurotic and insecure which are both pretty bad qualities to have when working in Japan.
    What do you think about some people who got crazy questions like: Can you name 3 Japanese historians? Can you name 3 Japanese poets/artists/Kabuki actors etc.

    Does anyone actually care if you can name these people? Like I said in my post, I didn't get asked, but shouldn't people prepare just in case they get one of the crazy questions? Alternatively, do you reckon that it's best just to admit that you couldn't name one Japanese historian to save your life?

    I know some historians now, but last February? No way.

  9. #9
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    I didn't prepare more than scanning the papers the week leading up to the interview to see if japan was in the news. I had a few hours to kill before the interview so went for lunch in the pub opposite the embassy and probably had one too many pints of dutch courage. I still got in. I didn't really get asked much about japan in the interview. The two questions I remember being tricky/strange were "how would you explain the invasion of Afghanistan to a JHS student" and "which 3 UK authors would you recommend to a JHS student". Rest of the interview was pretty standard why japan/why JET/where do you see yourself in 5 years time crap.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  10. #10

    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    Right, the purpose of my post is to highlight that preparation is in itself unnecessary for the interview. If you are a capable individual, who can react to spontaneous events, the interview becomes an evaluation of your character which is impossible to prepare for. No amount of "What did they ask when you went" can help you prepare for the question they didn't ask someone else. Therefore, to maintain a consistent appearance it is most advisable to go in with no preparation, so that your answers look and feel similar to each other, instead of solid and terribad. Also, if during the interview you are constantly answering new questions, when an awkward or uncomfortable question arises, you have a better chance of controlling your reaction because through the entire process you were already doing it, which will create a much better image as compared to the shock moment.

    Furthermore, your ability to react to the unknown and sudden change of events is a rather important skill when coming to Japan. You would be amazed at the types of questions I have been asked in passing which I am in no way prepared for.

    But you'll note that none of this information is what was requested by the previous poster, so I didn't bother to include it because it wasn't the information the poster was looking for. I also can't provide clear information anymore because the interview was 3 years ago now, and frankly wasn't that memorable beyond the Japanese dude dropping the language thing, and my colossal fuck up during my mock lesson.

    As for the story being implausible, many of the shortlisted JETs I have met here while on the program got in with very little concern or preparation. It actually seems more rare that the super prepared get in (from my totally varied and extensive anecdotal experiences), possibly because they come off as neurotic and insecure which are both pretty bad qualities to have when working in Japan.
    see, now this post is immensely more helpful that your initial post.
    I actually agree with the sentiment that there should be a certain level of unexpectancy when entering the interview. Having said that, it would be extremely more beneficial if I knew before hand that they could ask questions on British and or Japanese poets/authors historians etc...

  11. #11

    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    Literally all of my interview questions were so obvious I felt like I must have failed because I hadn't distinguished myself in any way. Remember Japanese language ability is not a requirement at all for the ALT position.


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  12. #12
    disobedient avocado Lianwen's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    I fell on my arse in front of the PC at the consulate, and I was still hired.

    Looking back, I wish someone had warned me about the possibility my JET alumni interviewer might be a d_ck.

    Things people can do in the meanwhile instead of worrying about the interview.
    1) Make sure you're graduating, for those of you in undergrad. I don't mean proof of graduation. Imagine getting shortlisted, but then getting shorted because you failed that stupid yoga final.
    2) If you're not in undergrad, life goes on. Work. Find a job if you don't have one already. Don't be all like, but I'm waiting to hear if I get an interview as an excuse to not get at least a PT gig. Now is one of the best times in the season to apply and get a PT gig. And then you can save money.
    3) Investigate back-up plans if JET falls through.
    4) Socialize. Chances are you're not going to see the majority of your friends for (at least) several months if you're shortlisted, and you don't want to be that loser staring at the comprehensive list of previously asked interview questions on a Friday night.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    Right, the purpose of my post is to highlight that preparation is in itself unnecessary for the interview. If you are a capable individual, who can react to spontaneous events, the interview becomes an evaluation of your character which is impossible to prepare for. No amount of "What did they ask when you went" can help you prepare for the question they didn't ask someone else. Therefore, to maintain a consistent appearance it is most advisable to go in with no preparation, so that your answers look and feel similar to each other, instead of solid and terribad. Also, if during the interview you are constantly answering new questions, when an awkward or uncomfortable question arises, you have a better chance of controlling your reaction because through the entire process you were already doing it, which will create a much better image as compared to the shock moment.

    Furthermore, your ability to react to the unknown and sudden change of events is a rather important skill when coming to Japan. You would be amazed at the types of questions I have been asked in passing which I am in no way prepared for.

    But you'll note that none of this information is what was requested by the previous poster, so I didn't bother to include it because it wasn't the information the poster was looking for. I also can't provide clear information anymore because the interview was 3 years ago now, and frankly wasn't that memorable beyond the Japanese dude dropping the language thing, and my colossal fuck up during my mock lesson.

    As for the story being implausible, many of the shortlisted JETs I have met here while on the program got in with very little concern or preparation. It actually seems more rare that the super prepared get in (from my totally varied and extensive anecdotal experiences), possibly because they come off as neurotic and insecure which are both pretty bad qualities to have when working in Japan.
    I find it odd that JET would want people who didn't prepare. I mean, of course people have to be adaptable and work well under stressful conditions, but that doesn't mean that people who over-prepare are going to do less well when placed in the same circumstances.

  14. #14
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    I didn't prepare more than scanning the papers the week leading up to the interview to see if japan was in the news. I had a few hours to kill before the interview so went for lunch in the pub opposite the embassy and probably had one too many pints of dutch courage. I still got in. I didn't really get asked much about japan in the interview. The two questions I remember being tricky/strange were "how would you explain the invasion of Afghanistan to a JHS student" and "which 3 UK authors would you recommend to a JHS student". Rest of the interview was pretty standard why japan/why JET/where do you see yourself in 5 years time crap.
    I didn't questions about Canadian authors. Lucy Maud Montgomery would have been an easy one. The Afghanistan one would have been tough though. I guess I would have tried to explain the government's justification for the invasion.

    Come to think of it, I did get the question about where I saw myself in five years time. I told them the truth, that my ideal job would be working for the Foreign Affairs ministry. That probably went over well.

  15. #15

    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbui View Post
    I find it odd that JET would want people who didn't prepare. I mean, of course people have to be adaptable and work well under stressful conditions, but that doesn't mean that people who over-prepare are going to do less well when placed in the same circumstances.
    If you research every question they might ask beforehand and just recite answers that you've rehearsed based on other people's opinions and experiences then that doesn't help them figure you out at all. They want you to answer their questions truthfully so from ther perspective it would be better if you weren't expecting them.

    And as others have said, if you focus too much on preparing your answers beforehand then you might get flustered when they ask something you weren't expecting.

    Preparation should be learning about what the job entails and about Japan in general, not preparing for all the questions specifically. As other current ALTs have said, check recent news, read a bit about Japanese history, learn a bit about social norms and polite behaviour etc


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  16. #16
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, where do you stand with your 2014 application?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbui View Post
    I find it odd that JET would want people who didn't prepare. I mean, of course people have to be adaptable and work well under stressful conditions, but that doesn't mean that people who over-prepare are going to do less well when placed in the same circumstances.
    I'm not so sure about that. I agree with Giz (edit: and Jiggit; he said pretty much everything I wanted to say)... sometimes too much preparation is not all that great an idea, and is indicative of a particular type of person who would struggle in the typical working environment of many ALTs. That said, my advice regarding preparation tends to be a bit different...

    How did you prepare?
    I took care of myself. I didn't eat a bunch of unhealthy garbage in the weeks leading up to the interview. I didn't drink an arseload of booze or smoke an arseload of *ahem* in the weeks leading up to the interview. I didn't get a bunch of exercise or anything, but I stayed fit and healthy, tried to get plenty of sleep, etc.

    I bought a good suit that many folks agreed looked good on me and had it tailored by a good tailor. I bought a good tie, nice shoes, etc. I got a good haircut from a particularly talented barber just a couple of days before the interview. A lot of people don't know how to dress themselves well (me), and that's fine; there's nothing wrong with that unless you THINK you can dress yourself well and you actually can't. At the risk of exposing a prejudice... fat girls are particularly bad about this, imho. Interview attire is more difficult for women, anyway, and I'm quite sympathetic in that regard, but if you're a heavyset girl, you should make sure you're getting brutally honest advice from people who won't spare your feelings. I, myself, am a fat-yet-scrawny, somewhat creepy, generally awful-looking guy... so I needed all the help I could get--and I made it a point to get it.

    I got a hotel room next to the interview location the day before the interview, made sure I knew exactly how and where to walk to the building, and made sure that I got plenty of sleep the night before (as much as I could, anyway). I didn't eat or drink anything weird the day before, and took a good sh*t in the evening. I had a bottle of Pepto just in case for the next morning.

    I gave myself a pep talk and got into character as soon as I left the hotel room. I had to get the hotel manager to tie my tie for me, because I was an uncultured simpleton back then. That's how unprepared I was.

    I didn't give a sh*t about questions or anything like that. I just made sure I looked and felt fantastic.

    How long did you prepare?
    See above. Oh, I'd read the forums and sh*t; knew the potential questions, but I also realized that sh*t wasn't gonna do me any good, because that wasn't the point of the interview. I should have read my SoP more thoroughly before I went in there, of course.

    What types of questions do you remember the committee asking you?
    I don't remember most of them. They were softballs for the most part. The two Japanese people were incredibly nice; the JET alum was a gigantic d*ck. That was probably his job; I don't blame him for it.

    Did any questions really throw you off?
    The JET alum repeatedly told me that he didn't understand "Why Japan?" and kept throwing it at me. I repeatedly answered it as best I could. One of the Japanese interviewers asked me about something obscure in my SoP; a throwaway comment I'd made... and I was stumped... but I managed to get through the answer.

    The questions don't really matter; how you handle yourself in a difficult situation is far, far more important. The more you try to plan for every possible contingency, the more f*cked you're gonna be when something unexpected gets tossed at you.

    What do you think were the weakest points in your application and how did you address those in the interview?
    Completely sh*tty GPA, crazy employment history, being older than most applicants, looking like a creepy, ugly troll of a man, generally being uncomfortable in awkward social situations like interviews.

    I addressed my sh*tty GPA, crazy employment history, and being older than most applicants in my SoP and they didn't really hit me that hard on those points. As for the other two points, well, I looked as good as I possibly could and successfully acted like I was an awesome, normal human being for the duration of the 15-20-minute interview.
    Last edited by word; January 8th, 2014 at 11:08.
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  17. #17
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Questions and Advice 2014

    Word, well put!

    I did basically the same. I think I tried on at least 10 suits before I bought one (and later returned). I got a haircut, had a mint in my pocket for while I waited in the waiting room. The 2 weeks before hand I read the Japan times online, met with my Japanese to brush up my language skills and to ask them about Japanese interviews.

    I have to say when I walked into the waiting, the confidence when up. Some applicants showed up in sneakers, or wrinkly clothes, they didn't look put together. I knew I had that on them.

    Tricky questions I was asked, "Describe the area you're from in one word" ("historic", I told them I lived were John Manjiro was from. the interviewers said they didn't know who he was so they asked me to explain that to them.) followed by "Describe America in one word" (...........Diverse!, I was throw off by these questions but I was quick to answer and able to elaborate so I think that was a plus for me.)

    I had traveled to Japan before JET and spoke its praises, the older Japanese man in the room said, "It seems like you think its paradise, what is something you don't like about Japan?" (Once again I was caught off guard and didn't like being forced to say something negative in an interview. I answered, "the address system, its really confusing and just not a fluid as other countries. But I realize it can never change and it gives you a chance to talk to people you don't know when you or they look lost haha".

    I also got asked on the spot to do a teaching demo on an American holiday. I asked in this setting would the students have a pen and paper or nothing. They look at each other and said pen and paper is ok....... and I went with that.

  18. #18
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Questions and Advice 2014

    How did you prepare?
    Got a suit (two actually), manicure, and haircut. I spent maybe an hour or two googling interview question.

    How long did you prepare?
    The longest and most stressful part was actually getting the suit. I had my first suit altered at the store where I bought it. Turns out they were a place that sends suits out to God knows where to do their alterations and it looked like it wouldn't come back in time. I had to go get a second one and have it altered locally. Pro tip, kids- get your suits sorted out now.

    What types of questions do you remember the committee asking you?
    I got asked why Japan, what three items I'd bring to share with my students, and if I would serve tea if asked. I also got asked if I had any questions for them. It was a pretty standard interview, no real surprises.

    Did any questions really throw you off?
    Nope, all except the tea one were common questions you'd find in any other interview. The tea one was one I'd read about (it's asked fairly often to female applicants to see their reaction) so I wasn't thrown off. I wouldn't recommend memorizing answers or anything, just be prepared for them to try to stress you. One of my suit buttons did pop off as soon as I sat down in the interview chair though. Don't go cheap on the suits, I'm serious.

    What do you think were the weakest points in your application and how did you address those in the interview?
    Mostly lack of teaching experience. As long as you show that you're willing to learn, you should be fine.

    I guess I should also say that one of my sorority sisters interviewed for JET the year before I did and didn't make it. She hates kids, so I have no idea why she even applied. She apparently was asked to do a demo lesson and she said all she did was pick up various objects in the room and tried to get the interview panel to repeat after her. I would say that she didn't pass the interview because she was totally the wrong personality type for the job (really intimidating business type), not because she did a crappy lesson. That's the whole purpose of the interview- to weed out the people who might look good on paper but would either freak out and go home right away or not get along with the kids, teachers, or people in their placement communities. Yet, there's still weirdoes that manage to get in.
    Last edited by coop52; January 8th, 2014 at 14:53.

  19. #19
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Questions and Advice 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by coop52 View Post
    The longest and most stressful part was actually getting the suit. I had my first suit altered at the store where I bought it. Turns out they were a place that sends suits out to God knows where to do their alterations and it looked like it wouldn't come back in time. I had to go get a second one and have it altered locally. Pro tip, kids- get your suits sorted out now.
    Tailor tip: Find an incredibly old guy (or girl) in your town who has been tailoring in some sh*t hole-in-the-wall shop for the past sixty-five years or something. S/he will probably be working in an area of town that used to be nice but isn't quite as nice anymore. S/he will have been tailoring suits since the dawn of time, will do the work locally and quickly, and will probably be incredibly good at it. My dude was Tony in a rather sh*tty area of the city. There were four shops in his strip; one was his, one was vacant, and the other two were--quite literally--a gun store and a liquor store. He was a f*cking master, though; when he got done, I looked like a jillion bucks in that suit.

    Quote Originally Posted by ihatefall View Post
    Aren't you sick of correcting grammar as an ALT? Haha
    I'm really sorry; it's just... heterograph confusion is my thing. Drives me bananas.
    Last edited by word; January 8th, 2014 at 15:13.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Interview Questions and Advice 2014

    Oh yeah the ex-ALT will definitely be the one asking the difficult questions. They're most likely to be an ass as well, though iirc the ones at the British interview were friendly enough. Basically remember they will probably be similar to the regulars on this site in terms of shit they will be looking out for (weeabooism) and will be better equipped to see through the more obvious bullshit. Don't know how much power they have over the decision but they definitely have a lot of power to ask whatever the hell they feel like. I think mine asked about 80% of the questions in the interview.

    My "difficult" question (i.e. the only one worth remembering) was "If you had planned a trip abroad and at the last minute your school told you about an event they wanted you to attend in the holiday period, how would you deal with the situation?" to which I said I would try to negotiate the situation with my school and find a way to make the time back but if it was absolutely necessary I would of course place the job first.

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