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Thread: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

  1. #1
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    Hey guys a buddy of mine consulted with his Japanese girlfriend. She feels that he should treat the JET interview like a Japanese interview. For example saying, "失礼します” before entering the room and sitting down.
    While he is at a pretty high level (close to 2級), I wanted to caution against this. I feel that they are hiring a foreigner to speak English, to teach their culture to Japanese students and to be different from Japanese people. I feel that of course Japanese language ability is a plus but going in with your J-go guns blazing might look like you're going to Japan for your own language development, not to help J-kids with theirs.
    I think its a fine line to walk.
    Of course if they bring up Japanese, I wouldn't recommend shying away from it. Let them bring the Japanese to you. I feel like they are expecting you to come in using English and it might throw them off. I think finishing in Japanese seems ok to me, with a bow and a "ありがとうございます。。。。。。。。”
    What do you guys think?
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    I've read it time and time again: Do not use Japanese in the interview, unless asked of course. You are interviewing for a job teaching English. Your Japanese abilities are listed on your application, and they have that. If they question your capabilities, then, like you said, they'll bring the Japanese to you.

    But what do I know, that's just what I've read and my 2 cents.
    Last edited by itsabird; January 28th, 2014 at 10:18.

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    Senior Moment Antonath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    My advice: if they want to test your Japanese, they'll ask. Otherwise, speak English.
    ...because Japan.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    Proficiency in Japanese isn't a requirement for JET, so if it were me, I wouldn't bother with it unless they bring it up.

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    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    Ok, basically the same thing I was thinking.
    Do you guys think ending with a Japanese phrase is cool? Especially if they ask him about his Japanese abilities.

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    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    Quote Originally Posted by ihatefall View Post
    Ok, basically the same thing I was thinking.
    Do you guys think ending with a Japanese phrase is cool? Especially if they ask him about his Japanese abilities.
    No

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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    I agree completely with the previous comments. The concepts behind JET are rooted in internationalization and cultural exchange, not "who among you is the most Japanese of all?" or anything like that. If he indicated a high level of proficiency in the language, they'll probably test him, but aside from that, I would absolutely not make a show of being intimately familiar with the culture.
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    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    On the second question, personally I'd say no again. I'd think he was trying to be a smart ass/showing off more than anything if I was the interviewer. But I'd say its a judgement call on how the interview goes and how they address his proficiency.

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    Senior Moment Antonath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    Quote Originally Posted by ihatefall View Post
    Do you guys think ending with a Japanese phrase is cool? Especially if they ask him about his Japanese abilities.
    Think of it this way: if this were a job interview with the government that didn't involve Japan, would you finish the interview by doing "something cool"?
    ...because Japan.

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    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    Think of it this way: if this were a job interview with the government that didn't involve Japan, would you finish the interview by doing "something cool"?
    I don't know if that is "cool", I think its doing something "cultural appropriate".
    I did have another friend who had an interview and he said they switched it to Japanese on him, but it was because they saw he had gone to the Middlebury language school. He is really high level and had no problem.

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    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    Use Japanese if they ask you, otherwise stick to English for the entirety. This is a regular job interview, for an English speaking position, teaching English in a foreign country, and integrating through English with a local community where you will live.

    It might sound obvious, but the goal here is to impress with your character and abilities, not to stand out as the strange nutjob in the corner. Unique and special snow flake syndrome should be avoided at all costs, and you take advantage of things in the interview to stand out.
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    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    Quote Originally Posted by ihatefall View Post
    I don't know if that is "cool", I think its doing something "cultural appropriate".
    I did have another friend who had an interview and he said they switched it to Japanese on him, but it was because they saw he had gone to the Middlebury language school. He is really high level and had no problem.
    There's nothing culturally appropriate about it at all. The interview is in a foreign country, being run by mostly foreign staff, for a position acting as a foreigner, with no expectation of prior knowledge of the culture. You use the culture of the country you are in at the time.
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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.

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    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    when 2/3rds of the interview panel are native english speakers blurting out some japanese will make you look an arse. If he wrote on the application that he speaks japanese and the japper interviewer engages him then by all means tell him to whip his massive Jgo peen out and start stroking away but otherwise keep it professional. Its a job interview, not a meeting of the anime society.

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    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    The less he tries to show off the better the impact will be when he does speak Japanese and it turns out to be really good.

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    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    Quote Originally Posted by Azrael View Post
    when 2/3rds of the interview panel are native english speakers blurting out some japanese will make you look an arse. If he wrote on the application that he speaks japanese and the japper interviewer engages him then by all means tell him to whip his massive Jgo peen out and start stroking away but otherwise keep it professional. Its a job interview, not a meeting of the anime society.
    Lol'd. What a way with words.

    Quote Originally Posted by therealwindycity View Post
    The less he tries to show off the better the impact will be when he does speak Japanese and it turns out to be really good.
    Exactly. Humbleness will definitely look better than being egotistical.

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    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    Quote Originally Posted by therealwindycity View Post
    The less he tries to show off the better the impact will be when he does speak Japanese and it turns out to be really good.
    Wise words

  17. #17

    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    Quote Originally Posted by ihatefall View Post
    Hey guys a buddy of mine consulted with his Japanese girlfriend. She feels that he should treat the JET interview like a Japanese interview. For example saying, "失礼します” before entering the room and sitting down.
    She thinks this because being Japanese is basically like being in a religion. All the little things they are taught to do might as well be holy writ. Probably doesn't get the idea of an interview being something other than jumping through the hoops and doing the special rituals of being in their special club.



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  18. #18
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    There are many opportunities to impress people with knowledge of Japanese language and culture if you get a position. All applicants should probably hold their horses through the interview process.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    The job is for an English teaching position. If they switch to Japanese in the interview then that is the only time I will use it. Humbleness is always appreciated, too.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Using Japanese in an interview - Yes? No? Maybe? (Circle one)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    She thinks this because being Japanese is basically like being in a religion. All the little things they are taught to do might as well be holy writ. Probably doesn't get the idea of an interview being something other than jumping through the hoops and doing the special rituals of being in their special club.
    hahaha thats hilarious.

    yea, not that I have the experience with it but I think logically all of the above make sense and your friend should stick to English. I know I plan to (of course my Japanese proficiency is much lower than your friend's too)

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