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Thread: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

  1. #41
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    Yeah dude, I could see that as being really, really hard for someone with experience living abroad, let alone someone who hasn't any experience living abroad.

    I think I would find it really difficult. I live in a town of 55,000, but we have about 210,000 in the area. We have any core Western stuff you would want to survive plus other Westerners. I think it would be hard to thrive without that stuff.

    Ya, at the beginning it can be REALLY hard. Especially if you have limited Japanese, or you aren't that bubbly idiot who will talk to anything moving or not... The longer you are in an area, the easier it becomes, but many ALTs who have limited "away from home" experience, or no international living experience (a one month trip does not count imo) get REALLY depressed really quickly.

    Even in my town of 100,000 people, (really about 60k, but the town area is f'n massive) it was rough until I met a good group of Japanese people (after having improved my spoken Japanese) and started to live here, rather than visit.
    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.

  2. #42
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    Ya, at the beginning it can be REALLY hard. Especially if you have limited Japanese, or you aren't that bubbly idiot who will talk to anything moving or not... The longer you are in an area, the easier it becomes, but many ALTs who have limited "away from home" experience, or no international living experience (a one month trip does not count imo) get REALLY depressed really quickly.

    Even in my town of 100,000 people, (really about 60k, but the town area is f'n massive) it was rough until I met a good group of Japanese people (after having improved my spoken Japanese) and started to live here, rather than visit.
    Good for you. I think the continuous improvements to technology that we enjoy, living abroad becomes much easier (I think this life would have been super tough pre-internet). That said, you can't take the human element out of things. You need people with whom you can speak.

    I'm impressed you developed a good relationship with Japanese people because the language barrier can make that a big challenge. I am working hard to improve my Japanese, but it's slow going.

    I suppose you had good motivation. That helps.
    Last edited by johnny; February 25th, 2014 at 09:33.

  3. #43

    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    Oddly enough, I asked about teaching in elementary school even though I have no Japanese language skills. And although they said they typically try to get JETs who know a moderate amount of Japanese, they said they would make a note on my application that I was interested and see if they could make an exception.

    Iunno if they were just being polite but they did write something down. So... there's that.

  4. #44
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    If you get hired as a municipal ALT, there is a strong possibility that you will teach at both ES's as well as JHS's. There are a lot of ALT's I know who have at best a rudimentary knowledge of Japanese but still teach in ES's. If you happen to have a school with JTE's who have relatively strong English skills, then it would work just fine. If you don't have JTE's who are incapable or unwilling to speak English, then you'll adapt and learn the core words and phrases you need to succeed.

  5. #45
    Senior Member LaVie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    You interviewed in --- right? We may have crossed paths!
    Last edited by LaVie; February 27th, 2014 at 09:30.
    Alternate - Washington DC

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    Quote Originally Posted by HorseFeathers View Post
    Oddly enough, I asked about teaching in elementary school even though I have no Japanese language skills. And although they said they typically try to get JETs who know a moderate amount of Japanese, they said they would make a note on my application that I was interested and see if they could make an exception.

    Iunno if they were just being polite but they did write something down. So... there's that.
    A guy who came on the same day as me got stuck doing the ES/JHS travelling circus beat. He had 0 Japanese. He now has one of the best Japanese levels for ALTs in the area, but in his first year he spoke nada. Most of his coworkers barely spoke anything more than the simplest English.

    Shit happens.

    @Johnny. One thing that I think made a huge difference is I wasn't trying to make friends with young people where I live (not that there are many). I was making friends with adults (late 30's to 50's) which made it MUCH easier, especially because I don't act like a child or a tourist. I gave off the impression that I live where I live, and while I might have fun, I'm not fucking round and being a disrespectful turd like many of the foreigners they have seen in the past.
    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. #47

    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    -DELETED-
    Last edited by HorseFeathers; February 27th, 2014 at 07:31.

  8. #48
    Professional Fun Killer hypatia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    Quote Originally Posted by Coolmanio View Post
    I interviewed in Calgary and they asked me if I had any questions...... Eh, maybe it's just Toronto! Was anyone else asked to reconfirm their medical and criminal history and/or asked what level they would prefer to teach?
    They also had me verbally reconfirm medical/health history, but absolutely no questions about grade level I might prefer to teach. I have experience working with teenagers (specifically 13-15 year olds) that I mentioned in my SoP, and I referenced it in passing at one point when I was answering something else, so perhaps they felt that that I had already addressed that question.
    Last edited by hypatia; February 25th, 2014 at 12:13. Reason: typo

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    Did you indicate a preference on your application? That's usually when they bring it up. I checked on mine that I did not want to work with young kids, so they asked me about it. I lied of course and said I'd figure it out, but honestly had I been placed with the rug rats I wouldn't have come on JET.
    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.

  10. #50
    Professional Fun Killer hypatia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    Did you indicate a preference on your application? That's usually when they bring it up. I checked on mine that I did not want to work with young kids, so they asked me about it. I lied of course and said I'd figure it out, but honestly had I been placed with the rug rats I wouldn't have come on JET.
    I just read over the application three times to make sure I wasn't crazy, but (as far as I can tell) there isn't actually anywhere to indicate ES/JHS/SHS preference on this year's application.

  11. #51
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    It was specifically to indicate a preferred level, but when I did it (4 years ago now) there was an option on the canadian application to the effect of:
    do you mind working with small children?

    which was the HS/JHS+ES divider line.
    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.

  12. #52
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    I forget whether it was on the application or whether I was asked in the interview. I think I was verbally asked last year when I think on it.

  13. #53
    Professional Fun Killer hypatia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    but when I did it (4 years ago now) there was an option on the canadian application...
    Hmm. Application year difference, country difference (I'm in the US), or both? Canadians who applied this year, do you remember if you had this question?


    P.S. Holy cow the Canada JET page actually looks professional and not like the US website that looks like someone set it up with tables in HTML back in the early naughts. And Papyrus. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?? The only thing that reminds me more of middle school power point projects is comic sans.

  14. #54

    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    Quote Originally Posted by hypatia View Post
    Hmm. Application year difference, country difference (I'm in the US), or both? Canadians who applied this year, do you remember if you had this question?


    P.S. Holy cow the Canada JET page actually looks professional and not like the US website that looks like someone set it up with tables in HTML back in the early naughts. And Papyrus. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?? The only thing that reminds me more of middle school power point projects is comic sans.
    Nope, the Canadian application did not include a question about what grade level you would like to teacher. Nor did it ask you if you would mind working with small children.

  15. #55
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    I guess they must've removed that one. Ahh well, all the better I suppose given how many more JHS/ES positions there are compared to SHS positions.
    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.

  16. #56
    Member nostos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    I interviewed in Toronto - my candidate card at least asked for a preferred school level (circle one): ES, JHS, SHS, no pref.

  17. #57
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    So, the more and more I think about my interview the more nervous I get. I actually feel confident that at least one of the three interviewers liked me, and I think it's likely so did the others; however, I wonder about my qualifications. Has anyone ever heard of a situation where the interviewers liked a candidates personality, but declined to endorse them?

  18. #58

    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurassyk View Post
    Has anyone ever heard of a situation where the interviewers liked a candidates personality, but declined to endorse them?
    No one gets any feedback from interviews, so its pretty hard to actually tell if a situation like this comes up. Short of looking at how people thought their interview went and the outcome anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    well now I feel bad....
    And now we just wait for the world to end...

  19. #59

    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    I've genuinely no idea how my interview went. My panel consisted of just two people, a Japanese dude and a British lady, both of whom seemed pretty nice, although petty inscrutable too. The questions I was asked were all pretty general: I was not really asked anything that pertained to my statement of purpose apart form my placement choices. I felt that there was a ton of stuff that they could have tried to catch me out on from my statement of purpose. In my statement I mentioned teaching experience, lesson plans, and one or two sentences were actually quite vague, and I was certain these would have been brought up as talking points. Ultimately, I feel I didn't have a great opportunity to convey myself/ my personality at all.
    I guess the uk interview period is over, so I think I'm safe posting this: I was asked how I would explain the difference between the House of Lords and the Houses of Parliament, which totally threw me. I said I'd google it and tell whomever asked me the next day.
    The panel was running late the day of my interview, and my slot was right before lunch which I think put the odds against my favour.
    Uk candidates were also not allowed to ask questions during the interview, but could ask the ex-JETs looking after us anything we wanted. They were all armed with clipboards and seemed to be referring back to them whenever a key phrase or piece of Japanese etc. was mentioned, but this is probably just my paranoia. We were constantly reassured that whatever we said outside the interview room had no bearing on anything at all.
    Urgh, I've had already had a month to dwell on it. Not sure how I'm going to survive until April....

  20. #60
    Senior Member LaVie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soooo.....how was everyone's interview??

    Quote Originally Posted by HorseFeathers View Post
    Did you interview on Tuesday afternoon? Because we might have! I was chatting up everyone in the waiting room.
    Ah, unfortunately not. I had my interview Wednesday at 10:35 am!
    Alternate - Washington DC

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