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Thread: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

  1. #1
    Pimpin wenches aint easy BeckyJones's Avatar
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    Default Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    Hey n00bs. I'm BJ, and if you don't check out the lounge for all our special awesome happy fun time shenanigans I suggest you do. But, I'm not here to plug the lounge, I'm here to offer some sage advice from an old timer for your applying and interview stages. Because for once, I feel like being helpful, and I think my wisdom can save some of you some heart ache.

    SUPER KNOWLEDGE 1)

    BE FLEXIBLE!
    Jet and Japan in general is really hesitant about inflexible people. While living in Japan you will be put in situations outside of your comfort zone. If you think otherwise, you are a fool. They know this, and they want to see that you are willing to roll with the punches. If you want to be put in a city, or the country... if you want to be next Kansai gaidai or if you just like lollyporn and want to get your AKB fantasy on... that is fine. But JET don't care.
    4002fae2e65d57bdc33cf21c97631e69_large333.jpg
    see this? this is honeybadger, he don't give a F&%# and neither does JET.

    SUPER KNOWLEDGE 2)

    You are not unique, and no one cares
    You might think you are interesting, special and deserving of JET to give you some sort of consideration for your Medical,Hobby, Academic life, Sports preference etc. After all, you are unique right? Well no. you are not. JET doesn't care about your social life, or your hobbies or your medical life. Because you are just one unique snowflake surrounded by thousands of other snowflakes. Sure they want people to come to Japan and teach in Japanese schools, and they do want to do a bit of soft power with cultural exchange. But, there are more people applying than there are positions, and they don't really care about you the individual. Sorry to say, but it is true. So go back to rule 1, be flexible. Don't demand anything, and when you have your special request (which it is fine to request things) always keep in mind that JET honestly doesn't care about you and fullfilling your request.

    for example, you could say, "I am allergic to mold, deathly alergic to mold... So I dont think I should be placed in a moldy environment. What about Sapporo?" and JET will place you in Kumamoto, in an old abandon house filled with mold.

    JET is like Honeybadger..

    It's cool to be different, and everyone here is eccentric in their own ways... but don't feel entitiled to be eccentric or loved foryour eccentricities because you are not unqiue compared to the whole... And trust me when I say, JET and Japan has seen every type of person come...

    SUPER KNOWLEDGE 3)

    JET AND JAPAN ISN'T FOR EVERYONE

    seriously, we old timers like it here. And we see why a lot of people want to come to Japan. it is nice... very nice at times... but it is also shitty at times. Also, Japan isn't for everyone. A lot of people every year come to Japan with good intentions and get their asses kicked by Japan. Every year we see people say "I've dreamed of Japan my entire life! " or "Japan is where I want to live forever" before they even live here (college study abroads don't count). And every year, we see those same people run with their tails between their legs screaming for home and how horrible Japan is.
    Here is something to consider:
    Japan is filled with racists
    Japan is filled with mysoginists
    Japan is filled with a lot of people who don't care about your lollyporn collection
    Japan is filled with redneck rice farmers, who only like to drink.
    Japan is filled with an education system that will spit you out and replace you with another dumb westerner at the drop of the hat.
    Japan is filled with other JETs who do the same job as you, and don't really care about your super new awesome lesson plan... yawn... we've seen it before
    Japan is filled with teachers who will treat you like shit, and don't care about you.

    If you are cool with this, and you are cool with the fact that you might have to deal with some of these negatives, Come on over. But remember. JET and Japan isn't Zion, or the promise land. I highly recommend you look at other places too, Korea, China, Thailand, Argentina, Poland. Think of Japan as a great place to do some ESL work and enjoy a few years abroad. Not as the "destination" and you will have a better time. Trust me.
    I'm old.
    I know what I am talking about.



    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    His dying breath will not be how sorry he is to leave his wife or children, but it will be saved to insult Jiggit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    Small Print: The views of BeckyJones do not necessarily match the views of your placement, the JET programme or Japan in general.

  3. #3
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    The high priest has spoken.




    (But seriously, he's right)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    Can we get this stickied?
    I came here to laugh at you.

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    Constant Fu*kup sharpinthefang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    The lord and saviour has spoken the truth!
    Also, you will always be compared to your pred by the teachers, regardless if they were good or bad.
    Accepted with Interac on 13th May 2014
    Upgraded with JET on 7th October 2014...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_Simmons View Post
    shit, i've realize that i picked the wrong time to reply directly the thread's original question...

  6. #6
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    The honeybadger! Greyjoy taught me about him!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Old Snow wouldn't have said that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    You are like the secret boss battle they only advertised back when the game was being developed.

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    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    One thing about Statement of Purpose letters - a lot of them tend to start with situations like "when I was a child I read a Japanese fairy tale/learned about origami/read a book about Japan and from then my interest has deepened and grown," but then don't show go on to show any real efforts the person has made to connect to Japan/Japanese culture since then. Try to keep it as concrete as possible and remember that you're trying to show the screeners what you can do to benefit your BoE as a good employee, not just as a cultural ambassador.

  8. #8
    Pimpin wenches aint easy BeckyJones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    Quote Originally Posted by therealwindycity View Post
    One thing about Statement of Purpose letters - a lot of them tend to start with situations like "when I was a child I read a Japanese fairy tale/learned about origami/read a book about Japan and from then my interest has deepened and grown," but then don't show go on to show any real efforts the person has made to connect to Japan/Japanese culture since then. Try to keep it as concrete as possible and remember that you're trying to show the screeners what you can do to benefit your BoE as a good employee, not just as a cultural ambassador.
    that is a good point. Forgot to address it. Too many potential people focus on what "JET can do for them" or what they can get out of JET. Try to think, "what can they get out of me?"
    cause like Honeybadger, JET doesn't give a shit who it gives super gonorrhea to
    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    His dying breath will not be how sorry he is to leave his wife or children, but it will be saved to insult Jiggit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    I would advise against starting with anecdotey stuff in general, it comes across very childish. And probably don't talk about "why I love Nippon and all its subarashii mono" until the 3rd or 4th paragraph. It's a job interview primarily, focus on the job first and talk about your personal life later.

    If you haven't written this kind of thing for a job application before, think of it like applying to college. Do you start the letter talking about your extracurriculars? No, you start it by talking about the course you're applying for and why you want to study at that college etc. If you must mention how you spend your weekends hiking to third world countries to raise money for cancer babies awareness then do it after you've already talked about what's directly relevant and necessary to whatever you're applying for.

  10. #10
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    Mine was basically:
    -desire to teach,
    - an experience from teaching(which implies some qualities /skills) ,
    -the skills I possess,
    -what I'll do for them with those skills
    -THEN I speak about why Japan,
    - and finally I touch on what Japan will do for me, along with what I hope to do for them after JET..

    If I was to start with what they can do for me, you can guarantee I'll be rejected.

  11. #11
    Pimpin wenches aint easy BeckyJones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    Mine was basically:
    -desire to teach,
    - an experience from teaching(which implies some qualities /skills) ,
    -the skills I possess,
    -what I'll do for them with those skills
    -THEN I speak about why Japan,
    - and finally I touch on what Japan will do for me, along with what I hope to do for them after JET..

    If I was to start with what they can do for me, you can guarantee I'll be rejected.
    that sounds like a fine SOP. Mine was similar I'm sure, back in the day. I think i spent most of it stating on how I was wanting to learn what teaching is like, and wanting to learn more about my girlfriend (now wife) homeland. But even then, it was more of a "I want to teach the kiddies! and scare them shitless with Halloween pranks.! than "Japan will give me a bunch of shit"
    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    His dying breath will not be how sorry he is to leave his wife or children, but it will be saved to insult Jiggit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  12. #12
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    The start of my interview I talked about teaching and barely mentioned Japan at all, to the extent that one of the interviewers pointed this out. And I was just honest with them - I didn't know much about Japanese culture, I found the language interesting but only from afar, and I mostly wanted to go because I'd be able to learn about teaching in a monolingual environment as opposed to the multilingual environment I was used to and that being forced by circumstances to learn a second language (other than restaurant french) would be an interesting challenge. I was just... honest, I guess, about why I wanted to go.

    Accepted in the first wave of letters, no shortlist, preferred placement. And maybe the interview had something to do with my being posted in what is apparently the least Japanese Japanese school ever, as far as attitude goes.

    If you're honest in an interview you don't have to worry about dicking up your facts or reasoning. Elementary, but when I worked in my last job and got to listen in to interview sessions I was surprised by how much utter bull some people would spout trying to seem perfect for the job, apparently completely unaware that the person they were talking to was a human being above the age of five and could tell fancy-sounding lies from the truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Old Snow wouldn't have said that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    You are like the secret boss battle they only advertised back when the game was being developed.

  13. #13
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    I actually just found my SoP on my laptop.

    Mine was:
    -TERRIBLE anecdote (god I can't believe I actually put that in... I musta been high)
    -10 years of history showing progressive interest in Japanese culture
    -leading to university studies.
    -what uni studies gave me for English teaching
    -what I can do and wanted to do as a JET in the job.

    at no point in time did I mention internationalization.

    I did clearly mention what I can get out of JET as far as an English teacher, but that was specific to my situation and really tied back into why I was awesome for JET. I wouldn't have mentioned it if it didn't relate back to the job in some way.

    I'd also add that I made some rather spectacular grammar mistakes in it that I doubt anyone noticed, but now stick out to me like sore thumbs.

    Having reread it again, I have no idea why they gave me the job at all.
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    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.

  14. #14
    Pimpin wenches aint easy BeckyJones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    I actually just found my SoP on my laptop.

    Mine was:
    -TERRIBLE anecdote (god I can't believe I actually put that in... I musta been high)
    -10 years of history showing progressive interest in Japanese culture
    -leading to university studies.
    -what uni studies gave me for English teaching
    -what I can do and wanted to do as a JET in the job.

    at no point in time did I mention internationalization.

    I did clearly mention what I can get out of JET as far as an English teacher, but that was specific to my situation and really tied back into why I was awesome for JET. I wouldn't have mentioned it if it didn't relate back to the job in some way.

    I'd also add that I made some rather spectacular grammar mistakes in it that I doubt anyone noticed, but now stick out to me like sore thumbs.

    Having reread it again, I have no idea why they gave me the job at all.
    interview? desperation?
    I think that whenever i meet some of the stupid weebs on JET. What on earth did they do, to get in.
    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    His dying breath will not be how sorry he is to leave his wife or children, but it will be saved to insult Jiggit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  15. #15
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    Great post BJ. I could not agree more. I have one quick thing to add. Most people don't hate coming here so much that they leave before their contract ends; however, many people do spend their entire year here in a completely miserable mood and can't wait until their contract ends. So, ask yourself whether you want to spend an entire year somewhere that you are not likely to flourish even if you can survive here.

    Also, I just checked my SOP, and I was surprised that I barely mentioned being interested in Japan. I simply mentioned that I wanted to learn about life in Japan and about Japanese culture. I did talk about how I lived in South Korea for a year and how much I loved immersing myself in the culture. I threw that in to let them know that I wouldn't go crazy after moving here.
    Last edited by johnny; October 27th, 2014 at 13:43.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    I've said this umpteen times before but it bears repeating: A large amount of current JETS clearly had little to no interest in Japan before coming. Your SoP is not meant to convince people how much you are interested in Japan. There is no criteria for giving the position to whoever deserves it for having the most Japan points. Come across as competent, flexible and normal and you will almost certainly get the job.

  17. #17
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    Essentially, think of it like any other job interview - if you want to work in electronics you don't bang on about how much you love printers for ten minutes, you convince your prospective employer that you could sell them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Old Snow wouldn't have said that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    You are like the secret boss battle they only advertised back when the game was being developed.

  18. #18
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    Having an interest in and experience with Japanese culture isn't a bad thing, but it should be something concrete. There are a lot of things that could apply (language/culture/history classes and study abroad are the big ones, but it could also be things like participating in cultural events and festivals, joining a Japan-related extracurricular activity, working with Japanese companies/clients, hosting an exchange student, etc.), as long as it's not just a vague interest that you've held but never really acted on. It's also not a bad thing to show experience living abroad in other countries, because that shows that you have experience dealing with culture shock and with learning to live in a foreign culture.

    There is a pattern I've noticed in SoPs of starting of with an anecdote from childhood about something that sparked an interest in Japan, and I imagine the people reading the applications have been completely inundated with it. Try to avoid this pitfall, potential applicants!

  19. #19
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    It's better to focus on experiences you had that might be useful in the future, like some time when you taught someone something or had a positive interaction with someone from a different culture. It's far, far more important to show what you can contribute to the job rather than what they can contribute to you. I think it's fine to include anecdotes, but make sure you don't do the same "I made origami/went to a cherry blossom festival/watched anime as a kid" that everyone seems to do, even if that's how you got interested in Japan. You really don't have enough space to gush about your love of onsen/giant robots/moe girls/whatever, so save space for the stuff that the JET people actually care about.

  20. #20
    Pimpin wenches aint easy BeckyJones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some simple advice for you while applying/interviewing

    you know. No newbs have posted in this thread, only old timers.
    I'm starting to think the newbs don't want our advice, and don't want real talk.


    Hey noobies. You may not like the opinions of some of us old timers, but with ini and I alone you got probably 15+ years experience living in the country. If you add on two or three more of the other oldies, you get over 20, 30 years experience. We may not be the nicest, but if you can't handle our un niceness, you can't hack it here. (and here, I mean Japan... not ITIL).

    Shit, we are actually quite nice if you think about it, we have gone out of our way to actually tell you whats up... and not some PR friendly bullshit
    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    His dying breath will not be how sorry he is to leave his wife or children, but it will be saved to insult Jiggit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

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