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Thread: After application process?

  1. #1
    Senior Member hiddenlee22's Avatar
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    Default After application process?

    Hi all,

    My question is what happens after we hand in our application? By that which I mean, what is the processing like? Does one person look at our apps or do multiple people, what happens after they say (yes) or (no), etc.?

    If anyone with a bit of insight on this could shed some light it would be very much so appreciated.

    I'm just anxious about the how thing and would like to know a little more about the process.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by hiddenlee22; November 21st, 2014 at 07:12.

  2. #2

    Default Re: After application process?

    We can say that your application, assuming that it is not marked as incomplete and instantly DQed due to missing required documents, is analyzed over at the Embassy. In early January a list of numbers will go up online. If your JET Application # matches one of those numbers, you will be invited to an interview.

    That's about all we can tell you. The best thing you can do now is to not worry about your application and just start focusing on whatever else is happening in your life.

  3. #3

    Default Re: After application process?

    MC and the SF coordinator are around, but they're probably busy doing the actual work you want to know about instead of lurking the forum now.

    AFAIK, when they get your packet, it's opened and the SASE is sent with a card saying "Here is your application number."

    Then its checked for completeness - if you got it in early, they'll let you know if you missed anything. (For example, I missed a signature - they emailed me back a scan, I printed it, signed it, scanned it to show them and sent that copy by mail as well.)

    Then they evaluate the content of the application - look for things that would disqualify participants otherwise (any number of things really.) I don't know if that is done at the local consulate or if they send everything to Tokyo. But through some voodoo that they do they choose who to give interviews to. (Timeline - now until end of Decemberish.) They'll publish a list of application ID numbers on their website and contact people to set up interviews.

    Interviews are in late January/early February now (AFAIK.) At my consulate, there were three days you could come down and have your interview.

    The interviews are a panel of 3 people - a Japanese consular worker (native speaker,) a former JET, and someone else. Mine was a Japanese language and culture educator from a local major university. I'm sure there are other threads that go into the interview in more detail. Anyways, they give you a rating.

    Then everything is shipped off to Tokyo, where CLAIR chooses who to put on the shortlist and wait-list. (During Feb-May.) Those that are listed do more paperwork, and eventually are matched with placements. (Placement info usually comes out in late May early June.)

  4. #4
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: After application process?

    From what I know, applications are screened at the national level first by a team of temporary employees the embassy hires to evaluate them and assign points. It would be way too many applications for the coordinators to handle on top of their other work. One the deadline has passed and people aren't contacting them to ask questions any more, the local coordinators aren't really involved in the process until interviews and placement. Every application that gets enough points will proceed to the interview stage, though that number varies a lot based on the number of employers in Japan seeking to hire the following year.

  5. #5
    Senior Member hiddenlee22's Avatar
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    Default Re: After application process?

    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    Then they evaluate the content of the application - look for things that would disqualify participants otherwise (any number of things really.) I don't know if that is done at the local consulate or if they send everything to Tokyo. But through some voodoo that they do they choose who to give interviews to. (Timeline - now until end of Decemberish.) They'll publish a list of application ID numbers on their website and contact people to set up interviews.

    That's actually what I was hoping someone would say. What/why is our application sent to Tokyo if the decision is made at the embassy?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: After application process?

    The decision to grant interviews is made at the embassy. The actual hiring is done by Tokyo, based on their recommendations. An applicant might be recommended highly by the interview panel, but still not get in for some reason, or might not be recommended, but still get in for yet another reason.

  7. #7

    Default Re: After application process?

    Quote Originally Posted by therealwindycity View Post
    From what I know, applications are screened at the national level first by a team of temporary employees the embassy hires to evaluate them and assign points. It would be way too many applications for the coordinators to handle on top of their other work. One the deadline has passed and people aren't contacting them to ask questions any more, the local coordinators aren't really involved in the process until interviews and placement. Every application that gets enough points will proceed to the interview stage, though that number varies a lot based on the number of employers in Japan seeking to hire the following year.
    This is the closest. Screened at the embassy first by one group to check for completeness, to make sure all the pages are in order and properly copied, and check for reasons for disqualification (crazy medical condition, missing courses on transcript, late graduation, etc). Then they're passed off to a different group that actually reads and evaluates the app and assigns points. After all the apps are done there is a point cut-off designated for who will get an interview and who won't.
    Quote Originally Posted by Libellule View Post
    I really hope Japan doesn't turn me into this.

  8. #8

    Default Re: After application process?

    And this point system... any one have any info on it? I read somewhere that listed a breakdown of it based on an old book written when the JET programme was founded, but A) can't find it again, and B) probably no longer that relevant...

  9. #9
    Official JET Staff miamicoordinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: After application process?

    Quote Originally Posted by Viral View Post
    And this point system... any one have any info on it? I read somewhere that listed a breakdown of it based on an old book written when the JET programme was founded, but A) can't find it again, and B) probably no longer that relevant...
    Any information you find on the point system(as in how many points are awarded from each section) is going to be outdated because the guidelines change every year.
    Basically everything on the application is worth X amount of points. Depending on the completeness of your paperwork, you are awarded a certain number. Things like your SoP are also awarded points, but the actual amount of points given is highly dependent on your reviewer. Once the reviewing of your application has been completed, you will get an overall score.

    Since we cannot interview all of the people who apply for the program there will inevitably be a cut off score. Anyone above X amount of points will be offered an interview.
    Anything I say here is my personal opinion. Always consult with your coordinator if you have any doubts, especially if you are applying from a country that is not the United States.

  10. #10
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: After application process?

    Quote Originally Posted by hiddenlee22 View Post
    That's actually what I was hoping someone would say. What/why is our application sent to Tokyo if the decision is made at the embassy?
    The people who actually hire the JETs are local education boards, so the information about qualified applicants has to be sent to Japan for them to make the final decision. Some education boards want candidates who can drive, some want American females with high Japanese ability, some want only Scottish guys because they had a good experience with a Scottish guy once, etc. So as greyjoy said, the final hiring decision isn't technically made by the coordinators in your home country, but they do decide who gets onto the shortlist, and it's unusual for someone to make the shortlist and not get hired.

  11. #11

    Default Re: After application process?

    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    MC and the SF coordinator are around, but they're probably busy doing the actual work you want to know about instead of lurking the forum now.
    We're always watching...O_O

    As others have mentioned, there's a system in place to quantify the quality of an application. We offer the best applications an interview. As therealwindycity mentioned, each JET participant is requested by a Contracting Organization in Japan, who have their own preferences. The number of COs that request JETs determines the amount of JETs, as well as what country participants. Tokyo makes the final decision on who gets accepted, not the Embassy or Consulates.

    The only thing I can say about the application review system is that it's fairly intuitive. If documents leaked online about how it works, I think most people would think "Oh...well that makes sense." If you listen to your friendly neighborhood JET PC we usually let on quite a lot as to what's important and what's not ("Hey guys, spend a lot of time on your Statement of Purpose, it's reallllly important! / Good GPA is always going to look better, but there are other, much more pertinent qualities that we look for in a JET."). Same thing with the interviews - I tell everyone that the kinds of questions we ask are the kinds of questions that your family and friends are going to be asking you: "You're going to Japan? How are you going to adjust? How are you going to be a good teacher if you've never taught before? What are you going to do if you get homesick or don't like your placement?"

  12. #12
    Senior Member hiddenlee22's Avatar
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    Default Re: After application process?

    See, it's this point system that confuses me. What do you mean exactly do you mean when you say "completeness"? (I know you probably can't answer that, it just sucks that the JET Program isn't as transparent about what they want)

    Which brings me to my next point as to why lesser qualified candidates still make it into the program. I've perused this site quite a bit and found that general consensus on those who are given interviews (and subsequently hired) is almost random. A perfect application doesn't guarantee anything. There are numerous current and past JETs who say "this person was ____ (insert horrible name here), how in the hell did they get this job?" I understand that some 'slip through the cracks', but how is it that applicant A--who is more qualified than applicant B--is not awarded an interview and applicant B is?
    Last edited by hiddenlee22; December 2nd, 2014 at 03:36.

  13. #13
    Official JET Staff miamicoordinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: After application process?

    Quote Originally Posted by hiddenlee22 View Post
    See, it's this point system that confuses me. What do you mean exactly do you mean when you say "completeness"? (I know you probably can't answer that, it just sucks that the JET Program isn't as transparent about what they want)

    Which brings me to my next point as to why lesser qualified candidates still make it into the program. I've perused this site quite a bit and found that general consensus on those who are given interviews (and subsequently hired) is almost random. A perfect application doesn't guarantee anything. There are numerous current and past JETs who say "this person was ____ (insert horrible name here), how in the hell did they get this job?" I understand that some 'slip through the cracks', but how is it that applicant A--who is more qualified than applicant B--is not awarded an interview and applicant B is?
    As far as the application process is concerned, the JET program is very transpaprent about what needs to be submitted. What I think you are refering to is what happens during the review stage. The reviewers are tasked with the job of allocating points to the application depending on certain criteria. There are parts of the application (like the SoP) which are more subjective in terms of points given. Then there are others parts which are not subjective at all and strict guidelines from Tokyo need to be followed. You are given a list of requirements that you need to submit. Somethings on the list are required (much like Bachelor's degrees and being a citizen of X country) and other things are optional, but help when it comes to scoring (as in international experience, Japanese language study etc..) Each section of the application is worth a certain amoint of points. Those applicants who have traveled abroad, studied Japanese, have classroom teaching experience, and have TEFL certifications for example will be awarded a certain amount of points depending on the completeness of the section.

    For example, someone who has traveled to 10 different countries, and studied Japanese for 4 years in college would be scored higher(in those sections) than someone who has never left their city, and studied swahili in school. But if the student with no Japanese ability had a better SoP, then it is possible their overall application score would be higher than the other applicant.

    I can guarantee you that who is given interviews is certainly not random. Imperfect? Absolutely, but not random. The way it works is quite simple really.
    Lets say there are 5000 applications this year, and 1000 spots open for new JETs from the U.S. (other countries have their own numbers). We normally try to interview a little over double the number of open spots required, so lets say we will interview 2200 people this year. How do we pick who the 2200 people are? It is simple, we figure out the cut of score. We take the top 2200 people from the applicant list and lets say number 2200 got a score of 60. Anyone under 60 will not get an interview. It is as simple as that. Who gets an interview just depends on the amount of available positions, and your overall score during the review process.

    What makes a perfect application is much more than whether or not you have submitted all the documents. Like I have said before, much depends on how the reviewer scores your SoP, and what your recommendation letters say. I can tell you that I have never seen a perfect score during the review process.

    Now, are there great applicants that don't get interviews every year? I am sure there are. Are there wackos that make it to the interview stage and somehow make it through? You betcha. Some people look amazing on paper. They "seem" to be the perfect JET candidate, yet when they get to the interview, they totally bomb it. There are others that just barely made it through the review process and interviewed amazingly and are at the top of our recommendation list. The problem is, we only get 20 minutes with the applicants. All someone has to do is play the part for a short period of time and hope the review panel doesn't see through their facade.

    As for your last point of how is it that applicant A who is more qualified gets an interview and not applicant B, it could be a variety of reasons. During the review process, what makes someone more qualified is strictly mathmatical. Who got the highest overall score. In my previous example, I mentioned the one applicant who may have "done everything right" for their application, but their SoP was not as strong as the other applicant, which might give them an edge when it comes to the final score. It could be something as simple as them forgeting an important document in the application? Maybe the people who wrote their recommendation letters gave the reviewer insight that the applicant may not be the best JET.

    MC
    Anything I say here is my personal opinion. Always consult with your coordinator if you have any doubts, especially if you are applying from a country that is not the United States.

  14. #14
    Senior Member hiddenlee22's Avatar
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    Default Re: After application process?

    Quote Originally Posted by miamicoordinator View Post
    As far as the application process is concerned, the JET program is very transpaprent about what needs to be submitted. What I think you are refering to is what happens during the review stage. The reviewers are tasked with the job of allocating points to the application depending on certain criteria. There are parts of the application (like the SoP) which are more subjective in terms of points given. Then there are others parts which are not subjective at all and strict guidelines from Tokyo need to be followed. You are given a list of requirements that you need to submit. Somethings on the list are required (much like Bachelor's degrees and being a citizen of X country) and other things are optional, but help when it comes to scoring (as in international experience, Japanese language study etc..) Each section of the application is worth a certain amoint of points. Those applicants who have traveled abroad, studied Japanese, have classroom teaching experience, and have TEFL certifications for example will be awarded a certain amount of points depending on the completeness of the section.

    For example, someone who has traveled to 10 different countries, and studied Japanese for 4 years in college would be scored higher(in those sections) than someone who has never left their city, and studied swahili in school. But if the student with no Japanese ability had a better SoP, then it is possible their overall application score would be higher than the other applicant.

    I can guarantee you that who is given interviews is certainly not random. Imperfect? Absolutely, but not random. The way it works is quite simple really.
    Lets say there are 5000 applications this year, and 1000 spots open for new JETs from the U.S. (other countries have their own numbers). We normally try to interview a little over double the number of open spots required, so lets say we will interview 2200 people this year. How do we pick who the 2200 people are? It is simple, we figure out the cut of score. We take the top 2200 people from the applicant list and lets say number 2200 got a score of 60. Anyone under 60 will not get an interview. It is as simple as that. Who gets an interview just depends on the amount of available positions, and your overall score during the review process.

    What makes a perfect application is much more than whether or not you have submitted all the documents. Like I have said before, much depends on how the reviewer scores your SoP, and what your recommendation letters say. I can tell you that I have never seen a perfect score during the review process.

    Now, are there great applicants that don't get interviews every year? I am sure there are. Are there wackos that make it to the interview stage and somehow make it through? You betcha. Some people look amazing on paper. They "seem" to be the perfect JET candidate, yet when they get to the interview, they totally bomb it. There are others that just barely made it through the review process and interviewed amazingly and are at the top of our recommendation list. The problem is, we only get 20 minutes with the applicants. All someone has to do is play the part for a short period of time and hope the review panel doesn't see through their facade.

    As for your last point of how is it that applicant A who is more qualified gets an interview and not applicant B, it could be a variety of reasons. During the review process, what makes someone more qualified is strictly mathmatical. Who got the highest overall score. In my previous example, I mentioned the one applicant who may have "done everything right" for their application, but their SoP was not as strong as the other applicant, which might give them an edge when it comes to the final score. It could be something as simple as them forgeting an important document in the application? Maybe the people who wrote their recommendation letters gave the reviewer insight that the applicant may not be the best JET.

    MC
    Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to write that and explaining everything. I apologize for the way my post may have been taken, I didn't mean to come across as crass about what I was asking. At least now I understand a bit more about the process and realize that it isn't as random as some might believe. Also it is nice to know we have people like you around who are willing to take time to inform others about these misconceptions!

    And that is exactly what I meant about transparency (probably should have clarified that).

  15. #15
    Official JET Staff miamicoordinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: After application process?

    Quote Originally Posted by hiddenlee22 View Post
    Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to write that and explaining everything. I apologize for the way my post may have been taken, I didn't mean to come across as crass about what I was asking. At least now I understand a bit more about the process and realize that it isn't as random as some might believe. Also it is nice to know we have people like you around who are willing to take time to inform others about these misconceptions!

    And that is exactly what I meant about transparency (probably should have clarified that).
    No need to apologize. In the past, the JET Program a harsh reputation of being very secretive. No feedback was ever given about interviews, everything was kept a secret, it was a mess. Things now are a bit better I think. I totally understand where these ideas came from and definitely do not fault those who feel that way. There are things that happen that even can frustrate us (when it comes to transparency from Tokyo side), but sometimes even we have to roll with the punches.

    Best of luck on your application!
    Anything I say here is my personal opinion. Always consult with your coordinator if you have any doubts, especially if you are applying from a country that is not the United States.

  16. #16

    Default Re: After application process?

    I also think it's underestimated how many applications get disqualified for being incomplete. It's not just people who make huge glaring errors or neglect to include some required papers - it can be a very small problem that unfortunately makes the whole thing inadmissible (such as a missing signature, missing course on transcript, proof of grad signed by the wrong person, etc). I think that's an explanation for how some very strong candidates who seem to tick all the right boxes don't get an interview.
    Quote Originally Posted by Libellule View Post
    I really hope Japan doesn't turn me into this.

  17. #17

    Default Re: After application process?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    I also think it's underestimated how many applications get disqualified for being incomplete. It's not just people who make huge glaring errors or neglect to include some required papers - it can be a very small problem that unfortunately makes the whole thing inadmissible (such as a missing signature, missing course on transcript, proof of grad signed by the wrong person, etc). I think that's an explanation for how some very strong candidates who seem to tick all the right boxes don't get an interview.
    It's a large number that get instantly disqualified because of an incomplete application - I don't know the exact number but I think it's something like 20%! We had a stellar candidate for two years who applied and never got an interview. Last year he told me everything he had in his packet and I told him he was forgetting the transcripts from his community college. The #1 reason why people get disqualified is because they don't turn in all their transcripts. He turned them in last year and was accepted. Just always be sure you have everything done properly!

  18. #18
    Member BarnSwallow's Avatar
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    Default Re: After application process?

    I really appreciate the transparent and insightful information!

    I'm glad that I quadruple, quintuple, whatever, checked everything now, because I'm sure I wont at least be a part of that instantly disqualified group.

  19. #19
    Senior Member hiddenlee22's Avatar
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    Default Re: After application process?

    Quote Originally Posted by JET ProgramCoordinator SF View Post
    It's a large number that get instantly disqualified because of an incomplete application - I don't know the exact number but I think it's something like 20%! We had a stellar candidate for two years who applied and never got an interview. Last year he told me everything he had in his packet and I told him he was forgetting the transcripts from his community college. The #1 reason why people get disqualified is because they don't turn in all their transcripts. He turned them in last year and was accepted. Just always be sure you have everything done properly!
    (All speculative) 20% of 5,000 applicants is 1,000 applications instantly disqualified...

    Well, on the bright side, I guess the odds are a bit better to be selected than people may think (so long as you did the app right).
    Last edited by hiddenlee22; December 3rd, 2014 at 06:06.

  20. #20
    Senior Member par92186's Avatar
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    Default Re: After application process?

    At least for me, the application portion was by faaaaar the most difficult part of the entire application experience (aside from the waiting of course). There's a lot of wait time between when you mail your app, the time it takes for you to be evaluated, and finally for interview results to be posted. I sh*t you not, i literally had nightmares that I forgot to sign something, copy a document, or had all the correct formatting for my SOP. I wouldn't wish that anxiety upon anyone. However, I did make it into the program, so all the stressing wasn't in vain.

    To pass the time, I'd highly suggest watching some youtube videos on the "JET interview" to get yourself prepared for when those results do get posted in 2 months. Take the time to enjoy the holidays and of course studying a little japanese won't hurt either. Best of luck to all of you!
    Quote Originally Posted by BeckyJones
    you will soon learn... Imagine the worst people you knew in college. Now imagine them trying to continue their college life in another country, constantly talking shit about each other and their foreign country like it is shit... only to be the shittiest of the bunch.

    now imagine the people who don't fit into that, and are actually shittier.... that is ITIL.

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