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Thread: Interview Advice/Prep?

  1. #1

    Default Interview Advice/Prep?

    I know, I know. There are a ton of these out there. I've read the sticky note in Aspiring and Applying. I've scoured these forums. I exhausted google search long ago. But I want more. What can I say, I'm greedy.

    I'm gonna sit on it for a couple of days then dive into my interview prep, so I'd really love to get some advice from people who have gone through it before (Chicago anyone?).

    I want plenty of time to prepare and feel confident enough that I'm not cramming for this thing AT the actual interview out of nervous habit. I'm assuming rule number one is to, you know.... not totally freak out mid-interview.

    I know everyone on here says "ESID" all the time, but I really wanna hear about all of those situations so that I can at least prepare myself for the worst, and hopefully come out feeling like I did my very best given the situation.

    Thanks much!
    Last edited by weepinbell; January 13th, 2015 at 10:48.

  2. #2
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by weepinbell View Post
    I know, I know. There are a ton of these out there. I've read the sticky note in Aspiring and Applying. I've scoured these forums. I exhausted google search long ago. But I want more. What can I say, I'm greedy.

    I'm gonna sit on it for a couple of days then dive into my interview prep, so I'd really love to get some advice from people who have gone through it before (Chicago anyone?).

    I want plenty of time to prepare and feel confident enough that I'm not cramming for this thing AT the actual interview out of nervous habit. I'm assuming rule number one is to, you know.... not totally freak out mid-interview.

    I know everyone on here says "ESID" all the time, but I really wanna hear about all of those situations so that I can at least prepare myself for the worst, and hopefully come out feeling like I did my very best given the situation.

    Thanks much!
    You're right, there are a lot of these about already... but there's no harm in there being one where you fresh young newsters can talk to eachother, at least not that I can see.

    So we'll start it off with the oldest advice in the book, just in case you've been living under a rock - know your own application like the back of your hand. It's important. Do it. Do it now.

    Extra advice? Don't biro a swastika on your forehead the morning of the interview.
    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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    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    I do have a question regarding the interview though. From what I have heard, if you have stated that you have some Japanese language ability, the interviewers will test you on it. My question is to what extent will they test you on it? I said that I was at an intermediate level on all levels (reading, writing, speaking and listening). But if they want me to read a story or something, I definitely want to brush up on my kanji skills before then.

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    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    I put down that I had a little speaking ability and my test was a simple self introduction and a few questions. Don't know what the format's like if you put down higher than basic though.
    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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    Official JET Staff miamicoordinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by naginataonthebrain View Post
    I do have a question regarding the interview though. From what I have heard, if you have stated that you have some Japanese language ability, the interviewers will test you on it. My question is to what extent will they test you on it? I said that I was at an intermediate level on all levels (reading, writing, speaking and listening). But if they want me to read a story or something, I definitely want to brush up on my kanji skills before then.
    The Japanese test is in sections. If you pass 1 part, you go to the next. Points awarded for japanese ability are bonus points. There is no kanji test for alts, that is just cirs. Focus on your speaking skills.
    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.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    In my interview (in the UK) they basically just asked me a few conversational questions and stopped when I couldn't understand any more. Like miamicoordinator said, it's basically bonus points and Japanese ability is absolutely not a requirement for entry. Plenty of people come here on JET with absolutely zero language ability. Of course if you put on your interview that you speak Japanese at an intermediate-high level and don't then you'll get in trouble, but that would be more about your dishonesty than your language skills.

  7. #7
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Get to your test site nice and early, scout out the area so you know exactly where you are going. Find a local pub to sit down in for a few hours before your interview and go over your app while having a few pints of dutch courage. 1 wont be enough but more than 6 and you run the risk of them noticing. Just have enough to get loose so you come across as an enthusiastic and fun kind of person.

    Ignore this advice if you are an angry drunk - punching the ambassador wont win you any points.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Get to your test site nice and early, scout out the area so you know exactly where you are going. Find a local pub to sit down in for a few hours before your interview and go over your app while having a few pints of dutch courage. 1 wont be enough but more than 6 and you run the risk of them noticing. Just have enough to get loose so you come across as an enthusiastic and fun kind of person.

    Ignore this advice if you are an angry drunk - punching the ambassador wont win you any points.
    Alternatively, wait for the reception at the Japanese embassy to fulfil your hard-drinking needs. At mine I got so drunk that I could hardly see, and all for free!
    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.

  9. #9
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    thats not going to help you in the interview. stay on topic
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Sorry Ini, very good point.
    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.

  11. #11
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    I know people may think I'm joking but I did spend 2 hours in a pub round the corner from the Edinburgh consulate to get rid of the nerves and I got shortlisted without any issues.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  12. #12
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Well, I didn't drink but I did arrive far earlier than I needed to and relaxed in a branch of Waterstones with a book. Going in calm really does help.
    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

    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    I know people may think I'm joking but I did spend 2 hours in a pub round the corner from the Edinburgh consulate to get rid of the nerves and I got shortlisted without any issues.
    I'm pretty sure that's the main reason why people drink alcohol, isn't it? I took a hip flask to my finals and passed. Do what works, don't forget the breath mints.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Get to your test site nice and early, scout out the area so you know exactly where you are going. Find a local pub to sit down in for a few hours before your interview and go over your app while having a few pints of dutch courage. 1 wont be enough but more than 6 and you run the risk of them noticing. Just have enough to get loose so you come across as an enthusiastic and fun kind of person.

    Ignore this advice if you are an angry drunk - punching the ambassador wont win you any points.
    Lol I'll be real, I may grab a glass of wine to chill out beforehand. Unless I have an early interview? I don't know. We'll see. I could always toss back a couple mimosas. That's acceptable before noon, yeah?

    Quote Originally Posted by SomePeopleJustSaySnow View Post
    Alternatively, wait for the reception at the Japanese embassy to fulfil your hard-drinking needs. At mine I got so drunk that I could hardly see, and all for free!
    Haha excuse me, is this a real thing Snow or are you just being facetious?

    Did you guys get a lot of Japanese current events questions? I'm definitely gonna pocket a few to be safe, but I've read a few interview accounts where people have been asked about like 'Name 2 modern influential Japanese people' or, on the flip side, '3 inspirational people from your home country'. Just wondering about the frequency of questions like this.

    Also... this 'demo lesson'. Should I basically just prepare to give a speak/repeat while acting like a maniac exercise? Let's hope my 4 years of acting training lives up to this moment hahaha.

  15. #15
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by weepinbell View Post
    Haha excuse me, is this a real thing Snow or are you just being facetious?
    Totally a real thing. I got a lot of business cards, a lot of champagne, spoke a lot of bad Japanese and ended up falling asleep on the train home and ending up at the seaside at midnight (overshot my stop by about an hour). Great night.

    Quote Originally Posted by weepinbell View Post
    Did you guys get a lot of Japanese current events questions?
    I got absolutely zero, I know others who came with me that got a few.
    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.

  16. #16
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    I got asked about the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan but that's probably not going to come up these days. You might get something about the Olympics. If you like rugby you could throw out that you are excited about Japan hosting the World Cup
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by weepinbell View Post
    on the flip side, '3 inspirational people from your home country'. Just wondering about the frequency of questions like this.

    Also... this 'demo lesson'. Should I basically just prepare to give a speak/repeat while acting like a maniac exercise? Let's hope my 4 years of acting training lives up to this moment hahaha.
    The "demo lesson" thing doesn't seem to be a part of the UK interview. Is it US only or are we the odd ones out?

    As to the point about "inspirational people", I think a lot of the time they ask you to explain or express something about your own culture/country to test your suitability to represent it. The JET programme want people who represent their own countries and, for want of a more diplomatic way of saying it, a lot of people who interview are Japanophiles who have an interest in Japanese popular culture to the exclusion of their own.

    They also want to check your ability to be able to explain things from your culture to someone who doesn't know about them in an effective and engaging way. A lot of ALTs get asked to explain xyz about their country and it can be quite challenging to make this interesting for young students. They want to see how you7d cope with that.

  18. #18
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Pretty much everything I was asked had something to do with my SOP or application. The only exceptions I can think of were the demo lesson and a question about how I would respond if someone said something insulting about the US.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    My interview panel asked how I'd handle the JTE teaching completely incorrect grammar/spelling etc. Pretty much the answer was "be cool about it - if it was major, fix it in class, otherwise afterwards..." And they wanted to know what I wanted to do with JET experience under my belt. Which is not the same now as it was then...

    My interviewer had someone who had lived in the same town as I in Japan a few years previous, so there was a lot of comparing notes about how I spent free time.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    I got both a current events question (tell us about a recent Japanese news event) and a "cultural info" question (name 2... or was it three?... famous Canadians you would present to Japanese people). They had a list of questions and basically asked random ones from there, from what I gathered.

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