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Thread: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

  1. #21
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    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87 View Post
    Hey Jakjak, fellow Toronto JET here. What's done is done. Congrats for making it to this point and goodluck in the future. I hope you get in. Looking back, how do you think you would have prepared differently?
    To he honest I could have spent a lot more time researching about japan, I also could have just memorized 5 names going into that interview.
    But then again, I would be only doing these things for the interview and not out of any such interest in japan.
    I am very interested in teaching and am planning on pursuing a career in education, that is my main motivator for applying to JET, not because I am savvy with Japanese culture or have special sentiments for Japan as a country.

    I feel like I definitely should have treated this as a proper interview and memorized some trivia, and if I could go back in time I would totally do just that.
    As it stands, I went into the interview with a general idea of the questions but didnt really memorize anything except my own SOP and application, and it served me right that I choked when they questioned me on things related to Japan that I was not completely familiar with.

    Mind you I definitely could have answered those questions in a normal setting, but when you are presented with things unfamilar to you in a high pressure setting, you are far more likely to choke.
    In that sense the interview did just that.
    I showed them my passion for teaching, and talked alot about why I want to go into education as a career, thats the part that went well.
    The part that went poorly was the part that actually mattered. They weed out applicants that arent extremely passionate about Japan, or at least the applicants who didnt bullshit their way through their SOP and interview to make it look that way.
    Last edited by jakjak4161; February 5th, 2015 at 14:38.

  2. #22

    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jakjak4161 View Post
    They weed out applicants that arent extremely passionate about Japan, or at least the applicants who didnt bullshit their way through their SOP and interview to make it look that way.
    If that is the root of your worries, don't let it get you down. It isn't at all the case. While there are some people here with a passion for Japan, lots of us just came to try the "new". There's nothing wrong with that.

    If you weren't familiar with the materials, then cramming wouldn't have helped much.

    "I like Watanabe Ken!"
    "Oh, which film is your favorite?"
    "... all of them?"

    "I'm a huge fan of woodblock prints!"
    "Ah, which era produced your favorite works?"
    "... all of them?"


    As long as you came across as stable and you didn't soil your pants at any point, you still have a fighting chance.
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    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Quote Originally Posted by uthinkimlost? View Post
    If that is the root of your worries, don't let it get you down. It isn't at all the case. While there are some people here with a passion for Japan, lots of us just came to try the "new". There's nothing wrong with that.

    If you weren't familiar with the materials, then cramming wouldn't have helped much.

    "I like Watanabe Ken!"
    "Oh, which film is your favorite?"
    "... all of them?"

    "I'm a huge fan of woodblock prints!"
    "Ah, which era produced your favorite works?"
    "... all of them?"


    As long as you came across as stable and you didn't soil your pants at any point, you still have a fighting chance.
    Haha I guess you are right in that regard. It wouldnt come off as being very natural unless I was a pretty good actor. Although it definitely would have helped if I could just come up with 1 more name, at least for my personal dynamics when it came answering the the questions that came after that, which is why Im thinking I should have crammed.

    Ive pretty much made my peace with it at this point though since there is nothing I can really do

    As for coming off stable... well...
    when we were doing the roleplay mock lesson, there was a period of time when they were both looking down at the score sheets instead of paying attention to me. To which I said "excuse me?" in a very confrontational manner, come to think of it maybe that was taking the roleplay a bit far...
    Last edited by jakjak4161; February 5th, 2015 at 15:03.

  4. #24

    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jakjak4161 View Post
    Its not so much that I didnt know about the JET program. It was more of I wasnt sure they were asking specifically with such a general question so I sat there like an idiot for a good 15 seconds, and instead of asking them to clarify or for specificity I just blurted out whatever that came to my head at the moment. As for the japanese figures, I realized afterwards they didnt mean just celebs from pop culture, and as soon as I walked out that door I had names popping up into my head.
    Yeah that's pretty much what I figured. Like I said, they probably realised that you were pretty nervous, I doubt they'll reject you on that one thing.

    Also, take it from the people who live here, they definitely don't weed out applicants with only a passing interest in Japan. In fact we often advise that the biggest mistake people make when applying is believing that they need to come across as the world's biggest Japan authority rather than a normal, professional person who will be able to adapt to life in a foreign country.

    Sounds like you might have had a bad interview, or maybe you're overscrutinising the things you've mentioned. Either way, I think you have the right idea; start thinking about other options and if you do get shortlisted it'll be a nice surprise, rather than the end of the world if you aren't. Good luck.

  5. #25

    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Am I the only one that thinks JakJak's interview wasn't terrible? How did you handle it when you didn't know an answer? Were you calm or did you freak out a bit?

    If that's the worst thing in the interview, I don't know if that's enough to get you outright booted.

    Then again, I don't know since I only recently had my interview.

  6. #26

    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Personally I don't like that sort of "name two famous Japanese people" question. I know why they asked that, but of course I can't tell you

  7. #27
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    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Quote Originally Posted by JET ProgramCoordinator SF View Post
    Personally I don't like that sort of "name two famous Japanese people" question. I know why they asked that, but of course I can't tell you
    I really want to apply for a job as a coordinator just so I know the reasons for questions and the scoring system hahaha.


    I am guessing something along the lines of either. Are you a weeb? Or. Have you done any research into Japanese way of life and current affairs?
    Last edited by haitch40; February 10th, 2015 at 03:19.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Quote Originally Posted by haitch40 View Post
    I really want to apply for a job as a coordinator。。。
    Los Angeles is looking.
    車庫 B1F

  9. #29

    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Quote Originally Posted by JET ProgramCoordinator SF View Post
    Personally I don't like that sort of "name two famous Japanese people" question. I know why they asked that, but of course I can't tell you
    I really don't see the point. I prefer to research times/locations and tend to not care about famous people, whether historical or current.

    I'm actually curious why you can't tell us as well. The interviews are all done by now, so it's not like the knowledge would benefit us. The knowledge shouldn't benefit the next years, unless the questions will be the exact same.

    I think you just enjoy holding all the secrets, haha.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    I was asked what was so special about my national identity and how I would project that to the Japanese people during my stay. When they asked, I turned into a blithering ball of nerves, struggling to come up with something. After an eternal silence and some stopping and starting, I gave an extremely generic answer about Canadians being nice/accommodating people and how I would try to embody that as a teacher and a visitor. I lived half my life in Scotland, too, and said I could bring that aspect of my cultural background to the table as well.

    This question was early in the interview and it REALLY threw me, but I think I recovered OK. I dunno, being a "good person" from a country of "good people" isn't "special" to me. Anyone can be that. How would you have answered? Is my generic answer too generic? I'm still beating myself up about it. :[

  11. #31
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    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    While I doubt the questions are the same, the motivations behind asking specific types of questions certainly would be.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeCarter View Post
    I really don't see the point. I prefer to research times/locations and tend to not care about famous people, whether historical or current.

    I'm actually curious why you can't tell us as well. The interviews are all done by now, so it's not like the knowledge would benefit us. The knowledge shouldn't benefit the next years, unless the questions will be the exact same.

    I think you just enjoy holding all the secrets, haha.
    I am pretty sure it is basically a question of are you a weeb?

  13. #33
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    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    It seems strange to me that someone couldn't name two Japanese people. Is knowing Shinzo Abe and Shigeru Miyamoto all that hard?
    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.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Dude. Before I came to Japan I could name one Japanese person. And it wasn't Abe.

    Also I love that this thread exists here on itil because it never existed on official in the day.
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  15. #35

    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Quote Originally Posted by guse View Post
    I lived half my life in Scotland, too, and said I could bring that aspect of my cultural background to the table as well.

    :[
    Petty bigotry, alcohol dependency and self-loathing? Almost any JET past the first 6 months fits that profile so you're good to go.

  16. #36

    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    It seems strange to me that someone couldn't name two Japanese people. Is knowing Shinzo Abe and Shigeru Miyamoto all that hard?
    Yes. Yes it is. I only know who Abe is because everyone on here has mentioned him, and I never knew Miyamoto was the creator of Mario until looking it up just now.

    Of the people I talked at Toronto when I took my interview, I'd guess only one person had an answer to that question, and it was quite clear she was obsessed with Japan.

    Not to mention the variant of the question I got was "name the two most important people in Japanese history, and why", so simply knowing two people wouldn't nearly have been good enough.
    Last edited by MikeCarter; March 28th, 2015 at 00:33.

  17. #37

    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeCarter View Post
    Not to mention the variant of the question I got was "name the two most important people in Japanese history, and why", so simply knowing two people wouldn't nearly have been good enough.
    Oh wow, that's so specific haha. I would have so blanked if they asked me something like that. I don't think knowing or not knowing famous Japanese people would count against you? Honestly, I feel like half the questions they ask are to gauge how well you do under pressure lol. That's my theory, anyway. I had just mentioned in my sop that I became interested in Japan through Japanese music, so they asked me who I listened to, but other than that, nothing - and I'm sure that was mostly to confirm that I could back up my sop.

  18. #38

    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Quote Originally Posted by weepinbell View Post
    Oh wow, that's so specific haha. I would have so blanked if they asked me something like that. I don't think knowing or not knowing famous Japanese people would count against you? Honestly, I feel like half the questions they ask are to gauge how well you do under pressure lol. That's my theory, anyway. I had just mentioned in my sop that I became interested in Japan through Japanese music, so they asked me who I listened to, but other than that, nothing - and I'm sure that was mostly to confirm that I could back up my sop.
    I dunno really. Most of the questions I got I can pretty easily decide why they would want to ask them. Most questions seemed to have to do with what my expectations and qualifications were.

    As odd as it may be, they may legitimately think that's a valid qualifying question.

  19. #39

    Default Re: The obligatory I did x on the interview am I screwed thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeCarter View Post
    I dunno really. Most of the questions I got I can pretty easily decide why they would want to ask them. Most questions seemed to have to do with what my expectations and qualifications were.

    As odd as it may be, they may legitimately think that's a valid qualifying question.
    Maybe! But since there are soo many JETs who both knew tons of famous Japanese figures and those who couldn't even name one at the time of the interview... I couldn't see that question in itself being like a 'disqualifier' just because of the diversity of JETs in their knowledge of Japanese culture, ya know? All you can really do is answer honestly and try to maintain composure if you can't name any. I guess we'll never really know if there's a big conspiracy behind it unless we become coordinators.

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