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Thread: So what's the Application-Interview-Departure process for Interac?

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    Default So what's the Application-Interview-Departure process for Interac?

    Can anyone enlighten me with a vlog, blog, forum, or even your own words?

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    Negi-sensei Oneiro's Avatar
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    Default Re: So what's the Application-Interview-Departure process for Interac?

    There is one guy on here who went on Interac and quit to join on JET and I know that at least Spec-R went through the interview process. My understanding is that they will ask you a bunch of questions and make you do a video-taped demo lesson. The general consensus I hear is that it's not horrible so long as you aren't in a situation that makes you deal with the company.

    However really, with the market being what it is and with the privates setting their standards (and wages/benefits) lower and lower it's really starting to become not worth it when compared to JET. At least with JET, you get paid more, more time to build skills that are actually useful in a competitive job market and you generally receive a much warmer reception for doing what (little) you do.

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    Senior Member reed's Avatar
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    Oneiro says it all. It's a struggling company that is competing with JET and more and more working as an outsource agency to BOEs. However, I would speculate that Interac actually provides a very solid work experience, since more and more their teachers are the primary instructors, and are more like real jobs in that there is a much higher chance of being let go or replaced based on review.

    I've applied twice to Interac, and been hired twice, and turned down both offers. Both times were from within Japan, so the experience is a bit more immediate, but the process is quite similar.

    The application consisted of a structural work history and cover letter to be submitted online (or by mail), with a few references but no letters required, and at the interview they had me fill out a questionnaire and do ten minutes on a topic of their choosing while they or substitute staff played students. My performance is probably what impacted their decision most, since I never interview well, but the lesson is the last thing in the process and an easy way to recover. Sorry, this is probably VERY different from preparing a video lesson at home! What is important is that they will put more weight on your presentation and demeanor than on all other parts of the application combined.

    In both of my interviews, they slipped me a contract at the end of things and asked for a commitment immediately, within the next 24 hours. In both cases the contract was significantly different from the job posting, with Saturday shifts, full classroom responsibility, and something like $1700/month salary that dropped to zero during holiday seasons, so for four months in the following year I would need to earn income somewhere else. They seemed apologetic and honest when explaining why I was not offered the position I had applied for, and I won't insist there was anything underhanded going on. But I suspect that that my experience in Japan is better for having consciously rejected Interac. And I would probably work for them in the future, if the position they offered was properly detailed in the contract.

    So, application is no problem if your lesson performance is good, interview is the same, and I would say that if you're happy with the contract, your departure will be no problem! Be sure, of course, that departure and housing details are documented in that contract. Verbal reassurances are worthless, even with the best companies.
    Last edited by reed; December 3rd, 2008 at 11:37.

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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: So what's the Application-Interview-Departure process for Interac?

    1700 a month. we get almost twice that on jet.
    <a href=http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=3134&dateline=1245615339 target=_blank>http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.ph...ine=1245615339</a>
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    Default Re: So what's the Application-Interview-Departure process for Interac?

    I'm the one who used to work for Interac.

    The standard ALT position (reed might have been asked about a different position) pays, if I remember correctly, 250,000 yen/month. There is no health insurance; you can buy private insurance from them for like a hundred bucks a month. The private insurance requires you to pay all costs up front, but reimburses you 100%. (On the downside, you have to file paperwork with them. I have to say, while I didn't have any real hitches in the process, it was still sort of a pain to have to gather the documents, fill in the applications, mail it in, etc.) In terms of nenkyuu, you get like 5 days a year, available after working for six months. There is no sick leave to speak of. On the plus side, you do get all school holidays off (although they reserve the right to call you in). They cut pay down to about 60% during August and 75% in December, as I recall.

    In terms of housing, they'll usually set you up with a no-key-money Leo Palace apartment. You pay full rent, though.

    I think it's perfectly endurable, but I have to say, I kind of hated it on account of the management. It's so similar to JET in some ways, but there really is a meaningful difference. You're getting threatened right and left by Interac for the tiniest things -- it is clearly a calculated strategy to keep you jumping, but even with that in mind it creates real anxiety. The "gyomu itaku" outsourcing system is a real bitch. Basically, there's this whole extra layer of bureaucracy that mediates interactions between you and the school. Having two bosses is kind of weird.

    Again, I'm not going to say it's unlivable, but at least in my experience, it's far worse than JET. It's an atmosphere thing...but I urge you not to underestimate the importance of atmosphere.

    Quite frankly, Interac is the worst company I have ever worked for, and I'd like to see it disappear off the face of the Earth. I do my best to communicate that message to people involved in the choice of ALT provider.

    Okay, with that rant out of the way: yes. You submit an application, they call you back for an interview, you go to the interview (info session, trivial "grammar test", personality test, and then a demo lesson), they send you an offer, and you end up departing in March. It's also possible to sign up for September, although that's limited to replacements. Binding contracts were not signed until the end of the training week in Japan. (All of the above is my personal experience.)

    Did I mention I fucking hate Interac? I think I did.

    You know, before, I kind of had qualms about joining Interac and bailing on them when JET came through. It seemed to be making a hassle for them, and in some ways being disruptive to the schools. I have no such qualms any more. Interac fires people at the drop of a hat, and especially if you have more than one school, it's in no way "disruptive" to get a new ALT. (Hell, my BoE here switches ALTs around regularly to give kids a mix of accents and such.)
    Last edited by Wakatta; December 4th, 2008 at 19:30.

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    Default Re: So what's the Application-Interview-Departure process for Interac?

    Incidentally, the work policies agreement is fucking hilarious. It is loaded with typos and mistakes. One of them gives the impression that the document was drafted sometime in the early third century.

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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: So what's the Application-Interview-Departure process for Interac?

    They threaten you for the tiniest things?
    <a href=http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=3134&dateline=1245615339 target=_blank>http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.ph...ine=1245615339</a>
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wakatta View Post
    Incidentally, the work policies agreement is fucking hilarious. It is loaded with typos and mistakes. One of them gives the impression that the document was drafted sometime in the early third century.
    Did Ali write it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewR View Post
    Did Ali write it?
    <a href=http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=3134&dateline=1245615339 target=_blank>http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.ph...ine=1245615339</a>
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by AliDimayev View Post
    They threaten you for the tiniest things?
    For instance, I ran into a guy being hauled into the central office to be yelled at because of some trivial mistake or the VP not liking him or something.

    I myself was threatened with firing because I had one lesson where I was unable to control the class. (I was sick and could not speak above a whisper, and it was a rowdy class. I could have done better, it's true, but I'm sure almost everyone loses a class at times, especially early on.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wakatta View Post
    For instance, I ran into a guy being hauled into the central office to be yelled at because of some trivial mistake or the VP not liking him or something.

    I myself was threatened with firing because I had one lesson where I was unable to control the class. (I was sick and could not speak above a whisper, and it was a rowdy class. I could have done better, it's true, but I'm sure almost everyone loses a class at times, especially early on.)
    Well, I've looked through this thread. Is it safe to say that some people have good experiences with Interac and others have it bad? Or is it mostly bad?

    I think from this point, we're actually going to put all of our eggs in different baskets. We'll be applying with Interac, Altia, GEOS, and Aeon. I graduated from college 2 years ago with a BA in Sociology. I have no teaching experience but I have worked in mentorship programs. I think, mainly, I'm in it for the cultural exchange as I have no teaching experience. My wife on the other hand has a BS in English and swears that she's meant to be a teacher. So this hopefully be her starting point. We both want to do ALT work but if we can do McEnglish schools, then that's ok. It's only a year and we'll have the experience.
    Last edited by Oonter; December 7th, 2008 at 04:29.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oonter View Post
    Well, I've looked through this thread. Is it safe to say that some people have good experiences with Interac and others have it bad? Or is it mostly bad?
    In my limited experience? The management is a real pain for everyone. However, the day-to-day experience at the schools can be reasonably good. I'm certainly not saying "Never even contemplate working for Interac", although I am cautioning you that there are some problems with the company.

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    OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE mteacher80's Avatar
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    Default Re: So what's the Application-Interview-Departure process for Interac?

    i hae a good handful of friends that work for interac and they all love it, and it is just as much of a esid thing as JET is. they get decent pay, and although the contract doesnt have "sick" days in it, it all depends on your school, they usualy let them off whenever they need it. i applied for interac at the same time i applied to jet (5 years ago) they never called me back for an interview...but i got on jet so all was well.
    ☆★REAL EYES REALIZE REAL LIES★☆

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    Site Owner curtaineater's Avatar
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    Default Re: So what's the Application-Interview-Departure process for Interac?

    i wish they didn't ship out in march.
    always a JETsmaid, never a JET.

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    Senior Member kalliea's Avatar
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    Default Re: So what's the Application-Interview-Departure process for Interac?

    I thought they shipped out year round...

    Anyway, on the same topic, does anyone know about what the turn around time is for applications? My friend applied and had an interview almost immediatly, but it has been a month, and she hasn't heard back yet. Is she screwed?

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    In case anyone cares, here's my update: My wife and I will have everything ready by tomorrow. That it includes essays, resumes, application questions etc… We’ll be applying with Interac, Heart English School, AEON, Peppy Kids, and Altia. We would have gone with GEOS but their site says that Hiring Season has passed. So, we are putting our eggs into these baskets and “lotterying” our chance to teach in Japan. I won’t lie; I’ll be nervous if and when the interview process comes along. Especially with Heart since it’s only a phone interview. I do believe in my heart that we have the qualifications for this job. None of us have teaching experience but we both have worked in Mentor programs and after-school groups. Most of all, we love kids and vice versa. With my wife, I swear if she wasn’t born to teach then I don’t know what she’s doing here. She fits that typical English major/mother figure description. We just truly want this opportunity. We have no emotional or material attachments here other than our family. We’ve traveled all over the world including Japan for two weeks, so we have an idea of what to expect while living there. I know this is important for most organizations as they don’t want their employees freaking out after being alone and away from home for a month. I just want to express all of this in anyway I could to the interviewers. So… Here’s to HOPE and LUCK!

    Also, quick question…. When they ask for “Hobbies and Interests” or “Relative Experiences” , we basically wrong short essays. Do you think that’s what they looking for? Or are they just looking for a simple list?

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    SENIOR MEMBER Neb's Avatar
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    Default Re: So what's the Application-Interview-Departure process for Interac?

    good luck, from what i read, the best choices are usually the smaller companies, not companies like interac, aeon or geos?

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    Hi all,

    applied for interac this year after speaking to a few interacs out in Japan while I was at my friends wedding. It's pretty much an esid thing but I really can't comment on my experience until I'm out there in Japan. Although from what's been said so far about the interview process is pretty accurate.

    For me I applied on a weekend via their online application, the week following I got a call back asking me for an interview on Friday which was the 21st of November.

    Breakdown of Interview:
    Presentation with powerpoint slide about Interac and what to expect. Every1 was asking plenty of questions about Interac etc and the presenter answered them all sufficently. (No avoiding questions with ambiguious answers)

    After presentation we got given the grammer test - Note I did most of this on my lunch break, not really a test at all. Fairly easy secondary school stuff. (They split every1 up into appointments to do the 1 on 1 interview and the 5-7min class demo, so i had time to burn so went to get lunch)

    Interview was easy, really relaxed and laid back. Try not to trail off on an answer too long and know some recent Japanese news, Prime Ministers Name/Emperors Name and also the interview is a good opportunity to speak about your placement choice (do research and have questions for them so you sound interested and informed)

    Class Demo - Every1 is nervous about this but it is sooo easy. If you make a mistake they allowed you to retake the video again. Its split into 3 parts. Practice at home obviously and speak like your talking to a class, not the camera. Makes it easier not having to focus on 1 object when you present.

    • Introduction, use a mix of japanese and english if you can.
    • Warm up exercise was just basic interaction conversation (Hello, How are You, Good, ok, bad and Goodbye)
    • Main exercise was counting 1 to 5 and I used images that Japanese kids would recognise, like cartoon characters from Japanese TV - Do not use Anime - except for Doraemon. They love it.

    And thats it really, say thank you for their time and I hope to hear from you soon, etc etc.

    The following Monday. December the 1st I got offered the job.

    No idea the exact date I'm heading out to Japan other than late March. Their Tokyo office is void of people right now. Everyone celebrating New Years and such.

    Anyways the experience so far with Interac has been pretty prompt and professional. I can post on here again once I get more details regarding Interac and my placement.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyUK View Post
    Hi all,

    applied for interac this year after speaking to a few interacs out in Japan while I was at my friends wedding. It's pretty much an esid thing but I really can't comment on my experience until I'm out there in Japan. Although from what's been said so far about the interview process is pretty accurate.

    For me I applied on a weekend via their online application, the week following I got a call back asking me for an interview on Friday which was the 21st of November.

    Breakdown of Interview:
    Presentation with powerpoint slide about Interac and what to expect. Every1 was asking plenty of questions about Interac etc and the presenter answered them all sufficently. (No avoiding questions with ambiguious answers)

    After presentation we got given the grammer test - Note I did most of this on my lunch break, not really a test at all. Fairly easy secondary school stuff. (They split every1 up into appointments to do the 1 on 1 interview and the 5-7min class demo, so i had time to burn so went to get lunch)

    Interview was easy, really relaxed and laid back. Try not to trail off on an answer too long and know some recent Japanese news, Prime Ministers Name/Emperors Name and also the interview is a good opportunity to speak about your placement choice (do research and have questions for them so you sound interested and informed)

    Class Demo - Every1 is nervous about this but it is sooo easy. If you make a mistake they allowed you to retake the video again. Its split into 3 parts. Practice at home obviously and speak like your talking to a class, not the camera. Makes it easier not having to focus on 1 object when you present.

    • Introduction, use a mix of japanese and english if you can.
    • Warm up exercise was just basic interaction conversation (Hello, How are You, Good, ok, bad and Goodbye)
    • Main exercise was counting 1 to 5 and I used images that Japanese kids would recognise, like cartoon characters from Japanese TV - Do not use Anime - except for Doraemon. They love it.

    And thats it really, say thank you for their time and I hope to hear from you soon, etc etc.

    The following Monday. December the 1st I got offered the job.

    No idea the exact date I'm heading out to Japan other than late March. Their Tokyo office is void of people right now. Everyone celebrating New Years and such.

    Anyways the experience so far with Interac has been pretty prompt and professional. I can post on here again once I get more details regarding Interac and my placement.
    Wow, Johnny, Thanks for the post. It's extremely helpful. I'm actually submitting my app as I type this. What's the phone interview/screening like?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oonter View Post
    Wow, Johnny, Thanks for the post. It's extremely helpful. I'm actually submitting my app as I type this. What's the phone interview/screening like?
    From what I remember, (My memory sucks)

    I applied online via the webpage application and got a phone call fairly quickly for an interview down in their Oxford Office. I don't remember any telephone screening or interview over the phone. I may have gotten lucky since my application was recieved and approved so close to an interview date or maybe my application just rocked their socks off...but i doubt that. >_<

    I'm gonna guess though that the phone screening/interview is nothing to worry about, considering how easy I found the overall interview. Alas esid...

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