Do you want to work in Japan? If so, then you have to know the processes of application by heart. You also need to know that one of the most crucial parts of the application is the interview. Therefore, it is important to be truly prepared for this.
The good thing is, there are many tips online to help you prepare for the job interview. In fact, this article features one of those useful resources; a YouTube video from an OFW working in Japan, sharing some useful tips on what and what not to do during the interview phase of a job interview for Japan.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
Dos and Don’ts During a Japanese Job Interview
This article summarizes the information presented by Laurence Calledo, a YouTuber based in Japan. As mentioned in the title, he shares 8 useful tips to successfully pass a job interview for Japan. In fact, he used these tips himself, and passed the Japanese job interview on his first try. If you want to learn more about the video, and if you want to watch his other YouTube content, then click on the link below:
How to pass the job interview in the Philippines so you can work in Japan.
He shares the following tips based on his experience when he had an interview in Cebu through the Golden Gateway agency.
If you pass through several stages during the application stage, you will find yourself being in a job interview where the interviewer is an actual Japanese. According to our YouTuber, there are differences between how you should conduct when a Filipino is interviewing you versus a Japanese.
He added that he really used the tips he mentioned in the video, and he said he was accepted after just one interview. In fact, some of his co-interviewees had to be interviewed 4 to 10 times before they got accepted.
This shows that his tips are effective, and that he got in not because he was lucky, but because he worked hard to prepare for the interview and he trusted himself.
1. Do your research.
Before the job interview, he recommends doing lots of research on how to actually perform well in an interview. But more specifically, try to learn more about how Japanese interviews really are.
He also created his own questions and practiced on his own. These are possible questions that the interviewer may ask, including the generic ones like the following:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What made you decide to work abroad?
- Why did you choose to work in Japan?
- What will you do when your co-employee at work makes a mistake?
These are just some of the possible questions that you may encounter. As a part of his preparation, he decided to write as many interview questions as he can and practiced answering those questions.
2. Wear proper attire.
During the interview, it is important to wear the right clothes. Well, you don’t have to wear a barong or tuxedo, but just wear something casual.
Here are some of his recommendations for what men should wear during the interview:
- You can wear long sleeved polo shirt.
- Your hair should not be colored.
- You should not wear earrings.
- You can wear black slacks for pants.
- You should not wear jeans (a.k.a. maong) or colored pants.
- Your clothes should be clean and well-ironed.
Here are some of his recommendations for what women should wear during the interview:
- You can wear casual attire
- The hair should be tucked in behind your ears.
- Use light make up only.
- The important that is you look neat and fresh.
While this is a basic tip, it is very useful. This is a very effective tip since, probably, nobody would want to hire you if you are frowning during the interview.
Don’t forget to smile even if you are quite nervous. It is normal to be nervous during these interviews. Perhaps, the fact that a foreigner is interviewing you makes it all the scarier for you, but try to hide the fact that you are nervous and just smile.
4. Sit properly.
It is really important to sit properly, especially during a Japanese job interview. So how should you sit?
First, your body should be straight and not slouched. Second, your hands should be on your knees. Third, your legs should shouldn’t be wide opened. The legs should be closed.
5. Answer properly.
One important thing in relation to this tip is that your voice should be loud enough so that the interviewer can hear you, but soft enough so that it is not annoying.
Don’t speak quickly as well. Speak at a speed that is just right, the words are clearly pronounced, and the volume is just right as well.
Again, don’t show that you are nervous even in the way you speak. When we get nervous, we tend to make mistakes.
During the interview, there will be an interpreter. The Japanese interviewer may ask you in Nihongo, but this is translated by an interpreter. They may translate into English or Filipino. The important thing is, if the interpreter asks you in Filipino, you must respond in Filipino. If they ask you in English, you must respond in English.
However, Taglish is also acceptable, especially if it’s hard to find the right English words as a response. These two languages are going to be very important when answering questions during the interview, as it is probably less likely that your translator knows Cebuano or other language from your local province.
6. Answer directly to the point.
Just answer whatever the question is. You don’t have to talk about other things. If you go direct to the point, this will save a lot of time between you and the interviewer, and they will appreciate that. They are probably having a long day, interviewing many applicants. You will do them a favor if your answers are direct to the point. He specifically said not to use “flowery words.”
In his case, he mentioned that he was only asked twice. He prepared lots of questions but the only two questions that were asked him were:
1. Tell me about yourself. – His response to this question was something that he did not include in his resume. His reasoning was that since they have access to his resume, why should he tell them something that is written in the resume?
Specifically, he answered this question by saying that his parents broke up when he was two years old. He grew up without parents but his grandparents took care of him. They also helped him get an education.
That was his answer. It was short but direct to the point.
2. Why aren’t you married yet at your age? – That time, he was 29 years old. His response to this question was this: He’s not ready to get married yet because he has no money yet to get married or start a family. You can’t sustain a family in the Philippines if you don’t have a stable and decent income, as the prices of goods, commodities and the bills are relatively expensive.
He also mentioned his dream. He said that before he gets married, he needs to have his own house first.
Those were the only two questions that they asked him. In fact, after this, he was concerned that he won’t get the job because they only asked him those two questions.
His co-applicants, on the other hand, were asked so many questions, but as it turns out, he was accepted and now he is enjoying life in Japan.
7. Eye to eye contact.
Maintain eye to eye contact with the Japanese interviewer while they are asking you questions.
In his case, the interview was a panel-type one. That means they were interviewed by batch. There were five applicants in a batch. So, they were each asked a question.
Look at the interviewer when they are asking a question, then switch your gaze over to the interpreter once it is their turn to speak to you.
Then, when you are answering the question, look at the interpreter, as you are relaying your answer to them so that they can translate your answer to the Japanese employer.
Don’t look at your surroundings. Don’t give the impression that you are nervous and trying to calm down by fixing your gaze on other things. Don’t make it seem like you are trying to escape the room, or that you don’t want to be talking to the employer by not focusing on them.
8. Manners and attitude.
This is the most important tip according to our YouTuber. The Japanese are well known around the world for being polite and respectful, and having great manners, and showing right conduct at all times.
Moreover, it is really helpful if you know the phrases Konichiwa and Domo Arigato Gozaimashita. These phrases mean “hi, hello, nice meeting you,” and “thank you so much.” You can say these phrases after the interview.
If you use these phrases, and if you follow all the tips that are mentioned in the video and summarized in this article, your chances of getting hired in Japan will definitely skyrocket.