Preparation for job interviews in Japan

Every country has its own style for job interviews. It is better to adjust their culture where you have the interview. Here are the tips for a job interview in Japan. Also, there are typical questions the interviewers ask in Japanese, so you better prepare the answers before the interviews.

Preparation before the interview

1. Research the company
Before the interview date, it is important to research the company as much as you can. Understanding of Company’s core business, vision and mission are necessary. You can find the articles about the company on the internet, so please read them as many as you can.

2. Dress Code and grooming
Unless the company points out the dress code, you can wear anything. However, usually, you should wear business suits if the position is involved with clients. Also, you have better dress up with clean hairstyles, clothes, shoes, and bags to make a good impression. If positions are such as IT engineers who don’t communicate with clients face to face, it is not necessary to wear business suits. Casual clothes are fine.

3. Time to arrive
It is difficult to find a company building even for Japanese people, using an online map. You better have time to spare in order to visit the company at the right time. Sometimes, people come to the company too early even though there are no waiting rooms. So, please come to the company 10 minutes before the interview. In case you face an accident and get late for the interview, please call the company or recruiter.

At the interview

It is good manners to take off your coat, backpack, and hat before you arrive at the interview site and finish the reception. Please take off your coat, hang it on your arm, remove your rucksack and hat, and hold it with one hand before going to the reception.
The same applies not only to interviews but also to visits the company on business.
Before the interview starts, in the interview room, you do not have to keep standing and waiting for the interviewers, but please stand up when the interviewers come into the room. If they say their name, you answer back your name and bow. You sit on after the interview sitting on the chair.

Other important points.

- Reply to the interviewer with a cheerful smile and voice.
- Please sit in a chair in a correct posture and do not cross your legs or put your elbows on the armrest.
- You can make a mistake in Japanese, so be confident and tell the other person clearly.
- If you can't hear or do not understand the interviewer's question, ask 「もう一度お願いします」 and 「ご質問の内容は〇〇という意味でよろしいですか?」
- It's not good to say bad things about your current company or your boss in a Japanese interview. Avoid negative remarks and try to give positive answers.
When you receive a business card, place it straight on the left side of the receiving desk with both hands. It is impolite to immediately put the business card in your pocket or wallet and or place a mobile phone on a business card.
Please listen to the interviewer's questions and answers to the end, and when the interviewer is done, start talking. Also, be careful not to make your answer or story too long.
It is okay to ask about employment conditions such as holidays and overtime, but if you ask only or too many employment conditions, which makes a bad impression to the interviewer.

Typical questions the interviewer ask

People often tend to speak too much. It is important to emphasize the points properly and listen carefully to the interviewer's questions. There are typical questions the interviewers ask. Please prepare the answers and practice before the interview.

Q1. 自己紹介をお願いします。

Q2. なぜ日本に来ましたか?

Q3. 今までの経歴(職歴)を教えてください。

Q4. 仕事をするうえで大切にしていることはありますか?

Q5. 転職理由(前職を辞めた理由)を教えてください。

Q6. この会社 or 仕事への志望動機を教えてください

Q7. 当社でやりたいこと、挑戦したいことは何ですか?

Q8. ご自身の強み・弱みをお聞かせください。

Q9. 今後のキャリアプランをお聞かせください。

Q10. なにか質問はありますか?

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