japanese interview guide

F.A.Q

introduce yourself

please introduce yourself

please tell me about your background

explain what you have done in simple terms

please tell us about yourself

what is your hobby ?

please tell us about your Japanese level

The best way to introduce yourself is with a short monologue of your work history and why you came to Japan. Japanese companies like to hear that their employees are enthusiastic about Japan so try to give a few key points about what drew you to working in Japan. Avoid going on to talk about your personal achievements unless the interviewer employer specifically asked for it. This can come off as arrogant for some, which is the last impression you’d like to leave on your interviewer before walking out of the interview room.

about your last company |  experience

please tell us about your current job.

ans :

This is an opportunity to highlight important skills that you have and the kind of work that you do. The key word in this sentence is 仕事内容 (within a job), so be sure to talk about what you actually do in your current position, rather than just chatting about work in general. Discuss the value you bring to your current employer. It is also a good opportunity to show how your experience matches the position you have applied for.

please tell us about your experience in (department )

why did you quit your previous company ?

why did you quit your previous company ?

Never criticize your previous company or the role, even if you did leave on undesirable terms. Also, try to avoid lying about your performance or adaptability in the previous company. Your interviewers can simply conduct a background check on you by contacting the previous company and this can make you look bad as an interviewee in general, so keep that in mind!

A better strategy, however, would be to use this question to talk positively about the company that you are interviewing with. A safe answer would be that you enjoyed your time at your previous company and learned a lot but you feel that you are ready for your next step in your career and that the new company can offer much more opportunities.

 

Once again remember that it isn’t so much about what you say but how you say it. If you deliver your answer smoothly and with confidence, the less likely your interviewer would be to ask you more detailed questions.

why do you want to work here ?

what do you know about our company?

regarding the position that you have applied for, what do you know about it?”

why do you want to work for this company

other variations

  • oubodouki wo oshiete kudasai
  • shiboudouki, oubo shita riyuu
  • ouboshita kikkake 
  • shibouriyuu

How do you think your experience matches the position?

01

the research you have done you should give a brief summary of what you know about the company – for example: company history, products, customers, competitors, etc.

02

it is about your application for this position and what you understand about this job role. The key words to listen out for are お申し込み, ポジション and 理解. You need to discuss the job role and I would also include why you applied, and try to show how your experience matches the job role.

03 | 04

highlight the experiences and skills that you have which fit the job role.

 

05

It is vital that in your answer that you don’t just talk about your experience but actually answer the question. For example, you can talk about specific job roles that you have had which make you a suitable match for the job you are interviewing for. [ heisha ] refers to the company where you have applied for a job, it is best to keep an ear out for this word.

Future goals

what kind of work do you want to do in future

What are your short and long-term goals?”

This question is best answered by showing that your future career goals are something that you can build within the company.

For example, if you are a back-end engineer, your goal might be towards becoming a full stack engineer and this is something that you can accomplish within the company you are interviewing for. Think of answers that can demonstrate that over time, by developing your skills and becoming a more valuable employee to the company. In short, try to keep your goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based.

 

The key thing to remember when answering these questions is to focus on having a smooth delivery and speaking with confidence. How you speak is as important as what you say when it comes to a Japanese job interview. Also, do remember to conduct a thorough look through on the company you are applying for to get a better understanding of what the company does. 

personal

what do you think is your biggest strength ( weakness )?

what kind of work is motivating for you ?

What do you do if you can’t make a deadline?

If you can’t manage your workload well, what would you do?

If you have a work colleague you don’t agree with how would you approach this situation?

How do you think your skills match the position?

What are your merits? How would they be beneficial to the company?

Please tell us about something that you achieved? How did you achieve it?”

01

As a rule of thumb, you should prepare three examples of strengths prior to any interview. For anything you are not good at, you should also include an explanation of how you are overcoming it.

Conversely, if you are asked about 短所 (tansho, weaknesses), mention ones that aren’t relevant to the position. The fact that you aren’t a good 演説家 (enzetsuka, public speaker) probably won’t affect your chances of becoming a chef.

 

02

indirectly asking what kind of work discourages you, so be sure not to say anything which is very different to the job role you have applied for

 

03 | 04

These two questions are quite similar; the first one is asking about if you can’t keep to a deadline (締め切り) so you have to think of an appropriate answer for what you would do in this situation. The second question is a little bit more focused on how you deal with (対処) time management problems. It is always best to prepare several examples as responses prior to your interview.

 

05 | 06

This question is asking if you have a difference of opinion with a work colleague, 同僚, again I would highlight communication skills in your answer and try to make it clear that you get along with people quite well.

 

07

[ ikaseru ] is an important word to remember as it can be used quite often.

 

08

The problem is with the word benefit which might lead you to think this question is about job benefits, but in fact actually they want to know how you would be a benefit for the company.

 

09

This question means up until now what have you achieved, and what was the process to achieve those things. It’s very important to have prepared specific answers. For example, you can talk about how you supervised a team which achieved its sales targets – but you must also specify what those targets were, how they were achieved, and the importance of teamwork throughout the process.

job terms

shuushoku

job hunting

mensetsu

interview | めんせつ

rirekisho

resume

koukoku

advertisement

shiboudouki

motive for submitting application

jiko shoukai

self introduction

jiko PR

self promotion

suisenjou

letter of reference

oubo suru

application – to apply

setsumeikai

brief explanation by company | 説明会

henji suru

to respond

shorui

documents

hikki shiken

written test

kekka

result

shiraseru

to notify

プロジェクト

project

kaigi

meeting

yatou

to employ – to hire

zangyou

overtime | 残業

keiken

experience

rirekisho

how to fill a japanese resume

process

This is the application date and it needs to be in Japanese calendar years. Use this online converter to get the current date.

Your name should be written in Romaji (Roman letters) with Furigana (reading in kana characters) above. The order should be Surname and then First name, but I personally write my First name and then Surname. Basically in Japan people are referred to by their last names in the office, but if you want people to use your first name then write it Firstname-Surname..

This is the space for your Hanko (判子) or seal. If you have one, this is the time to use it. Otherwise just leave it blank.

Insert a photo here, make sure it fits exactly to the frame. The photo should be of your face looking towards the camera in professional clothing. As this is the design industry you don’t need to wear a suit but a jacket/blazer and button up shirt is a good compromise.

Address in Kanji with the reading in kana above.

Emergency contact person in Japan such as a close friend, spouse, or in-laws.

Gaku-reki is the chronological history of your studies from oldest to most recent. In this section you are expected to list your entire academic history including Primary and Secondary.

However, as there are limited spaces here we recommend leaving out primary and even secondary in favour of tertiary education. For example: If you had gone on to do both a bachelor’s and a PHD degree, you could leave off  Primary education to include your Secondary and Tertiary.

 

You must include a line for your entrance (入学 nyuugaku) and graduation (卒業 sotsugyou). Which means writing each institution out twice.

Shokureki is the chronological history of your work experience. All you need to do is specify the name of the company and your position. No need to include details on the responsibilities, etc. You can attach an additional sheet with these details or simply explain in the interview.

As in the Gakureki, you need to specify the year and month you started working for the company (入社 nyuusha) and the year and month you resigned (退社 taisha).

 

You are expected to also include the reason for your leaving the company. However the best way around this , is to write

 

“一身上の都合により退社” (isshinjou no tsugou ni yori taisha),

which means “I left for personal reasons”.

 

At the end of the these fields you need to write “以上” (ijou) that means “that is all” or “finished”.

List your driver’s license here. Depending on a company, holding a driver’s license might be either a requirement or an advantage over other applicants, so you might consider indicating if you have one. It is necessary also to note that depending on your nationality you can either use your international driver`s permit inside Japan or convert your national one to a Japanese one. 

Besides a driver’s license, the next thing you can indicate your  Japanese Language Proficiency Test Certificate.

Despite the small size for this section, it is important to present your reasons for applying to another company. From your past work experience, your employers may immediately understand your reasons for application. In addition, the recruiters will read the content written in this field, such as hobbies and special skills. This usually helps determine whether the applicant will fit well within the company or not. In this case, 

Ex.: 翻訳や通訳などの営業をしたい。また得意の多言語能力も活かせればと思っています。 

Next is special skills (特技). Here you can indicate what you actually can do and are capable of. 

Following special skills you can indicate your subjects of interest (好きな学科). After that you can write your hobbies (趣味). Though it might sound standard and not necessarily underline you individuality, it is still good to indicate hobbies such as reading books, watching movies or listening to music. If you indicate some particular aspect, it may serve as a good conversation starter, such as “old Japanese movies” or “reading business books” etc. 

If you are applying from outside Japan this place can be left blank. If you reside within Japan, following web services such as Yahoo Japan, Google transit, or Ekitan will help you see how much time it requires for you to get to the company and the respective price of transportation. Station names can be typed in Japanese or Romaji. 

Indicate the number of dependents to the left of 人. If none, insert “0”. 

If married circle 有, if not 無. 

Circle 有 if you support your spouse, or 無 if you don’t. 

The Japanese title here states: “If you have any particular requests in terms of salary, type of work, work hours or work location, list them here”.

 

In this area, add any specific requests such as if the company has several offices, which you would like to work in. But generally if you’re applying for a specific job this will already be detailed in the ad.

 

BUT there is one very important detail that needs to be included here: your expected salary. Now there are a few ways to approach this on your Rirekisho:

 

@ if you have a specific salary in mind as it directly states what you want to earn, politely of course. use

年収 (annual salary here) 万円以上であればと思っております。

———————–

If you want to earn the same as your current/previous job or more, use this phrase.

 

前職と同程度年収 (annual salary here) 万円以上であればと思っております。

———————–

if you want to discuss the salary in person, instead of placing it on your Rirekisho.

 

ご相談させて頂きたいと思っております。

 


 

 

Now this won’t apply to most of you, but perhaps if you are applying for an internship or for some other reason you are underage, you will need to list your legal guardian here.