4 questions you must know how to answer in a Japanese job interview

When getting ready for a Japanese job interview, be prepared to answer these 4 key questions to improve your chances of getting the job.

Posted by on August 29, 2017 – Japanese Study
Japanese Job Interview

Getting ready for a job interview in Japan can be a nerve wracking experience. Irrespective if you are Japanese or not, there are certain business etiquette rules that you should try to follow during an interview.

The key thing to remember is that the interviewer is more interested in how you answer their question rather than what your actual answers are. If you can deliver an answer with confidence and proper Japanese, this will indicate that you will be able to communicate with your potential future coworkers.

However, if your answers are vague or the delivery is not good then it’s more likely that the interviewer will continue to ask more detailed questions which can quickly lead you into an area of Japanese that you might not be comfortable with.

To avoid this practise coming up with detailed answers to the questions below, deliver your answers with confidence and you will stand a good chance of getting the job!

1. これまでやってきたことを簡単(かんたん)(おし)えてください
(Please introduce yourself)

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.

Since this is a common question that will be asked at most interviews it is a good idea to practise your answers in advance with a native Japanese speaker. We also offer full training for job interview preparation through our Business Japanese Course.

2. どうしてうちの会社(かいしゃ)(はたら)きたいんですか
(Why you want to work here?)

This is your chance to show that you have done research on the company. Your answers should demonstrate that not only would you be a good fit for the role but that the company can also benefit from your career objectives. Mentioning some recent updates about the company is also a good strategy to show that you can keep up with Japanese news.

Japanese companies do not like to see large gaps in your work history. They also don’t like to see that you have switched companies frequently. If you do have large gaps between jobs or haven’t been able to keep a job for very long, prepare some very good explanations in Japanese.

3. どうして(まえ)会社(かいしゃ)(やめ)めたんですか
(Why did you leave your last company?)

This is not a time to bad mouth your previous employer, even if you did leave on undesirable terms. A better strategy is 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 offer more opportunities.

Once again remember that it isn’t so much what you say but how you say it. If you deliver your answer smoothly and confidently, the less likelihood that your interviewer will ask you more detailed questions.

4: 将来(しょうらい)どんな仕事(しごと)をしてきたいですか
(What do you want to do in your future?)

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 overtime you will develop your skills and become a more valuable employee to the company.

The key thing to remember when answering these questions is to focus on your delivery and to speak in a smooth confident manner. How you speak is as important as what you say when it comes to a Japanese job interview.

If you are looking for more training on mastering business level Japanese, check out our business Japanese course which is specifically designed to help bilingual foreigners improve their career opportunities in Japan by improving their business level communication, or fill in the form below and we will contact you back shortly.