4 Key Questions that are typically asked at 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.
Getting ready for a job interview in Japan can be a nerve-wracking experience. Irrespective of whether 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 to an area that you might not be comfortable with.
To avoid this practice 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. “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. 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.
Since this is a common question that will be asked at most interviews it is a good idea to practice your answers in advance with a native Japanese speaker. We also offer full training for job interview preparation through our Business Japanese Course.
2. “Why do 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.
The key here would be to try and draw a connection between how the company is performing versus how the economy is performing. From there, offer them some ways in which you can value-add onto their company.
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 for some very good explanations in Japanese.
This would be since you would come off as someone who lacks commitment or wouldn’t want to commit to a job for very long. In turn, the interviewers may get turned off by the fact that you may not be able to last very long as an employee in their firm either.
3. “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. 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.
4. “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 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. Rehearse one day prior to the interview and you should be all set! We wish you all the best in your interviews! :D(Remember to use Formal Japanese(Keigo) during the interview
Find out more about business phrases that could be of use to you here!
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. If you already have a Job in Japan, dont worry, we also offer part-time Japanese courses to suit to your daily schedule!
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