A Guide to Self-Introductions in Japanese Job Interviews

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In the competitive world of Japanese job interviews, making a strong first impression is crucial. Your self-introduction, or 自己紹介 (Jiko shōkai), sets the tone for the entire interview and gives the interviewer a glimpse into your personality, skills, and motivations. Understanding the nuances of Japanese etiquette and tailoring your introduction accordingly can significantly enhance your chances of success.

Structure and Delivery of Your Self-Introduction

A well-structured self-introduction typically follows a three-part format:

Greeting and Name: Begin with a polite greeting, such as Good Morning – おはようございます (Ohayō gozaimasu) or Good morning or Hello – こんにちは (Kon’nichiwa). Clearly state your name and surname.

Background and Educational Qualifications: Briefly introduce your educational background, including the universities or institutes you attended and your degrees or qualifications.

Work Experience and Skills: Highlight your relevant work experience, emphasizing accomplishments and skills that align with the job requirements. Use specific examples to demonstrate your capabilities.

Common Job Interview Questions and Sample Answers

*Everything in red is changeable based on your experience and background.*

Q. 自己紹介をお願いします。(Jiko shōkai o onegaishimasu) – Tell me about yourself.

This broad question assesses your overall background, personality, and motivations. Be concise and focus on aspects relevant to the job.

Sample Answer

Johnと申します。現在25歳、アメリカ出身で、 ニューヨーク大学を卒業しました。アメリカでは2年間、日本では3年間、ウェブサイト制作を行う会社でエンジニアとして働いてまいりました。よろしくお願いいたします。

John to mōshimasu. Genzai 25-sai, Amerika shusshin de, nyūyōku daigaku o sotsugyō shimashita. Amerikade wa 2-nenkan, Nihonde wa 3-nenkan, u~ebusaito seisaku o okonau kaisha de enjinia to shite hataraite mairimashita. Yoroshikuonegaītashimasu.

My name is John. I’m currently 25 years old, from the United States, and graduated from New York University. I worked as an engineer at a company that creates websites for two years in the United States and three years in Japan. Thank you very much.

Q. なぜ日本に来たのか聞いてもいいですか? (Naze Nihon ni kita no ka kiite mo īdesu ka?) – May I ask why you came to Japan?

This question asks about your interest in the country and could be used to evaluate your understanding of the Japanese market.

Sample Answer


Chīsai koro kara Nihon no gēmusofuto ya terebi dorama ga midjika ni ari, itsuka wa Nihon ni itte mitai to iu kimochi ga attanode, daigakude wa nihongo mo manabimashita. Enjinia to iu shokushunara Nihon de shūshoku shi yasui to kangae rainichi o kimemashita.

Ever since I was little, I have been familiar with Japanese game software and TV dramas, and I wanted to go to Japan someday, so I also studied Japanese at university. I decided to come to Japan because I thought it would be easy to get a job in Japan as an engineer.

Q. このポジションに興味を持った理由 (Kono pojishon ni kyōmi o motta riyū) – Why are you interested in this position?

This question evaluates your understanding of the role and your genuine interest in the company. Demonstrate your knowledge of the company’s values and how your skills align with their needs.

Sample Answer


Shibou douki  wa, jibun no sukiru o hakki dekiru basho ga hoshii to omotta karadesu. Watashi no taijin kankei sukiru ga bendā to no yūigina kankei o kizuku no ni yaku ni tatsu node wanai ka to kanjite imasu. Mata, dezain sofuto o tsukatta keiken kara, dētabēsu no kanri nimo jishin ga arimasu.

I am looking for this job because I am looking for an opportunity to use my skills. I feel that I could be successful in this position because my interpersonal skills will help me develop meaningful relationships with vendors. Additionally, my experience using design software has given me the confidence to manage databases.

Q. あなたの個人的な長所と短所について話してください (Anata no kojin-tekina chōsho to tansho ni tsuite hanashite kudasai) – Please talk about your personal strengths and weaknesses.

This question assesses your self-awareness and ability to identify areas for improvement. Be honest and highlight complementary strengths and weaknesses.

Sample Answer


Chōsho wa majimena tokoro, tansho wa kangae sugite shimau tokoro desu. Zenshoku demo nōki o kanarazu mamori, misu ga nai yō nan-jū ni mo chekku o shite imashita. Kangae sugite shimau tokoro wa tanshodesuga, kōdō ni utsuru no ga osoku naranai yō, tsuneni maedaoshi de shigoto no dandori o kumu yō ni shite imasu.

My strength is that I am serious, and my weakness is that I think too much. Even at my previous job, I always met deadlines and checked multiple times to make sure there were no mistakes. My weakness is that I tend to overthink things, but I always try to plan my work ahead of time so that I don’t delay taking action.

Here is another blog on Top 10 Useful Phrases for Japanese Job Interviews to help you sound more Natural; check it out to ace your interview!

Additional Tips

  • Practice and Rehearse: Rehearse your self-introduction beforehand to ensure a smooth and confident delivery.
  • Maintain Eye Contact: Make eye contact with the interviewer to convey sincerity and engagement.
  • Speak Clearly and Concisely: Speak clearly and concisely, using proper grammar and pronunciation.
  • Show Enthusiasm and Passion: Convey your enthusiasm for the opportunity and your passion for the field.
  • Express Gratitude: Thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. You can say お時間をいただき、ありがとうございました。よろしくお願いいたします。(Ojikan o itadaki arigatōgozaimashita.  Yoroshiku onegaiitashimasu.) 。

You can also check out our blog, which includes different ways to express your gratitude!

Remember, your self-introduction is your chance to make a lasting impression and showcase your suitability for the role. By following these guidelines and tailoring your responses to the specific requirements of the interview, you can increase your chances of success and land your dream job in Japan.

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