Are you a foreigner looking to find work in Japan? Navigating the hiring process may seem a bewildering maze, but the right insights and preparation can increase your chances of success.
Here is a roadmap to help!
Read on for some key pointers on how to handle Japanese job interviews like a pro. In fact, read it through more than once and apply the suggestions. Do this and your Japan job hunt will seem much less daunting and you will be several steps closer to the end goal of a solid job offer.
When participating in Japanese job interviews, whether online (increasingly, since the pandemic emerged) or in person, it is crucial to adhere to expected etiquette, by complying with expected norms and manners. These include:
To make a good impression during your interview, you should:
A typical self-introduction will include your name, country of origin, educational background, work experience, and the reason you’re interested in the position. Practice your self-introduction in Japanese to ensure smooth delivery. But key here is also to convey how the personal and professional attributes you have gained would add value to the company.
Japanese job interviews may well include questions like:
Prepare concise answers and practice them in Japanese to feel more confident during the interview. Use specific examples from your past experience to support your answers and demonstrate your skills.
Any article on Japanese job interviews should include a reference to “SPI,” or Synthetic Personality Inventory, a standardized test used by some companies as part of the selection process. The SPI assesses cognitive ability, personality traits, and aptitude for various tasks.
Familiarize yourself with the SPI format by studying specific SPI preparation books and researching information online. Practice answering sample questions to increase your chances of success. In addition to SPI, some companies may also require job-specific tests or practical assessments, for which you must also prepare accordingly.
In Japanese job interviews, there may be implicit fixed patterns in clothing, greetings, and interview conduct that limit the “degree of free self-expression.” Adapting to these cultural expectations can be challenging for foreign job seekers, but doing so will improve your chances of success. Some tips for adapting to these cultural differences include:
Additionally, it’s important to understand that Japanese interviewers may not always provide direct feedback or reactions during the interview. This may make it challenging to gauge their impression of your answers. However, by focusing on demonstrating your skills and cultural adaptability, you can still leave a positive impression.
If you’ve read all the above, you may well think finding a job in Japan as a foreigner can be a daunting task. But remember, it is also doable and with the world’s fastest-shrinking population, Japanese companies will need more and more foreign candidates going forward.
That said, understanding the intricacies of Japanese job interviews and the hiring process will help you stand out as a job candidate. Practicing your self-introduction, researching the company, adhering to interview etiquette, and adapting to cultural differences will all help better prepare you for success in your Japan job hunt. Persevere, remain determined, be ready to meet and overcome the challenges and you can and will land your dream job in Japan.
If you’re ready to take the next step and find your perfect job in Japan, register on our recruit page today. Our team is here to support you every step of the way.