caithion: (Elegance)
[personal profile] caithion
A couple of people seemed interested, so I figure I'll just post this here. :)

From the paperwork we as interviewers are given, and from what the people from the consulate said, there are three main categories they're looking at for both ALTs and CIRs:


- Are you warm, outgoing, approachable? Will you do well with strangers and children in your position as a teacher/internationalizer? (They particularly noted that Tokyo is looking for more personable CIRs this year, as apparently the last few crops have been rather... dry. If they want bureaucrats, they'll hire diplomats, not bright-eyed 20- or 30-somethings.)
- Do you show maturity? Will you make a good co-worker?
- Are you flexible? Or will you be an irritant? Will you adapt to living in a foreign culture? Or will you be miserable and homesick?
- Do you seem to have some clear goals for your time in Japan?


- Experience teaching/tutoring/volunteering with children or adults?
- Ever worked a real job, lived on your own?
- Experience living abroad/homestays/study aboad?
- Experience dealing with other cultures or abrupt changes in your own life?
- Able to deal with strange questions, odd requests?
- Creativity? Can you think up activities, games, self intro, etc on the spot?
- Hobbies or interests outside of education and English that you can use to meet students outside of classes/community members outside of your job. (i.e.- sports you play or instruments to join the kids in clubs, or maybe caligraphy or ikebana or some class you'd be interested in taking at the local community center.)


- Do you understand what the JET Program is about? Do you seem to have an idea of what you're getting into, or are your expectations too starry-eyed?
- What can you contribute to the program?
- Do you have a basic knowledge of the US (or your own country, whatever it may be)? (Answering "Who is the V-President?" wrong is a bad sign.)
- How would you approach explaining aspects of your culture?
- How's your English? Do you speak clearly? Good grammar?

You don't have to excel at all of these things. Some people are strong on education, but perhaps have very little knowledge of Japan. That's cool; do they seem like they'll adapt well? Some are Japanese or East Asian majors with no teaching experience. Okay, do we get a good sense from them? We had a brilliant woman, a Japanese major, but she was very stiff and cold. This is a job interview, so you should take it seriously, yes, but we're also trying to get a sense of how you interact with kids. Even CIRs tend to end up doing some elementary school visits or other education things.

And, good god, don't talk about anime on your application and your interview. Sure, there'll be a JET alum on your panel, and most of us are nerds, but you'll also probably have a native speaker and a consul member. Even I got a bit uncomfortable when I sensed that someone was just joining the program because they liked anime. Maybe I'm turning into an old fogey, but I'm looking for people with multiple interests whose sum total of Japanese culture knowledge isn't all pop.

Be honest, be yourself. Don't push yourself so hard to be cheerful that you come across as fake. And don't worry! By the time you reach the interview stage, unless you really freak out the panel members somehow you're going to get a "yes" from them. Tokyo makes the final decisions after that, but I've been told (and I have no idea how true this is for every country or even in general, so don't quote me on this) that the number interviewed is roughly equal to the number of open slots and wait-list slots. They're not expecting to weed out a huge number of people. They just want to make sure no crazies get through, or people whom panel members really believe wouldn't suit the job and would be miserable in the program.

Date: 2006-02-19 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Mmm... Mieko-sama icon. >happy sigh< I'm sorry, what were you saying?

Date: 2006-02-20 01:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2006-02-19 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yup, and don't speak about Takarazuka or they will think you as a hen na hito -_- met a few japanese during my Paris adventures lately, and they confirmed that zuka's fans are a little like visual kei fans... not seen very positively.

Spoke about that with one of my native teachers...... she was surprised but gave me the advice to really take distance in order to consider it as a study/thesis/research object, to look at it with the same eyes I would see kabuki... that's sure fandom and PhD don't fit well.

But actually I know that she thinks zuka is really cool, as she run to me in the corridors to ask me about my fave actresses... my semestrial interview was about Okinawa music, and for the 'free interview part' she asked me lots of things about Takarazuka music lol ^O^ Yamashiro-sensei is such an angel.

BTW, for 2nd semester we're up with bungo and starting studying kanbun... for those who know you'll understand how madman is that stuff ;p

Date: 2006-02-20 12:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yup, and don't speak about Takarazuka or they will think you as a hen na hito

そうかな あたしも変な人かもしれない 残念(笑)


Date: 2006-02-20 03:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ココで全員が変だろうね。それで何だ! ^O^


Date: 2006-02-20 05:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ココってどこ?*あたしの*ブログ?! ;P


Date: 2006-02-22 03:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2006-02-19 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*hugs you*

Thank you so much! What a relief to see this... ^_^

Date: 2006-02-20 01:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My pleasure!

Date: 2006-02-20 12:01 am (UTC)
flonnebonne: (Default)
From: [personal profile] flonnebonne
Thank you thank you thank you! This is very helpful and reassuring. You rock.

Date: 2006-02-20 02:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I hope it helps! Good luck; I'm sure you'll do great!

Date: 2006-02-21 09:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Man, how did I make it into JET? XD

I actually wrote "anime" in my app!! ^^; I knew it was gonna come up in the interview, so this was the answer I prepared beforehand:
"I was reading on a JET website the other day that said don’t mention anime in your application because it doesn’t reflect an interest in the culture and will work against you. But saying that is like denying that the highest grossing film in Japan is a Miyazaki anime. Anime is a pervasive part of Japanese culture. I’m not saying it’s the entire culture, nor am I saying you can learn everything about Japan from anime. But it’s a good jumpstart. A lot of anime depict everyday Japanese people going through everyday Japanese routines. For example, I learned a bit about Japanese schools, folklore, and customs through anime. Even when you compare anime to American cartoons, you learn a lot. Like the Japanese seem to appreciate silence more."

I don't think I got to say all my points at the interview, but I remember they asked me what the best Miyazaki film was, I told them "Kiki" and all three agreed with me! So maybe anime ended up being one of the big reasons I got in. XD

So, JEN, would you have chosen me? ;)

Date: 2006-02-21 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hey, I've met you, and you're very personable!

ESID, I suppose. ^^; Besides, I'm not saying it's a rock-hard rule, just that unless you've thought it out ahead of time (like you obviously did) it might weaken your position.

You know how much of a manga geek I am. ^_^ I'm not gonna discriminate unless I get "woah, creepy" vibes from someone.

Date: 2006-02-23 03:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You mean like . .
"So, I see you wrote Akihabara as your top placement choice?"
"Yeah, I wanna teach at Animate! Er, scuse me, Anima-TO, neeeee~!! Baka."

Date: 2006-02-24 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
lol .... That would be an interesting job~!

Date: 2006-02-21 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
dude, nice! I failed the first round of papers, but I have a lot of friends who will do the interview soon. Mind if I copy/paste with proper credits?

Date: 2006-02-21 09:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Erm, erm, erm... I'll un-f-lock this post, with the understanding that this is just my opinion, and like [ profile] cheesemon says up above, every interview panel is gonna be different.

Date: 2006-02-21 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Eep, that wasn't very clear, was it? I meant, feel free to link to it. ^_^ This way if people have comments or questions they can ask me.

Date: 2006-02-22 12:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
thanks so much!

Date: 2006-10-27 02:40 pm (UTC)
ext_30559: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Intersting. I'm going to save this to my memories just in case. Thanks. :)

Date: 2006-10-31 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
:) I hope it comes in handy someday.


caithion: (Default)

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