Part 1: The Job Interview

Thinking back to that day, December 1st, I was so excited and really nervous!  >_< I had a good feeling about this school, even though it was the one and only school I applied for! Riding the shinkansen to Tokyo from Nagoya, I was trying to keep calm as I frantically read over my notes. I’d come up with Japanese and English answers to standard questions like ‘Why do you want to work at this school?’ and ‘What do you enjoy about your job?’. It was trying to remember the Japanese bits that was stressing me out! Well, that, and the fact that my future depended on the first impression the interviewers had of me.

I met up with my employment agent who was accompanying me to the interview. He’s been in the recruitment business for a while and obviously knows what’s what. As we walked through the school gates, he instructed me to take off my winter jacket… But, he took one look at what I was wearing – a black knitted sweater (with some loose threads) – and immediately told me to put my jacket back on! I laughed awkwardly; he kept a poker face. I guess my inexperience with job interviews in Japan was fairly obvious! Nevertheless, into the school we went…

Across from me and the agent sat the (vice) principal, one other guy (didn’t catch who he was exactly!), and the head English teacher. Right off the bat the agent mentioned to the principal that I’d done a short homestay at ABC private girls’ school in Yokohama, and that I personally knew Mrs XYZ at another private school closeby. I immediately thought about all the people who’d told me “it’s all about WHO you know, not WHAT you know”… connections = winning!

Each of the 3 teachers took turns asking me questions. The principal wanted to know a little about me. I gave my self-introduction in English and Japanese. The second teacher wanted to know more about my commitment to Japan, like where was my favourite place in Japan, what I thought were the good points about Japan, etc. All of his questions were in Japanese. The next lot of questions were from the English teacher in English! Whoo! I probably shouldn’t have looked so relieved to be speaking in English. His questions were about teaching, like why I wanted to become a teacher. This was all stuff I’ve thought a lot about since doing my teaching degree, so his questions were the easiest and I was the most confident at answering.

At the end of the official interview, the principal, the agent and I sat and talked more casually. The principal went over some of the contract details. I was so excited about some of the things he was saying I couldn’t help but let a big smile break out! He seemed to be talking as though I was going to get the job. Basically at that point, I thought I had it in the bag. After we’d finished up he encouraged me to go check out the whole school. Although it was a Saturday, the classrooms and hallways were filled with students studying and playing. They all seemed happy and… normal! The school was spacious, the teachers friendly, and they even had a green sports field (the first I’ve ever seen in Japan). I was on cloud nine!

Leaving the school, the agent brought me back down to earth. >_< He started talking about scenarios like even if the school didn’t offer the job to me at first, there’s still a chance the person they did offer it to could pull out, and the school could then choose to offer it to me. Or, in case I didn’t get the job, he said he’d be dedicated to helping me find another school. The shinkansen ride back to Nagoya was me feeling relieved that I’d finally done the interview, excited that I may have got the job, and anxious about what if I didn’t.  I would just have to wait and see…


6 thoughts on “Part 1: The Job Interview

  1. 英恵ちゃん、東京での面接(めんせつ)が 無事(ぶじ)に すんで、本当に 
    あなたが 努力(どりょく)したことが 成功(せいこう)しそうです。


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