Want to Teach in Japan – Then Get the Interview Right

When applying for teaching positions in Japan I think it is very important to get your interview right. You’ll need to prepare for this now more than ever because of the increase of supply (teachers) and less demand (positions). Getting a job at an eikaiwa (English Conversation School) just isn’t as easy as it used to be. So if you don’t prepare properly then your competition will simply win. A lot of Eikaiwa hold their job interviews in foreign countries. They have a quota to fill and they choose what they consider to be the best of the bunch from the English conversation teacher hopefuls. The goal of this brief article is to make you familar with the interview process and to excel in the interview itself. The interview process: First of all after sending in your application you’ll be invited to a group interview of about 5 hopefuls. This group interview process is especially popular with the larger Eikaiwa companies who recruit the bulk of applicants from foreign countries. This interview may last 3 or 4 hours. It is kind of a workshop. Here is the kind of thing that may fill up the schedule:


1.Information session about the company, pay & schedule details and living in Japan in general ( Activities included in here, so participate! ) 2.Written test 3.Personal, one-on-one interview

INFORMATION SESSION Basic information about Japan and the company. You may have to do a group activity here so don’t be shy and PARTICIPATE. This session can last upto 3 hours!

Activities may include each member of the group telling an important Japanese custom. Each member will have to contribute to the list. Make sure you are prepared!

Other possible activities: Describing a picture precisely and accurately. Other members will have to find the picture.

Role play activity. One member takes the teacher the other members the students. Get your role play and instructions ready. Keep it simple and remember keep teacher talking time to a minimal.


IMPORTANT : This test may be about 15 or 20 minutes. *-The written test has 3 parts: Multi choice, Grammar exercise and a short essay. The short essay is usually something about how you might fit into your new environment in Japan.


This might take 15 to 30 minutes. It may consist of basic every time interview questions and more than likely you will be hit with a quick fire question and answer session. this consists of a maximum of 3 word answers. If you um or arrr then they simply move onto the next question. So get ready for that.

e.g. ) Recruiter : What are your best qualities? Applicant : Leadership, interesting, energetic ( ONLY 3 WORDS )

Next they recruiter may as you to do a role play where he/she acts as the student and you as the teacher. Sounds easy right? Well you’ll be given a lesson and asked to think on your feet. You’ll have to think of a good role play that incorporates the grammar they want you to teach. Be creative and once again remember teaching talking time. The recruiter won’t make it easy for you. They’ll pretend they don’t understand and give one word answers. So think how best to react to that before hand.

After that you’ll be asked how you felt it went and be given constructive criticism. Maybe you’ll be asked to practice some particular part again.

Lastly they’ll ask you what you want to achieve by teaching in Japan. Good luck to all who try coming to Japan. It is most definitely worth the effort in getting over here.

If you are interested in finding out more about Japan then check out www.teachjapanforum.com [http://www.teachjapanforum.com]

Patrick has been living in Japan for almost 10 years now. Currently working in a high school in central Tokyo as well as running a resource guide website to teaching in Japan www.teachjapanforum.com [http://www.teachjapanforum.com]

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Author: Uzumaki Naruto

Expert tips before traveling Japan, including reviews of Japanese food and restaurants to help you make your trip as enjoyable and rewarding as possible.

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