Wow so, wow. Just wow. So I had my JET interview on the 21st January (2016)! I am saving this post to publish once I hear back about the interview in April, but whatever the result I will post it in hope that it might be of some use to someone in the future who is preparing for their interview.
edit: I got shortlisted!
Some brilliant advise I got from my family the day before was to enjoy the day! This may be the only time you ever get to set foot into the Japanese Embassy, so enjoy it! This really worked for me, and every time I began to feel really nervous I would remember how excited I was, and how it was going to be such a unique experience for me! Of course I still felt nervous, but it really did help. The excitement and happiness that I had an interview for my dream job overrode the nerves to a degree. What I also felt helped when I felt my heart start to beat faster and my stomach started to churn, was to smile! Honestly, it instantly gave me some relief.
I had been preparing for interview questions for a long time, but equally I didn’t want to be over prepared. For example, I only had one mock interview at my university, but practised interview questions alone and with friends for months leading up to the interview.
The interview… So my mind was buzzing for the whole 20-or-something minutes of the interview. I was asked the main questions, Why Jet? What first made you interested in Japan? And some other questions like, How would you get a class of students talking? How could you use your interests to create activities? What could you share about your culture? How does the culture of (your island/home town) differ to the culture of (neighbouring island/home town)? -> this one was hard because as far as I know our cultures are very similar, so I said something about differing accents and animal breeds, which I don’t think really answered the question XD.
They also asked if I knew Katakana and Hiragana, which I said I did, and that I was trying to learn the kanji currently in vue of taking N4 JLPT this year.
The last question was the one that threw me off the most! They asked me if there was anything that I was expecting to come up that they hadn’t asked in the interview. I had no idea what to say! Of course there were so many questions that I had prepared for that didn’t come up, but none of them seemed particularly important. I thought about it for a moment, and then said that I thought that they might ask me something in Japanese, even though I had put elementary as my level in the application. They then said that I could introduce myself if I wanted to. I was happy that they asked me because I always enjoy the opportunity to speak some Japanese. I hope it didn’t sound like I just wanted to show off though.. This is what I said:
After saying, “minnasankonnichiha” both interviewers answered back and bowed to me while seated, which I completely wasn’t expecting! I really hope that I didn’t speak over them at that point, but I was too flustered to remember! The Japanese interview seemed happy with my introduction, and even said “arigatou” when I shook her hand at the end.
Overall I felt happy with the interview experience, but I have no idea if what I said was enough to get short listed!
If you are preparing for the 2017 interviews, or even further into the future. Good luck!
Here is a picture of Forrest Goodluck to bring you some good luck.