when I was preparing for my interview, in addition to studying the longer question lists like those posted above, I compiled this shorter list of 'the biggies'- the common sort of interview questions I was sure I'd be asked, in one form or another. in my interview I was asked questions 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9.
1. Why do you want to be in the JET Program?
2. Why do you want to teach in Japan?
3. How do you see yourself being different from someone else applying for the JET Program?
4. How will you present America to the Japanese?
5. Name one challenge that you have overcome.
6. What are your future plans and how do you see JET contributing towards them?
7. How will you prepare for your time in the JET Program?
8. How often do you deal with children? / What experience have you had with children?
9. Can you tell us about a time you were in an alien situation and how you adapted well to it?
10. What do you want to get out of the JET Program?
11. What aspects of American culture would you like to share?
My Interview Questions http://jetapplicant.blogspot.com/2005/0
Posted by The Saipan Blogger
The interview took about 20 minutes. I was asked questions by a panel of three interviewers. Each interviewer took turns asking me questions. When each was finished, they went around and asked a few more questions.
I don't really remember the exact order of the questions and I had to paraphrase a few of the questions, but these are basically what I was asked.
1. Did you drive here?
2. How was traffic?
Ice is broken, onto the good stuff:
3. Tell us about yourself?
4. What do you expect from JET?
5. So you are applying to Nova and Aeon? Can you compare JET and Nova?
6. How would you answer a question from a student or a colleague about American politics?
7. What would you want people to know about your home?
8. What are you interested in participating in while you are in Japan?
9. Why did you pick the 3 prefectures that you picked?
10. Why didn't you get in when you applied in 2000?
11. Do you have any experience teaching English as a second language?
12. Do you like children?
13. Do you mind speaking in front of a group?
14. Tell us about your job with LCV.
15. What was the worst thing about that job?
16. What was the best thing about that job?
17. What will you do to prepare for JET?
18. What have you done to study Japan?
19. Talk about your Japanese speaking ability.
20. What are your future aspirations?
21. How will JET help me?
22. Why JET and not grad school?
23. What will you do if your fiance is placed in a different prefecture?
24. What will you do if either you or your fiance are not accepted into JET?
25. Have you applied for Nova?
26. Do you expect to have any problems adapting to a new culture?
27. What are your interests in America?
28. What are you looking forward to experiencing in Japan?
29. Do you have any formal study of Japanese culture?
30. How do you feel about seasons?
31. How do you feel about the cold?
32. How will you learn Japanese?
33. What will you get out of teaching English in Japan?
Again, the questions aren't in any order.
I wasn't asked any facts about Japan. I didn't have to name five famous people or five famous places. I think I got off really easy. I only had to talk about myself. That's easy to do; I've known myself my whole life. I just had to be honest.
The American, who turned out to be a former JET, was the most receptive to my answers. He was the only one to give me any immediate feedback on my answers. When I was asked how I would answer a question about American politics, I answered that I would present both sides of the coin and explain that in America people have very different opinions on lots of different issues. He told me that it was a very good answer because Japanese students of English are warned not to ask Americans about politics because Americans are very passionate about politics and are easily upset.
A couple of weeks before the interviews we were sent a packet giving us an idea of what JET was looking for in interviewees. We based our questions on the application form, and essay. I mostly asked questions about approach to teaching and cultural adaptibility issues, the prof asked questions about knowledge of American and Japanese cultures, interests, personality issues, etc. The diplomat did the Japanese language quizzing and asked about perceptions of Japan, its education system, etc. There is no set format for the interview - we asked different questions to each interviewee, at our discretion - so there is no way to "cheat" on the interview. We did some role-play, we asked some current events questions, we even threw some left-field questions out there just to see how the person would react.
Here are some pointers:
- SPEAK SLOWLY AND CLEARLY. It is an almost automatic fail if the native Japanese speaker cannot understand your English.
- SMILE. While you don't have to be super-genki, a glum/nervous disposition means many points off.
- DON'T EXAGGERATE - it's better to say no Japanese than say you speak japanese and then can't do a basic introduction. Another thing I noticed is that some people wrote about interests or experiences on their application that they were not able to explain very well in the interview. This looks bad.
- BE INTERESTING - some people seemed to be reciting things they had practiced in front of the mirror at home. Others seemed more genuine and gave thoughtful answers to our questions, even if they weren't the "correct" answers.
- KNOW SOMETHING - we were disturbed by the fact that some people had very little knowledge of current events, American history, or Japan. Some expressed an interest in Japan but had seemingly done very little to pursue that interest other than applying to JET.
That's all I can think of right now. We passed 6 out of the 10 people we interviewed, with a couple possibly ending up as alternates. I was impressed with the level of applicants; there were no truly bad interviews, just some that were obviously better than others.
I have about 11 more days until I know.
My stomach is so worried.