‘Self-analysis’ may sound like a specialised counselling term, but it just means gaining a deeper understanding of yourself. Explore yourself by asking yourself questions like this:
(1) What experiences have you had?
(2) Why did you have those experiences or make those choices?
(3) Why did you participate in the JET Programme?
(4) What did you achieve during your time on the JET Programme?
(5) What specific things did you do?
(6) What did you learn from those experiences?
(7) What are your plans for 5/10 years from now?
When you perform this self-analysis, an awareness of your strengths and growth areas will come naturally and you’ll find ways to promote yourself in application forms and interviews. It’s also helpful to get other people’s opinions when analysing yourself. We can find it surprisingly difficult to see what’s good or appealing about ourselves. Feel free to ask friends, family members, former JET participants or your colleagues for their opinions and use those to get to know yourself better.
As you gradually come to understand your interests, skills and values, ask yourself what industries and companies would benefit from them, and keep that in mind as you learn about companies.
Of course, you also need to learn more about the specific nature of jobs in the companies and ask yourself ‘Why do I want to work at that company? What do I want to do there? How can I use my strengths and skills?’ to find jobs you connect with.
One question you are sure to be asked in application forms and interviews is ‘why do you want to work here?’ You need to know about the company and the job in order to answer that question persuasively.
After analysing yourself and learning about companies to gain an image of the path you want to take, make a list of possible companies where you would like to work. The important thing here is to cast your net as wide as possible and think of a variety of industries and companies where you could see yourself working.
A common mistake that job-seekers make is focusing too much on well-known companies and BtoC (business to consumer) companies, companies that sell their products and services to general consumers. There are many great BtoB (business to business) companies that provide products and services to other companies. Make sure to include companies like this too so that you have a wide range of options.
You will need to talk about your strengths in application forms and interviews to persuade companies to hire you. An ‘elevator pitch’ is a brief summary of key points to promote yourself. The key to an effective elevator pitch is to include specific examples of experiences where you used your strengths. You also need to give hiring managers a clear image of how you will use those strengths at their company.
Another important point is to say things in your own words. Human resources managers are recruiting professionals, so make sure to word things in your own unique way and sell yourself in a way that only you can.
Your ‘Reason for Applying’ sums up why you want to work at that company. Like the elevator pitch, your reason for applying will be asked for in all application forms and interviews. Because the elevator pitch reflects each applicant’s unique qualities, it is difficult for employers to judge whether you will be a good fit from that alone. Your reason for applying allows the hiring manager to see at a glance how well you understand the industry and their company. It will immediately be clear to them how well you have prepared.
After your application documents such as your application form and CV goes through to the next stage, the selection process begins. The hiring process in Japan most commonly starts with an aptitude test, usually a written exam. Questions in these exams tend to fall into three main categories: language-based (a test of vocabulary and reading comprehension), non-language-based (measuring maths skills and logical thinking) and suitability of character.
The most commonly used aptitude tests are SPI and SHL. Question booklets are sold in stores such as bookshops, so we recommend using these to study. *We cannot explain these in more detail on this website as these tests are copyrighted.
Tests in some industries also include general knowledge or essay questions about subjects such as current events. Check sources such as hiring information websites to find out which questions have commonly been asked in the past.
Interviews can take various forms depending on the company and the selection process. It may be an individual interview, where one candidate is interviewed by one or multiple interviewers, a group interview where multiple candidates are interviewed at once, or a group discussion where candidates freely discuss set themes.
©Mynavi Corporation, 2018. From a feature for international students from overseas/support materials for job seekers.