Interviewing for JET in the next week or two? Then this is for you!
Having been on both sides of the table as an applicant and an interviewer for the JET Program, I wanted to give some insider tips. I was a nervous wreck before I interviewed at the Japan Consulate in Boston four years ago, and everything turned out fine. I hope you will find my tips useful if you happen upon this before your interview day!
- At least one of the panelists on your interview team will be a former JET. If you’re asked if you have any questions at the end, ask the former JET alumni something about their time on JET!
- Don’t listen to the horror stories you read on the internet about impossible-to-answer questions. You probably won’t be asked anything specific about the Japanese government unless you wrote in your essay that you’re interested in politics in Japan…but you may be asked what you think about the relationship between Japan and the U.S.
- For the love of all things Ghibli, plan ahead and be on time for your interview. Better yet, be early. I interviewed someone last year who showed up 20 minutes late to their interview because they got caught in rush hour traffic on a bus…
- Don’t say anything negative about your home country. Remember that you’re interviewing to represent your home country as a cultural ambassador to Japan. It’s just as important to be proud of where you came from as it is to want to live and work in Japan.
- Don’t tell your panel that getting on JET will be your “gap year.” Even if it is just that, just don’t say it in your interview. They are looking for people who are really committed. It’s okay to only do a year (I only did a year), but they want to know in your interview how JET is going to help you reach your future goals.
- If you’re feeling nervous during your interview, that’s okay. Honestly, I think nervous energy proves to your panel just how much you want this. So even if your legs are shaking under the table, still be enthusiastic!
- Remember what you wrote in your statement of purpose because they will ask you about it!
がんばろう!! This Japanese Macaque believes in you!