Author: M.Kok

How an Interview for a Job in Japan is not a presentation but a dialogue

The interview is often the final and arguably, the most stressful step along the job search journey. After finding the right position and having your resume picked out (sometimes out of hundreds) from all the other candidates, getting a little nervous is understandable.
A common way to get it wrong and sometimes even lose the potential job offer is to turn the interview into a presentation as opposed to a dialogue that it should be.

Answering Interview Questions

The interviewer should have a general idea about you already. Your resume has (ideally) already provided enough information to earn you an invitation to the interview. There is little sense in going over the CV line by line or quoting it.
If asked to go through the resume, do so in a manner of a storyteller. Interesting enough to keep the interviewer/s engaged, but brief enough not to have them lose concentration and you lose them.
Listen to the questions. Although it is often tempting to use every opportunity to get some self-promotion in, not all queries call for that.

Listen to the interviewer/s

Listen to the interviewer. Not just the questions, but also to the explanations and the small talk should there be any. Doing your best to be attentive and think along also makes it easier to convey that to the interviewer. And that is not just a polite thing to do, but also encourages the interviewer to talk more. Giving you a better insight into the company and the job you are looking to enter.

Know your value

Don’t sell yourself short. The ideal company already knows or at last suspects your value. You know this by the fact that you got the interview invitation. It applies especially for the candidates with a lot of specific work experience.
It is always better, to be honest. Even if you feel that by being (overly) agreeable, you elevate the chances of getting the job offer, it could turn on you. At worst, you could appear too meek or desperate or even deceptive. At best you could end up with a job offer where the conditions are much less than ideal.
As much as the interview is the company’s opportunity to see if you are a fit for it, it should be the same for you.

Like a Conversation

Very much like a conversation with someone you are interested in or possibly want to get acquainted with, you don’t want to be a bore or confrontational.
Some people are naturally more charismatic than others, but by being polite and showing genuine interest in what the interviewer is saying gives you a pretty good shot at leaving a good impression.
Just make sure to think about the interviewer’s position as well. It could be that they have been conducting interviews the whole day or maybe even a few days in the row and face the challenge of picking the ideal candidate out of a group of similar applicants. Even if they might look uninterested or even bored, don’t just assume it is because of rudeness.
Instead, give the interviewer the benefit of the doubt. And be as engaging as you can, while valuing the time of the interviewer. After all, they want to get it right just as much as you do.


It is crucial to research the company before you apply. By doing this, you are not only preparing yourself for the interview, but also doing the equivalent of a recruiters ‘screening’ process.
The interview should take place on an equal footing. As the interviewer/s make sure you fit the company, you should make sure the company matches you.
The best way of doing this is to keep yourself from doing a ‘presentation’ or even ‘interrogation’(or being interrogated) but to have a ‘dialogue’.



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