• Interviews start with a self introduction
  • What do you know about the company
  • Interviewers want to know who you really are

Prepare for common questions

In Japan, there are some common questions that are asked during most job interviews. Job interviews can make you very nervous, but if you know what is going to be asked and prepare well for them, you can be more confident and relaxed during job interviews. Let’s go through what kinds of questions are usually asked in Japanese job interviews.

Self introduction

When an interview starts, you will be asked to introduce yourself. The following are some of the most common questions to be asked at the beginning of an interview and how to answer them:

  • お名前はなんですか?(Onamae wa nan desuka?) What is your name?

私の名前は____です。(Watashi no namae wa ____ desu.) My name is ____.

  • どこにお住まいですか?(Doko ni osumai desuka?) Where do you live?

私は____に住んでいます。(Watashi wa ____ ni sunde imasu.) I live in ____.

  • お仕事はなんですか?(Oshigoto wa nan desuka?) What is your job?

私の仕事は____です。(Watashi no shigoto wa ____ desu.) My job is ____.

There is an exception. If you are a student, you can say 私は学生です。(Watashi wa gakusei desu.) Being a student is not really a job, so it is better not to use the word 仕事.

  • どのくらい日本にいますか?(Dono kurai Nihon ni imasuka?) How long have you been in Japan?

____です。____ desu. For ____.  If you have been here for three months, say 3か月です。3 kagetsu desu. If you have been here for a year, say 1年です。1 nen desu.

What do you know about the company

Several questions are asked about the company you applied for. They are curious why you have chosen their job over others and how passionate and determined you are about working with them. Research and prepare well for questions about the company you want to get a job at. For questions below, there are unlimited ways to answer them, so be sure to talk to your friend who can speak Japanese to help you translate your answers. You can also comment on this article and ask for help about translating your responses. We would love to help you out.

  • 我が社について何を知っていますか?(Wagasha ni tsuite nani wo shitte imasuka?) What do you know about our company?

Here, you can say anything you know about them. It is good to mention what kinds of services or products they have provided and how they have been helping people and the society. You can also mention the company’s brief history and awards they have received. Just keep in mind to talk only about positive things.

  • 志望理由はなんですか?(Shibou riyuu wa nan desuka?) Why did you apply for this job?

志望理由は____です。(Shibou riyuu wa ____ desu.) I applied for this job because ____. Here, you should talk about what kinds of experiences and skills you have that would help you do the job successfully. It is also good to talk about what part of the company you like, how inspiring they are, and how much you want to work with them.

Your personality

You will also be asked about what kind of a person you are. They want to know about the part of you that they cannot see from your resume or appearance. Interviewers have been interviewing a lot of people before you and know when they lie. So, be honest and confident and tell them about yourself.

  • あなたの長所はなんですか?(Anata no chousho wa nan desuka?) What is your strength?

私の長所は____です。(Watashi no chousho wa ____ desu.) My strength is ____. You should tell them at least three of your strengths. Talk about strengths that would help you do the job. For example, saying that you are good at mathematics is a good idea for an interview for an office job, but not for a waitress as much.

  • あなたの短所はなんですか?(Anata no tansho wa nan desuka?) What is your weakness?

私の短所は____です。(Watashi no tansho wa ____ desu.) My weakness is ____. When you talk about your weaknesses, make sure to talk about how you are trying to overcome the weaknesses. 

  • 趣味はなんですか?(Shumi wa nan desuka?) What is your hobby?
    私の趣味は____です。(Watashi no shumi wa ____ desu.) My hobby is ____.

 Final questions

At the end of the interview, interviewers may ask you one last question to help you clear up what you are not sure about, and to know more about you.

  • 何か質問はありますか?(Nani ka shitumon wa arimasuka?) Is there anything you want to ask?

Do not hesitate to ask any questions you have. Also, it looks good if you ask questions because that way you look more interested in the job and company.

Take time and prepare well

Job interviews are such precious opportunities to appeal to a company you want to work for. What you say and how you say it affects greatly whether they want to hire you. I recommend you to take a lot of time to think about what to say before hand, because what if you get too nervous or panic and are not able to think of good responses? Maybe even memorizing some of them might be a good idea if you get nervous easily. Prepare well and good luck with your interviews!