So today I thought I would go and let you all know what to expect from applying to one of the main providers of ALT’s in Japan. (That’s Assistant Language Teacher for those of you who missed the last post!) Interac! Yaaaay! As I am now about 2/3rds of the way through their interview process I felt it was okay to start this now. :)
So you first have to go to their website and fill out their online application.This isn’t hard at all, it’s all just usual application/resume stuff, but make sure you do it carefully! You are now officially applying to teach English in a foreign country so getting your spelling and grammar correct would probably be a good idea! There is also an essay at the end of the application so make sure you take your time and plan it all out well. Remember those bubble maps you used to make in school? Yeah, those are useful anyway you look at it.
Next Interac will give you a phone call! They just want to go over your application with you and ask any questions about what you have written down or get you to complete something you may have forgotten or overlooked. They are always seriously helpful that way. So don’t freak out too much if you missed the call, myself included I don’t know of ANYONE who has actually not had to call them back later after work or something. It’s not your interview and they are asking about information that should be true, seeing as you put it on your application, so it’s really no sweat at all.
If they like your app the next thing they do on that phone call is to schedule your phone interview! Congratulations! I found it really helpful to compile a list of questions I had found around the internet and to really think about them and answer them the day before the call. That way you sound super prepared (because you are!) and you can focus on being your cheery teacher self! The whole phone interview process is really chill and the questions are basic and pretty much to be expected. Know why you want to be an English teacher and why you want to go to Japan to do it. Be familiar with the company you are potentially going to be committing yourself to for a year and you are pure gold! Now, if all goes well here the recruiter you are talking to will invite you to the last stage in their blessedly quick interview process: the seminar/demo lesson/in-person interview.
Here my details get hazy seeing as I have yet to enter this much-dreaded-yet-still-everyone-says-it’s-fun stage but they spend pretty much the last half of your phone interview telling you alllll about it and how to prepare for it. You get a very long email inviting you to it and giving you all the information you need to prepare for it. Basically, my first impression is that they sincerely want to give you every opportunity for them to hire you. I love that this company seems to want you to succeed while I have heard (again, I don’t know for sure!) but I have heard that interviewing for other companies/programs is seriously intimidating! As I just sent in my freakishly huge paper packet that was my JET application, I guess I’ll maybe find out all about that too!
Needless to say I well and truly freaked myself out about the phone interview and breathe a little faster any time I see an email from a Japan related company in my inbox but nothing that’s not quickly squashed when I actually get the job done. I haven’t started panicking about the seminar yet (December 7th!!!) but am actually very excited about my 3rd grade warm-up activity. It’s gonna be AWESOME! (I am also very easily amused but feel as if I will be surrounded by people of my own kind at this place.) Here’s hoping all goes well!
Hi Kendra. I’m also from southern California. Trying to get a gig in Japan so I can start teaching there.
What kind of questions do they ask you in the phone interview? Generally I have had a problem with being nervous/lacking focus in past interviews. I get that I need to sound excited. Thanks in advance!
Forgot to add: my interview is on Friday, BTW!