How to pass the JET test and interview

Once your essay is accepted you will be given a date to arrive at the embassy.You will also be asked to be formally attired.A serious man giving a serious interview. From Jacob B√łtter's flickr stream Make sure you are there at the right time and dressed correctly – a suit with a tie. It’s probably best to avoid wearing a black tie, you will be dealing with Japanese people. Black ties are only ever worn at funerals in Japan.

I turned up very early to my interview and test – and they were able to take care of me immediately. Not everyone turns up, for a variety of reasons, so you may as well try going early. Also it’s an embassy so you’ll be going through a metal detector – therefore, unless, you want to be delayed – don’t wear too much metal.

The Test

You will be given the test before going in for the interview. Before arriving – you should be up on all the latest news. Read the broadsheets for a couple of weeks – check out the BBC website – make sure you know what’s happening in the world.

I live in Britain and here are some of the questions I was given on the interview:

What’s the population of Britain?

What’s the population of Japan?

Name three Japanese cities?

Name a Japanese author.

Name three Japanese films.

Who is the forth in line for the British throne?

What three British films would you recommend to a Japanese person and why?

What’s the name of the Japanese prime Minster?

Who the leader of the British conservative party?

What are udon and ramen types of?

What party is currently in power in Britian?

These are the types of questions you’ll most likely be asked. You must know you’re country reasonably well. In Britain you should know the Royal Family names and relations. You should also know about Japan – basic stuff political, the emperor, some musicians authors and films.
Fear the test. This image taken from CLF's flickr stream
Together with this you will be asked to correct some English text – this should be extremely easy. Read it out loud under your breathe if you need to. The problems will be with grammar, word use, spelling and punctuation. Provided you’re first language is English – it should be a walk in the park.

Make sure you keep an eye on the time and if you pace yourself finishing should not be a problem. It may also be worth noting that I passed this – I have no idea about populations, I have no idea about the royal family. By reading this you will be able to research ahead of time!

The Interview

You will be led to a room – possibly you’ll wait in a line, probably spending you’re time feeling anxious and nervous. When you get in they will ask you questions – these questions will be general such as:

“Why do you think you’d make a good teacher?”

“What would you do if a Japanese teacher made a mistake in front of the children?”

Then there will be a number of questions the specific to your submitted essay and application.

“You had your first choice as Osaka – why is that?”

“So it’s say’s here you’ve been to America – what did you do there?”

And so on.

In my opinion it’s attitude that’s important you should appear friendly, enthusiastic and excited. Don’t appear disinterested, bored, cold, timid or shy- these are big turn offs. Try not to interrupt the interviewer(s) (I had two). When you give an answer make sure you have a clear logical reason for you answer – for instance:

“I would talk to the teacher after the lesson about the mistake – as I wouldn’t want the teacher to lose face in front of the children. They must respect their teacher and know that he is a reliable source of knowledge if they’re going to learn from him”


“I would correct the mistake immediately – it’s best that the children know the correct English right away. They will also feel more comfortable knowing that everyone can make mistakes”

They may ask if you have any questions or “is there anything else you’d like to add?” – try to have prepared something before hand and try to end on a positive note. Such as “Yes I think I would a very good teacher and am very excited about the prospect of teaching and living in Japan”.

With this advice hopefully your interview and the test will go smoothly.
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