Help Guide

How Should I Prepare for a Japanese Part-Time Job Interview?

Once you finally get called back for an interview after applying for many-many different jobs, you probably start wondering, “What is a part-time job interview like in Japan?” Well, it’s not that different from the rest of the world, but there are still some things you should pay attention to besides making sure your CV is up to date and you get there on time.

In the following, we are going to shortly summarize what you should prepare for a “baito” interview.

When the employer calls and offers you an invitation, you are most likely going to be told what you should bring, but it probably won’t hurt to look over the following list just to be safe.

  • Your CV (履歴書)

It’s 100% guaranteed that employers are going to ask you to bring a copy of your CV with a Japanese standard ID photo attached. If you don’t have a Japanese CV yet and don’t know how to get started writing it, click here to read GaijinPot’s guide about it.

  • Residence card (在留カード) and/or passport

If you are an international student, you are only allowed to work up to 28 hours a week if you have the Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than That Permitted Under The Status of Residence Previously Granted (資格外活動許可申請) stamped on the back of your residence card. (In case you haven’t yet received the application document that is necessary to obtain this permit from your representative school, ask them about it or refer to this website.)
If you have a working holiday visa, showing your residence card is most likely enough, but we would recommend taking your passport as well with the Certificate of Designation (指定書) attached inside. Not every job interviewer will ask for the extra documentation, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  • Basic stationery

Your interviewer will probably help you out with a pen or pencil in case you need to fill something out, but it makes a good impression if you prepare your own stationery in advance.

It may also be useful to think about what kind of questions you might be asked during the interview. They vary to some extent based on what kind of job you are applying for, but there are a few ones that are going to be brought up for sure wherever you go.
Those are the following:

  • For how long are you planning to stay in Japan?
  • What made you want to live in Japan?
  • For how long would you like to work?
  • How far do you live from the workplace? What is your transportation of choice?
  • What days and what time are you available to work?
  • Why did you decide to apply for this particular job?
  • How did you know about the job offer?
  • Have you ever taken the JLPT? If yes, what level of Japanese do you speak?
  • Are you planning to do any other part-time jobs at the same time?
    (There are businesses that don’t want to employ someone if the person is continuously working somewhere else as well and would prefer candidates who are 100% committed to them only.)
  • How active are you physically?
    (In case of jobs that require moving around a lot, lifting things up, etc.)

The interviewer might ask you questions that are completely unrelated to work in general as well, but some only do it to see how well you speak in Japanese and if you are able to express yourself on a level that is high enough for the job they are offering. There are some places that will even make you fill out a short Japanese vocabulary test, but it’s not very common.

Most guides say that you should dress up for a job interview and wear a suit, etc., but for a part-time job, that’s not the case. Feel free and wear your casual clothes – maybe the ones leaning a little on the business casual side. To make extra sure, you could ask the contact person politely if there is any specific kind of dress code that is required for the interview.

Good luck!

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