JET Programme : Interview preparation and my experience

So I had my JET interview this morning, thought I’d write this up and kind of give back to the internet since it helped me when I was preparing. Hopefully this blog post will ping up on google for a few of you who are looking for more information about the JET interview or tips / people with past experience.

The interview was at the Japan embassy in London, pretty fancy building inside, a cute girl welcomed me in and we were told to do a Grammar test – I hear this is specific mainly to the UK application process, and that Americans aren’t required to do this, which is kind of unfair because this test was seriously hard.
Questions were a mix of…
‘Which of these words does not share a similar meaning’ – followed by 4 words you might have heard on the politics channel or something (enervate? wat?) If anything makes me fail, its going to be this grammar test most likely, which is kind of BS because I’ve lived in this country all my life and have never heard the word enervate used in a sentence.
‘What is the difference between ‘should’ and ‘must’ ‘
‘fix this paragraph (followed by a paragraph containing typos, missing grammar and wrong words) ‘

We then sat down in front of a JET video, which just kind of ran in the background, I didnt actually get a chance to pay much attention to it as we were talking to the former JET applicants who were sitting with us – I hear this is sometimes a bit of an informal interview bit, but who knows – better to be safe than sorry and just talk to them.

And then finally the interview… There were 2 of them, a former JET and a Japanese representative, they asked questions and thankfully the experience wasn’t too painful – stuff I had read online have said they try to trip you up, trick you, or grill you almost like a war crimes trial – mine was pretty much the polar opposite of this.

The questions I was asked (that i can remember)…
– Why do you want to be on the JET Programme
– What can you bring to the JET programme
– How would you feel if you were placed in a rural area as opposed to the urban area you applied for
– Introduce yourself in Japanese
– Was there any experience in Japan which really stood out
– Where did you go
– What island/region are Tokyo/Kyoto/Osaka in
– What are the other 3 regions
– Tell us about your Japanese language education
– If the teacher you are working with makes an English mistake, what would you do
– 3 British people or characters that you would teach to your students
– What is your teaching style / what is important about teaching
– Do you consider this as a career change? It says you are currently working in Accountancy

Looking back now, they asked a lot of questions, goddamn. But the time spent in the room flew by, 20 minutes gone in an instant, I actually said “oh, thats it? that was 20 minutes?” to which she replied “yes, more than 20 minutes in fact” – I had been talking for 25.

And that was that. Hopefully, come April I’ll get a lovely letter saying I’ve been accepted, but who knows what the future holds. After all, I really did cock up that grammar test.

Websites which helped me to prepare for this interview…
Constantine in Tokyo
Koneko Darling’s 10 ways to prepare for your JET
Farstrider’s To be a JET
Messages from Earth (youtube)
Myargonauts (youtube)
Some girl who is way too happy (youtube)

To those who are applying in the future, がんばって!
If this blog post helped you, link it somewhere to get it higher rated on the search engines.

edit: Got a letter 3 months later… – http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com/2013/jet-programme-2013-application-result/

One Response

  • hey i just read your post about the jet grammar test. i have my interview soon and it was interesting and helpful to read about your experience 🙂 are you still on jet? regards bc

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