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The following advice represents a compilation of tips & ideas given to us from actual interviewers for companies in Japan.

Looking for a job?
Have an interview and just don't know how to prepare?
Here a few things I share with candidates everyday. They work!

Making your resume (Goal 1)
Remember, your resume is "the image of you" on paper. When you first meet someone you don't tell them your whole life, you just tell them enough to get them interested. The same thing is true for your resume. It is a document that gets HR Department Managers interested. As in conversation, talk too much about how great you are, and people will get turned off, don't say enough and people will think you are boring.Keep your resume direct and to the point. Show your strengthens and your personality. Give bullet points to what your key success have been. ALWAYS tailor your resume to a specific job. Look at the job specs and MATCH your resume. Make sure you answer all the questions listed in qualifications. I need to stress this... Make sure you get all the requirements answered. HR people want to see if you qualify! After they will look to see if you are someone they want to learn more about. You Goal... "to get the HR manager interested enough to want to learn more about you..." After you do this, you will see you get more Yes's and "Yes" you have an interview. Success on your first Goal... "The interview."

Get a Second Interview (Goal 2)
The fist interview
Before you go to the interview you need to make a list of Goals. What do you want to say? How do you want to say it? What are your strengthens, to the job? What do you want to make sure you go over in the meeting.? How should I impress them??? All of these are good in extreme moderation, however keep Goal 1, which is the same as Goal 2, 3, 4 etc. "To get a 2nd interview!" Nothing else matters! You simply want the person to give you a "2nd" interview. Career Goals Career goals Career goals are always asked. Should include what do you want out of a job. This is an especially important question for those seeking a job in a foreign country. Other questions you should expect.... How long do you plan to stay in Japan? One year, five years, forever? Your interviewer will want to know, and you need to think about how the experience will affect your career. Time and time again I see candidates go into interviews thinking that "one interview" was going to get them the job. Or, they think that "one interview" to offer. If you think this is the case, well keep thinking. The first interview is just that. A first interview. As in life, if you want to be friends with someone it takes time. Perhaps Mc. Donald's will hire after one interview, but they don't want to be your friend. They don't care... They just need bodies. The Corporate world doesn't work that way. Employer's need bodies, but they need bodies that fit within their structures. It takes time to learn this. Expect at least 2 interview meeting with managers, staff, (Currently I would say 3 interviews before offer are the norm.) before anything serious is going to take place.Good Luck. Here is a bit more to think about... Having trouble finding jobs that suit you?

Don't be discouraged if there don't seem to be a lot of jobs that suit you - don't worry you only need one job anyway. Go after the job you want. Get the interviewer to like you. You just have to get them to realize you are the perfect person to fill their job. Ask a recruiter to help. Recommend companies that you think you would fit. Most honest recruiters want to get you a job. They should call the company for you and help you! Contract

Understand the contract before you sign it. Avoid the stress and confusion that can ensue when something goes wrong- make sure you have a clearly written contract (preferably in your language.)

Additional Hints! Contacts
Use your contacts for everything they're worth. Sound sneaky? It's not. Often in Japan, it's a must (ask someone from the Ministry of Finance!) Even if it's just a simple introduction, you're no longer a "stranger" when you walk in the door, and that can make a big difference when the interviewer considers you for a position.Learn Japanese Learn Japanese.

Even if you don't feel like putting in the time to learn the language, you should definitely learn something about the culture. You don't have to don a kimono and get a, but you should at least know what to do- and what not to do when you visit a Japanese company or home.No lace-ups, Look Clean Cut, and No Spicy Food. Don't where lace-up shoes (you may have to take your shoes off when you visit a company). We're only half joking here... Having clean dark socks always helps. Cut your hair, shave, (especially in Japan HR Managers typically HATE hair on the face of candidates no hair under your nose, no beards and surely no 3 day growth) Wash your hands. Don't each strong food the day before, for example Garlic, Curry, Strong or Spicy Spices. Look clean cut! after you get the job, you can turn into a slob....

Beware of the Catch 22
Many companies in Japan require that you have a home address before applying for a job- but most real estate agencies require that you have a job before you can rent a property. Our advice? Try to find a company that provides housing for its employees- and enjoy the yen you'll save!Just remember, even if you are just looking at the market, or you seriously need a job, you should think that your resume is just the first step, in many many steps, that will get you that dream job.

What do Managers Expect?
Well we asked. Here are a few of the answers..

Resume Resume - Give details only for credentials that show experience that is relevant to the job type. If you are looking for two different job types, make up a different resume for each job. It helps us screen.

 -Don't get screened out because your resume is to long and not to the point.

Calling to respond
When you call to setup an appointment for an interview, stay to the point. We don't want to conduct a 30 minute pre-interview over the phone.

- Remember that the point of this call is not to give information but to schedule the interview. Tell them you meet the qualifications without explaining any more and set a time to meet or you just might screen yourself out.

At the interview
At the interview - We are looking for an attitude of moderated excitement and confidence. We are looking for people who pleasantly project the feeling that they are exactly the people we need to hire.
 -this is the message that you must deliver to the interviewer. Listen carefully to the interviewer to see that he or she is getting this message. If you do not know the answer to a question tell the truth. If the interviewer asks about experience that you do not have tell the truth but quickly explain that you are looking for a chance to learn more about that subject. The only time this will not apply is if you discover, during the interview, that the content of the job is not what you thought and you are not interested.

Long interview?
No problem. It normally is a
Good sign!
 -If an interview goes longer than the scheduled time or lasts more than 45 minutes it is usually positive. An interviewer will not usually spend more time if they do not see potential.

Even if the interview does not seem to be going well, it always doesn't mean we think you are bad. Perhaps we are just having a bad day. As long as it is being conducted professionally, don't read too much into it.

I hope this helps.

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