How To Apply For A Part-time Job in Japan and Interview Etiquettes

How To Apply For A Part-time Job in Japan and Interview Etiquettes

It is said that over 70% of international students and Dependant visa holders in Japan work part-time, or arubaito (アルバイト) in Japanese. With a permission called Shikakugai-katsudokyoka (資格外活動許可), granted by Japanese immigration offices, working 28 hours per week or 40 hours during long holidays for students will be allowed. Arubaito will not only bring money, but also experience and understanding of Japanese social rules.

In Japan, part-time workers should also obey both explicit and implicit work rules, like the most well-known punctuality and no sudden absence. In fact, rules and etiquettes widely exist beginning from resume writing, to job application and interview. Foreigners who are new in Japan may be really confused. We are going to introduce how to apply for an arubaito through both telephone and website, conventional etiquettes in Japan, and some helpful job search websites.

Apply for a part-time job through telephone

Submitting an application through the telephone usually leads to a quick job interview by talking with employers directly, while a certain extent of Japanese language ability is required. Please note that polite Japanese is expected on the phone in most cases. Needless to say that doing some preparations before taking the call will be very important, considering both a bigger chance of job interview and less nervousness of speaking in Japanese.

Prepare for questions to ask during the call

Of course we need more information about the job to check if it is the right one for us or not. Write down all the questions we would like to ask advancely. The following common questions should be considered:

・Is the job still open?

The job may be already taken by someone, so check this question first, as an answer no will end your call immediately.

・Job content

In some cases, there may be only a job title posted on the staff wanted poster. Confirm the job content if you have any questions to avoid misunderstandings. Nobody wants the trouble that an employee finds out his or her job different from imaginations after starting work.

・Working shifts

How many shifts the work has, and whether there are early or late shifts? It's better to have your own schedule prepared.

・When to start work

Prepare the date you would like to start work too.

・Work location

Whether there will be a location change or not?


Hourly wage, any late shift or commute allowances, and other social insurances?

・Documents required for interview

An interview may be scheduled on the phone. Confirm necessary documents (a resume, any other?).

・Interview date, time, location, contact person, etc.

Other things needed for calling

Put the above question list, job advertisement, your schedule book, and memo utensils aside.

Check the time to call

Take the call during the time zone written on the job advertisement. If not written, call during business hours, which is normally between 10:00 and 17:00. It will be better to avoid busy hours like lunch time (11:30~ 14:00) and dinner time (17:00~) in the case of restaurants.

Make sure you call in a quiet and good signal environment.

Example of how to talk on the telephone application

The talk flow may be like the following:

・I'm sorry when you are busy. I called you as I saw the job ad from **. May I talk to the recruitment manager?

・The manager answers.

・I'm sorry when you are busy. I called for the ** job from **. Is it still possible to apply?

・The manager says yes.

・Ask any questions you want to ask.

・The manager answers your questions and may schedule an interview.

・Repeat the date and time of the interview, and ask for a contact person.

・The manager answers a contact person.

・Repeat the contact person information, and ask for required documents.

・The manager says required documents.

・End the phone after saying thanks politely.

Apply for a part-time job through website

You can submit a job application through the website at any time you like even outside business hours, while it may take longer until a job interview is scheduled.

Check the job description carefully before application

Compared to job advertisements on paper, a job description posted on the website usually includes more details. Same as questions listed above for telephone application, confirm the job content, working shifts, date of starting to work, work location, wage, allowances carefully before clicking the submit button.

Check your input carefully when application

As you should know that there is no modification button for a submitted application, so make sure your input on the applying form correctly and fully. Especially check there is no miss in your personal information, such as name in both Kanji and Kana, date of birth, telephone number, email address, and current occupation.

If plus questions are listed, it will be better to answer them, for example, what's your desired job type or industry, do you have any other questions.

Wait for contact of an interview

The company may contact an interview at any time by a telephone call, or an email. Make sure you are always prepared.

When a company contacts you by phone

Make sure you can be heard clearly before answering the phone. And answer any unknown phone politely as it may come from your future company. Walk with memo utensils to write down interview details, and repeat them to confirm. If you missed the phone call, you'd better call back in a day.

When a company contacts you by email

Check your mail settings to make sure you won't miss any emails. And a quick reply in a day may be better.

Recommended part-time job search websites

Job search websites post and update enormous job openings, and provide filtering functions to search for jobs. Quick Jobs Japan is totally the one for foreigners who want to find a part-time job in Japan.

It focuses on providing part-time job information from those industries popular and highly-demanded for foreigners all over Japan. And jobs are also categorized in Japanese language level, ranging from no speaking to JLPT N1 level. You should never miss this website for finding arubaito in Japan.

Other websites like Jobs in Japan and Yolo Japan are also commonly used and you can have a try.