Career Guide

Preparing For A Japanese Part-Time Job Interview

Preparing For A Japanese Part-Time Job Interview

Getting ready for an interview in your native language can be nerve-wracking enough, let alone an interview in Japanese.Actually in Japan, compared to Japanese language skills, familiarity with Japanese etiquette and customs matters more for a job interview.

There are certain business rules that you should try to follow during an interview. This article will introduce these rules for a part-time job so that you can prepare well and stand a good chance to get the job.

Things to prepare before an interview

Check the access route in advance

You may lose the chance if you were late for an interview. Be sure to check the access route to the company no later than the day before the interview to avoid being late. If you go by public transportation, be sure to check the timetable, whether any transfer or where the bus stop is in advance.

Time to arrive at the company for interview

To arrive 5 minutes before the interview time will be the best.If you get to the company exactly at the scheduled time,you may be hurried and not able to perform yourself well.However,to arrive ahead too much is also not good as the company staff may be bothered.

Even if you arrived at the company early, it will be a manner to kill time around and get in 5 minutes before the scheduled time.

Things to bring for an interview

Resume documents

You may be told in advance that personal resume is not needed, but usually you need one.Taking resume along will also help you a lot if you were asked to write down your resume on the company specified profile sheet when you visit the company, that you can write with looking at your own resume and you don't have to worry about sudden memory loss out of nervousness.

It is also a manner to put your resume documents into a clear file or an envelope to make sure not crooked or bent.In the envelope case,you also need to write down your personal information on the envelope.

Writing Materials

You may need to fill in interview sheets from the company,or memo questions from interviewers, or memo things like job contents, shift, contact number and so on. Asking for interviewers or other company staff to borrow a pen will make you come off as bad-preparing.To avoid this,make sure to bring writing materials with you.

A memo of company's name, access, the name of the interviewer

Don't totally rely on keeping memos on your smartphone.What if you lose your phone by accident on the way to the company? What if the phone suddenly broken and you can't check memos on the phone? In these cases you can go to the company as well if you have a paper memo of interview information like the name of the company,access and the name of the interviewer and so on.


Avoid to look your smartphone while you are waiting for an interview in the company even if just time checking, as you may be thought not to take this job seriously. Bring a wristwatch to check time.Remember not to do this during the interview because the interviewers may think that you want to end the interview quickly.

Other things you were asked to bring by the company

Check the interview notification message or mail carefully and make sure that you are missing nothing required before going to the company.

When you are likely to be late

First of all, late is strictly prohibited and you should get to the company 5 minutes before the scheduled time. If you were likely to be late, contact the company before the scheduled time, explain why, and tell them about how long you are going to be late. Never give up an interview without any contact with the company.

About the dress and hairstyle for an interview

It is really hard to overdress for a Japanese job interview.For a full-time job interview,a man need to wear suits and a woman need to wear formal clothes.For part-time jobs, in some cases it may not require a suit. To find out how current employees there dress before the interview will be a good idea.You should dress at least at their level but a little more formal than them.

Whether you wear suits or not for an interview,make sure you look neat and clean.Actually for part-time jobs at restaurants, cafes, or other food and beverage establishments, the interviewer may pay more attention to cleanliness than clothing styles. You should make sure you are clean-shaven, your hair is neat, nails are short and clothes clean and pressed, etc.Never show up to an interview in jeans and a T-shirt. Avoid too much decorated clothes or accessories.

Hair should be kept away from the face so that your expression can be seen clearly. For men short hairstyles are better.For women with longer than shoulder length hair, it is best to put it up with a black or other inconspicuous color rubber.Cut the bangs to a length that does not affect your eyes, or fix them with a hairpin to expose the forehead to make sure that your eyes are not hidden.

Women should wear some make-up to make you look healthy and polished, but not too much.Especially in the case of part-time workers in food, customers may feel not clean if you wear a heavy make.However things may be different for a part-time worker in apparel or hair salons.

How to talk and the posture for an interview

You should try your best to speak polite Japanese, that is to say keigo.If you are not confident with keigo, try to remember necessary sentences before an interview.No doubt that impressions will be improved by looking at the interviewer's eyes and trying to talk with a smile and slowly as much as possible.

Keep your back straight not only during the interview but also when you walk towards the interview room.You can check your posture in the mirror before your interview.

Flow of the interview day

Where the interview takes place differs for part-time jobs,for example you may be interviewed at an idle table in a family restaurant,or a nearby cafe in some cases,or an interview room of the company. Take an interview room as an example for the flow:

Arrive at the company. Keep correct behaviors in mind as an interview has already started from now. Introduce yourself to the receptionist and wait for someone to guide you to a room. Never look around or check your smartphone during the wait.

Heading to a room.Knock the door three times you will get an 「どうぞ」.Enter the room after saying 「失礼します」, close the door, face the interviewer and say 「失礼します」again with a bow.Walk to your chair, stand beside it with both feet together and your arms out at your sides and introduce yourself:「面接に参りました○○と申します。本日はよろしくお願いいたします。Sit down after you hear 「どうぞ」. Be careful to behave as quietly as you can.

During the interview.Remember to keep your posture and answer questions in the way "How to talk and the posture for an interview" said.If you don't know how to answer a question, you can try to ask the interviewer for more hints instead of getting stuck.

End of the interview. Say something to show your gratitude for having the interview like:「本日はお忙しい中貴重なお時間をいただき、誠にありがとうございました。」. Behave right until you leave the building and can't be seen by anyone of the company.

5 most typical questions that are asked at a Japanese part-time interview

Be prepared to answer these following typical questions in advance so that you won't be nervous on the day.

Why did you apply for this job?

Tell me about your experiences at your past part-time jobs.

What are your strengths?

When can you start work?

How long it takes you to get here and by what?

Tips for preparing an interview

Normally you will be asked "Is there any question?" by the interviewer at the end of an interview. If you have any questions about the job, do not hesitate to ask in order to prevent mismatch after joining the company.

Make sure that the shift (especially the day you want to start, timing to decide the next shift, etc.),hourly and daily wages,duration of training, if there overtime work, are all under your expectations. Remember that a job interview is not just about being chosen by a company,but also choosing a desirable job.


Preparing for a Japanese part-time job may be complicated at first sight as there are so many etiquette rules. But try to think the opposite, this means that as long as you behave following the rules, you will stand a big chance to get the job.

So check the points in this article and get yourself well prepared for a part-time job interview in Japan.