JET Program
4.2 of 5 98 reviews
www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/JET/ Washington, DC 1000 to 5000 Employees

JET Program Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 7, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

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16%
14%

Interview Experience 

83%
13%
3%

Interview Difficulty 

38 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

ALT Interview

Anonymous Employee

I applied through other source - interviewed at JET Program in February 2014.

Interview Details – Very intensive application process: small window of time (about a month in November) to submit all forms via snail mail, I heard back in late January that I got an interview, interview was scheduled for mid-February. The interview itself was not too bad; I had nice interviewers.

Interview Question – What three items would you bring to the classroom to represent American culture to Japanese students?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) Interview

Anonymous Employee
Portland, OR

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at JET Program in February 2014.

Interview Details – Began with a paper application in October, was selected for an interview in late January, and interviewed mid-February.

The interview took place near the Japanese Consulate in downtown Portland. The interview was pretty straight forward, most of the questions being about my past experiences and how I would use them to my advantage in a classroom setting. I gave a short, demo lesson on how I could turn my hobbies into a classroom activity. There was also a short Japanese language section of the interview. After the Japanese language portion, I was given the opportunity to ask the three interviewers some questions. After this, I thanked them, smiled, and left. The entire interview took around 30 minutes.

Keep in mind that the interviewers want you to succeed, despite the intimidating nature of the interview. Maintain your composure, don't get nervous, and smile.

Interview Question – How would you prepare a lesson for students with little to no English-language ability?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation. You either accept or decline.

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) Interview

Anonymous Employee
Atlanta, GA

Interviewed at JET Program

Interview Details – You will be contacted by your local consulate if you qualify for an interview. You will be interviewed by a tribunal of a former JET, an employee of the consulate, and a third party. They will most likely be behind a desk, and you will be given a chair in the open.

Negotiation Details – There is no negotiation phase.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) Interview

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT)
Los Angeles, CA

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at JET Program in March 2012.

Interview Details – By November you must fill out an application online. With that you must mail an application package including a statement of purpose, 2 or more recommendation letters, and official transcripts. Then the embassy will let you know if they want to meet you for an interview. The interview is conducted by 3 people usually, including one Japanese national. They will ask you about past work experience, about Japan and U.S. relations, and about what you've written in your personal statement. Their main goal is to stress you and see how you react to it. They are also looking to know why and how you're interested in the program and Japan. They don't want people who will potentially break their contracts. Finally, you will be notified of whether you've been shortlisted, waitlisted or rejected. You will then have to provide a medical check, finger prints and an FBI background check for your contracting org. In June you will be notified about your placement.

Interview Question – What do you think the relation between Japan and the U.S. is?   View Answer

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) Interview

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT)

I applied online and the process took 9 months - interviewed at JET Program.

Interview Details – Takes about a year, including a long detailed initial application, FBI background check, and in-person interview

Interview Question – What is you biggest weakness?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) Interview

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT)
Detroit, MI

Interviewed at JET Program

Interview Details – After sending in your application, if you pass the first round, you will asked in for an interview at the nearest consulate embassy. They will ask about your interest in the program and Japan and also determine if you will adapt well to life in a foreign country. Then you will either pass, be put on the waiting-list, or turned down. If you pass and accept, then there will be multiple information sessions to prepare you before you head off to Japan.

Interview Question – During the interview they asked about how well I handle children, which was a surprise as it seemed obvious that one should like children for this job, but be sure to prepare an answer for this.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) Interview

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT)
Austin, TX

I applied online and the process took 2+ months - interviewed at JET Program in March 2011.

Interview Details – Don't mess up the application- even having papers in the wrong order or one item unsigned is an automatic application disqualification.

When you go to the interview, be perky and energetic and focus on "grassroots internationalization", AKA just being a ridiculously happy person about sharing culture and language with people. Come with a few examples of how you'd like to do this.

Don't worry about touting certifications or Japanese knowledge- you're here to assist teachers and 0 Japanese knowledge is expected (albeit make your Japanese level KNOWN, as it might affect your placement).

Don't answer negatively about anything. But that's interviewing 101.

Interview Question – How would you plan a class to introduce kids to the ABCs?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – No negotiation, it's 100% set in stone by the governments. Can't negotiate anything whatsoever. Take it or leave it opportunity.

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Assistant Language Teacher Interview

Assistant Language Teacher
Washington, DC

I applied online - interviewed at JET Program in February 2013.

Interview Details – Got called for the interview in DC. Walked in to the embassy about 20 minutes early. There was a waiting room with a previous JET teacher and a video about the JET experience. The woman I talked to was very nice and personable, willing to answer any question. Then I was led to an interview room with three interviewers. Two women who had done JET, one Japanese man who worked for the embassy. Basic question - why JET, what skills do you have that would help you, talk about when you've taught children, challenges you faced (I did volunteering with teaching kids music). Lots of questions based on my resume/application/personal statement. Also had to do a brief section in Japanese (because I speak it) talking to the Japanese man and then reading a selection and answering questions in Japanese about it.

Interview Question – You have to design a lesson where you teach three aspects of American culture - what three aspects do you choose and how do you represent each of them with an object.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) Interview

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT)

I applied online and the process took 7 months - interviewed at JET Program in February 2010.

Interview Details – You submit an application, wait 3 months, if you are accepted you get an interview with 3 usually former JETS. Dress well and have a lot of energy. You find out if you get the job about 6 weeks later. Then 8 weeks after that you find out where you are placed.

Interview Question – They asked to teach a mock lesson.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There was none.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) Interview

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT)

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at JET Program.

Interview Details – Had to fill out an initial application that was quite basic and factual (must include a photo). If you were deemed an acceptable applicant you are invited to interview at a major city. I was in NYC. It is important to remember that this is a job interview. Many treated it like it was an internship or the like. For example (true story): a girl who applied at the same time with me sent a photo when her hair was blue. At the interview she had it covered but they asked her to show her hair (still blue). Then she went on to say she was interested in ninjutsu and other anime type things. Needless to say, she didn't make it. Take it seriously, it's a job interview as serious as any other.

Interview Question – Q1: Asked me to improv teaching a holiday of my choice.
Q2: Asked me why Japan and not teach in India if I was interested in Asian culture.
  View Answer

Negotiation Details – Not possible. You accept fully or you are dropped.

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