Interac - Japan Reviews | Glassdoor

Interac - Japan Reviews

Updated April 18, 2017
16 reviews

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16 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "As good as you can expect"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Of course it depends on which school(s) you get assigned to that makes the difference on your experience since it depends on how the school is run, the students, the other teachers, however, the company is easily contactable with any issues you may have and training was sufficient enough for me to handle pretty much anything despite no experience prior.

    Cons

    I had wished more materials had been provided. I was provided with plenty of things, but I searched for plans and ideas that I felt were better suited to my work and more realistic as well.

    Advice to Management

    More realistic lesson plans available. I felt that many activities or lesson plan guidelines would not and did not work very well in the classroom. They would take much less time, and the kids were generally uninterested.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "The Most Unprofessional Organization I've Ever Encountered"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Interac - Japan full-time

    Pros

    As far as the company is concerned I really can't think of any redeeming qualities. Sure, you're in Japan but that's about the only good thing about working for this company and I'm pretty sure they'd find a way to screw that up if it was physically possible.

    Cons

    The company is run almost entirely by former teachers. They know how to teach, but that's about it. These people have no administrative competency, and it shows. You will not know assignments or important information until the last possible minute. You will often not have the necessary resources either. You will not receive a return phone call in most cases and frequently even emails will go unanswered. Nobody at the office seems to ever have a clue what they're doing and will frequently pass blame onto another person or simply expect you to fall in line without asking vital questions as if you were a child.

    There is the possibility that they will simply lose you placement at the last possible minute.

    You will also work significantly longer than the "29" hours they are mandated to limit you at. In talking to university teachers in Japan I was told this practice is basically illegal. But it allows Interac to forgo paying for your insurance, so there you go. It's basically a company built on exploiting foreigners who don't really have any other way of going to Japan. But trust me, working for this company is an absolute nightmare. Find another way to live in Japan if at all possible.

    Advice to Management

    I don't really know what to say, the company clearly has no incentive or likely even ability to change. I suppose a good start would be to hire individuals with actual managerial or administrative experience for the head office positions. And it'd probably be a good idea to stop exploiting people, as I can't imagine that will go on forever without some pretty drastic legal repercussions.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Know what to expect , and it's pretty good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Language Teacher in Sendai, Miyagi (Japan)
    Current Employee - Assistant Language Teacher in Sendai, Miyagi (Japan)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Interac - Japan full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Although many complaints written here are valid, most people I know (including myself) have greatly enjoyed their time with Interac.

    -you can work very independently (also kind of a con
    -they help you with all the difficulties if setting up a life in Japan, especially useful if you don't really speak Japanese.
    -money is sufficient for a single person to enjoy life and save a little
    - staff are not the greatest at their job, but my brach (Sendai) is full of nice , hard working people.
    -they seem to want to improve things, and have accomplished that this year with some new quality of life improvements.
    -Loads of free time , although not necessarily where or when you want it

    Cons

    -really doesn't seem to be a career. You can expand yourself my meeting fellow ALTs and JTEs and learning how to teach, but this is yourself and not Interac really...
    -absolute last minute information
    -won't pay for many things that I feel they should. Insurance, car, housing, license... plane ticket

    Advice to Management

    I know the company is built on cheaply hiring new inexperienced ALTs who can be taken advantage of money wise... but I feel this won't last much longer. There are many excellent teachers who provide of great image of your company to the communities they work in, and they receive essentially nothing extra from a brand new , accidentally hired, incompetent ALT. Give us ALTS some hope and reason to stay with the schools we build a relationship with.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "know what you are getting yourself into- It's a foot in the door, but nothing else"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher in Tokyo (Japan)
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher in Tokyo (Japan)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Interac - Japan full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    will help you with setting up housing, school placement, and getting your visa and paperwork in order. It's a great way to get into Japan, but once you arrive, start looking for jobs with other companies. Your experience greatly depends on your school- I loved mine.

    Cons

    their work arounds for benefits are insulting. You will "work" 29.5 hours, but be required to stay at the school for 40. If you have work experience, you will be frustrated by how management treats you. Because they are currently trying to rapidly expand the company, it's particularly chaotic right now- directions are incredibly unclear and training barely exists, so you will have to be resourceful. There are zero growth opportunities, so do not stay any longer than a year.

    Advice to Management

    Do more to keep talent- a raise after the first year to offset the increased expenses would be a great start.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Interac ALT"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher

    I worked at Interac - Japan full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Possibly the best non-JET option to teach English in Japan.
    A (generally) short working day means you have more time to enjoy Japan.
    Less hours and less restrictive than the JET Programme.
    Management will usually only step in if you need them to - i.e. If you can handle your work/schools/teachers/students, you can work fairly independently, but management can back you up if you need them to.
    Decent pay for the amount of time you actually work.
    Good experience in the education industry.
    They can provide an apartment and/or a vehicle (if you need it for your assignment) if you can't provide your own. (See also: cons)
    --I would recommend Interac to people who want to temporarily teach English in Japanese schools, but don't have a teaching licence.--

    Cons

    You will probably have lots of schools, which means you never really have your own workspace.
    You will probably need to prepare for your lessons on your own (unpaid) time. Depending on your assignments, this can be VERY time-consuming, especially for the first year or two.
    Minimal training up front so you will probably feel very overwhelmed for a while.
    Pay is not great (though not bad for your actual hours). Many ALTs have another job to help make ends meet - especially if they have a family.
    No real prospect for advancement.
    Little job security - you are always on a year-to-year contract. If your assignment dries up (i.e. the contract goes to a different company/individual) and there isn't a vacancy in another Interac assignment, you're done. (I should note that if you're good at your job, you shouldn't need to worry too much, but no matter how good you get, you will still always be on contract.)
    Working here can never be a career, as there is no way for you to reasonably progress within the company or retire.
    Raises are almost unheard of.
    If you get a vehicle/apartment through them, prepare to have it come directly out of your paycheque (and it's not cheap).
    It's difficult to use accrued vacation time, as it is also reliant on the client schools/boards.

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to retain your good employees. I can understand being wary of foreigners who just come and go all the time, but the ones who stay and do good work should be rewarded accordingly.
    Training needs to be improved.


  6. "No security"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Interac - Japan full-time

    Pros

    The Kansai office is very chill and leaves you alone for the most part. If you know what you are getting into then the experience is really dependent on your own attitude.

    Cons

    Interac had a scandal recently where their founder and former president made private donations to Toshiaki Endo, the former chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Headquarters for the Revitalization of Education and it was implied that he and the private alt industry benefited from it somehow. Whatever the truth may be, this definitely adds to Interac's sketchy image. In addition from the Fall of 2016, all companies over a certain size have to give their employees insurance and pension, but Interac just happened to break their company into regional companies as the deadline for this law was coming up....

    Advice to Management

    Stop trying to avoid giving your workers their basic rights under Japanese Labor laws. Raise the salary so you are more competitive.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "It's rewarding but can drive you crazy."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tokyo (Japan)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tokyo (Japan)

    I worked at Interac - Japan full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Working hours are usually only about six hours a day. Depending on your assignment, you may be able to do prep work at the schools you work at. Long holidays allow you to see Japan or neighboring countries. Offer training to help with those struggling with teaching or the cultural differences.

    Cons

    If you have a large number of schools (I had 12), you won't necessarily get much prep time at your schools, so you may need to do some preparation at home. Often the free periods I had were at the end of the day, meaning I could not prep for the next lesson but had to stay at the school until quitting time (about two hours later). Communication with the schools isn't always perfect either, so be prepared for some surprises.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Recruiter"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruiter in Tokyo (Japan)
    Former Employee - Recruiter in Tokyo (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Colleagues are a good reason to go to work but that is it.

    Cons

    There are no possibilities for growth whatsoever. Management does not have any tools in place to engage staff and there is a total lack of transparency from management.

    Advice to Management

    Live up to company's core values would be a beginning.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Choose only as your last resort"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructor in Tokyo (Japan)
    Current Employee - Instructor in Tokyo (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    • Once you're contracted, they'll keep you on until you're a nuisance.
    • Staff can be helpful when absolutely necessary.
    • Teaching can be a great experience.

    Cons

    • The pay is crap.
    • The company is incompetent at best.
    • Staff will only help when absolutely necessary because they are typically treated similarly to you.
    • If you become any kind of nuisance like, say, you get pregnant/your spouse has issues, get ready to not get re-contracted.
    • They weasel out of paying for proper health insurance by claiming you only work 29.5 hours a week when you're required to be at work for over 40.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house and figure out what is going on with your incompetent office staff. Give your employees their time back if you aren't going to pay for it.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Cancerlike Company invades Nippon"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Office Management in Tokyo (Japan)
    Current Employee - Office Management in Tokyo (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Interac - Japan part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Can't think of any pros - They take (tax) money from the schools and
    exploit newbie foreigners in Japan. ! Very disreputable outfit . BE CAREFUL !

    Cons

    Where to start ??? part time (29hrs) for full time work. No support . no respect .no help.
    Ths co is interested in ONE THING - making the most money and paying out the LEAST to the
    teachers. In the long run- the Japanese Govnt needs to look into this Co. to protect the
    image of Japan. If one teacher at school " black balls " you ...you are gone or not renewed
    the following year . No explanation ,no recourse. The teachers really need to join the UNION
    or nothing will change. It won't happen soon because there is an inexhaustable supply of new bodies -
    What was that PT Barum quote - There's a SUCKER born every minute ! This CO. is TERRIBLE
    ask the ex employees - if you don't believe me !

    Advice to Management

    Respect your workers and close down your dishonest SCAM ! Short of that-
    get the teachers to join a union to air grievances against the CO. Don't cloak the CO.
    in the veil of Respectability by connecting your business with the CHURCH of the LDS !
     it is sinful ! You are sons of LUCIFER !


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