Most Common Interview Questions


Wouldn’t it be easier if you already knew what is going to be asked in an interview, especially if you are worried about your language skills?
So, in this article, I would like to introduce the most common interview questions in Japan and give some advice on how to answer them.

The first and the most basic one is….

Can you tell me a little about yourself? (簡単に自己紹介してください)

This question usually comes at the beginning of the interview. Your answer is important as it is essential to creating topics to talk about later on in the interview. Be careful not to mix it up with your strong points (自己PR.)

It should include

  • Name of University
  • Your major or what you have put effort in during your studies
  • Club activities or previous work experience
  • A short phrase describing why the company is attractive
  • Your feelings towards the interview (よろしくお願いします)

3 important points for this question

  • Give the interviewer hints about your strong points
    (You have to give hints without explaining everything)
  • Make sure you keep the consistency with your resume
  • Speak clearly and keep it brief, around a minute long

Sometimes the interviewer only asks for your name and university. In that case, answer only what you are asked.

Why do you want this job? (志望理由は)

The aim of this question is to figure out whether you will be a match for the company. You will need to explain why you chose that particular company, and the interviewers will be looking at your enthusiasm for the company, as well as getting a vague idea about your personality.

  1. Talk too generally
    For example, phrases such as ‘I want to help people’ or ‘I am impressed with your company’ is very abstract, and is applicable to many companies, thus causing the interviewer to lose interest in you.
  2. State what you want to learn from the company
    Companies are not schools, they do not exist to educate you. You must show them that you are willing to learn by yourself, not passively. Instead, try saying what you wish to achieve in the company.
  3. Get too detailed about the salary
    Although it is an important criterion for choosing a company, some people in Japan may think you lack enthusiasm.
  4. Be too condescending
    Needless to say, it is not a bad thing to appeal your strengths. However, you must remember… you are in Japan! If you sound too full of yourself, you may give the interviewer a negative impression.
  5. Give location as the reason
    The location of your house and your partner’s whereabouts is not a valid answer, and could apply to all the companies in the vicinity. In Japan, relocations are quite common and the interviewer will be suspicious if you are truly qualified for the position.

So, you probably are wondering… how should I answer the question??
The general flow should state your future goal, why you want to achieve that goal in the first place, and why it has to be that particular company.

It should look something like this.

I would like to work in this company because I wish to engage in …. The reason why I wish engage in … is because …. I heard this company is strong in that field, and therefore, I believe your company matches my goal.

Now you know how to answer the most basic questions in a Japanese interview. One step closer to working in Japan!