Application Process: [3] The Interview

I thought it would never come. But it did… after three months!

I must admit I was really waiting during the month after my accent test. But as the days drag by, I lost interest and enthusiasm. I just thought that if it will come, it will come. Come what may. There were some instances I thought they may have forgotten me, or that they lost my resume or application forms. I even applied in two other eikaiwas my friends were currently working in. But heck, there was no response from them.

I forgot to mention  that I got a call two weeks after my accent test. The boss told me I passed mainly because of my accent. I told you it’s my saving grace. But there were some points for improvement that he mentioned: [1] I need to be more charming on screen. If you remember the part where we had to read a passage, that would be it. I wasn’t looking at the camera, and was focused intently on the paper in my hand. I only glanced at the camera during the first part where I had to introduce my name and interviewing city. And that was it. I could understand where he is coming from. He had the impression that I was nervous and shy. Nervous – a little, but shy? No. [2] My essay was too short. Now this I have to blame myself. I was looking at my seatmate’s write ups and I saw them doing the same thing, so I copied. Not their text, but the length. I thought, why make it long when I could it sum it up in just a few words. This ain’t an essay writing contest anyway. And yes, I admit I’m afraid I might make grammatical mistakes along the way. The less words, the safer. It’s a shame, considering I am a journalism major. (Yeah, I know, you might have spotted some errors in this blog as well.) My apologies for that. [3] Finally, my spelling and grammar test had really good results. I even got a perfect score in the spelling test. To this, I expected of course. My grammar test was 8/10, if I remember correctly. I was really happy with that outcome. [4] The personality thing wasn’t mentioned at all, so I didn’t bother asking. Or should I?

So there, I was told to wait for another call regarding the schedule of the interview. To which I waited for three months. No big deal.

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Fast forward to the day of interview. I arrived one hour earlier and took the chance to prepare. I jotted notes on my pad beforehand so I used my spare time to review. I was then asked to complete some form and that was it. I was called upon the interview room and it started.

I won’t dwell into every detail anymore, as it would be too long. The entire interview took more than an hour, as far as I can recall. I had a good view of the cars (and traffic!) outside as I was seated facing the window. I think it somehow helped me think easier. The expected questions were asked and of course, I used my rehearsed answers. I tried not to appear as if I memorized them. Well, I didn’t really. I simply got the gist and stated it in the most simple way possible. I kept the accent (my strongest point I believe) but didn’t overdo. There were several instances, however, that the interviewer would ask me to louder my voice. I was unconscious of this. My current job requires me to speak lowly, almost to a whisper, and so it didn’t occur to me that this job is different. I will be speaking in front of a class so my voice should be at its highest manageable tone. I was reprimanded more than twice about this. Goodness! I kept going down. And up. And down again.

Anyhow, time passed. And the interviewer offered his hand and congratulated me. He told me right then and there that I passed. Whew! Wasn’t that fast? Or were they making up for the three months that went away? I don’t know. But one thing is for sure: I am going to the next and LAST stage, the dreaded class demonstration.

I don’t know what to feel afterwards. The interviewer kept saying that he actually sees me going to Japan. He reminded me again of my voice and charm (especially in front of a camera). As you might not know, the demo would be recorded. He shook my hand once again and congratulated me for a job well done. He said I seemed to be really comfortable speaking in the English language. That felt good.

I was  told the demo is scheduled after a month, and so I have roughly 30 days to prepare. Boy, was that long! I mentally sketched a rough draft on what I should do. I will let you know the specifics on this on my next post. But let’s call it a day for now. Ganbatte!!! … And oh, thank you for reading this far. Cheers!

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