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What To Expect In A JET Interview!

Updated: Jan 9, 2019

You Will Sit In Front A Panel Of Three People.

If you are reading this post you have made it through the first stage of the application process and have been notified for a interview with a panel of people the embassy has chosen to judge your character and fit for the programme.

Please remember this is from my experience so it may differ in each country and person. These are the questions that have been used on my fellow Jets and from myself.

For this post I will be talking about:

Stage Two // What To Expect In The Interview

You will be notified in early January if you are successful in acquiring an interview and they will let you know your allocated time and interview location (I believe there is no option to change times or dates as they assign everyone back to back to fit everyone in but no harm in asking if you truly cannot make the time assigned). The Interviews are done in 3 days and usually around the 20th January.

IF you have chosen to go into the early intake leaving in February you will have your interview at an earlier date and you are required to bring your completed Health Certificate and Criminal Record(s) to the interview.


  • Attire is formal. (nothing too tight or short best to wear a blazer and guys if you wear a tie avoid BLACK they only wear those at funerals.)

  • Suggestion arrive 10mins early so you can settle down and not risk being late.

  • Bring in your physical copy of your criminal record(s)

  • STAY CALM and CHILL no matter what questions they pull out at you. Do not get defensive and justify yourself too strongly. They are looking for friendly, confident and easy going personalities that will handle stress and that are able to adapt in uncomfortable situations.


When you walk in you will see three people seated along a table and a single chair in front of them with a whiteboard next to them (maybe depends).

The three will consist of:

  • Someone from the embassy

  • A past JET participant

  • An academic Lecturer / person of educational significance

They will have a role each:

  1. One will be an Instigator (Asks most of the questions)

  2. One will be a Judger (Stays silent most of the time)

  3. One will be friendly (Smile and be very welcoming)


The difficulty and how generic the questions will depend on how lucky you are and what content you had written in your Statement of Purpose.

You will have a 30min interview and they will ask a variety of questions from below:

  • Why are you interested in Japan?

  • Name 5 famous New Zealanders and explain why they are famous?

  • What can you bring to Japan from NZ? eg.culture, habits, traditions, personality, etc (Into the JET Programme... to the role) they may ask for 3 or more answers.

  • How are you around children?

  • What would you do if your Japanese English Teacher says something wrong in class?

  • What do you think you will struggle most with in Japan?

  • How will you make friends and integrate into Japanese society?

  • Will you be open to being placed rurally?

  • Do you drive? Will you drive in Japan?

  • Ask you to tell them about yourself (be concise)

  • Are you willing to help out and be involved in the alumni? What can you help in?

  • How will you deal with issues or misunderstandings?

  • Why apply for the JET Programme?

  • How do you manage stress?

  • What will you do after the JET Programme?

  • What will you do without wifi, as you may be month or so without it?

  • What will you do if you do not get into the JET Programme?


ALSO the questions may blindside you if they are basing them off your statement of purpose and build off what you had written. Be ready to answer stuff based on the content you gave them.

They may also ask you to do tasks:

  • What is wrong with this? (Grammar or spelling test)

  • Pretend we are you students teach us (they will give you a scenario)

  • Ask you a question in Japanese (They will only do this one if you have mentioned that you speak Japanese even if a little)

  • Do a self introduction in Japanese - A Jikoshoukai (自己紹介) (They will only do this one if you have mentioned that you speak Japanese even if a little)

After the interview BREATHE you have survived haha don't over analyse and reply what happened in the interview it is now fully in their hands.

You will get information about the next process from the reception and you are free to leave.

Results will be emailed and mailed in April (usually the 1st if you are SHORTLISTED) if you didn't make it or placed as a RESERVE you will be told in late March.

Next will be... Stage Three // Shortlisted or Reserved...Results

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