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Getting a job in Japan
Job hunting activities, called "shuushoku katsudou" in Japan, are a fundamental part of university students’ life for getting a job after graduation. Unlike many countries, where it is possible to search for a job after graduation, in Japan the search for employment starts one year before graduation. With the desire to secure the best human resources and aspiring globalization, Japan is welcoming more and more international students into the market. Being aware of the Japanese job hunting particularities is the first step for a successful "shuushoku katsudou", a.k.a. "shuu-katsu".
Step 1: Get to know yourself This is the first thing anyone should do before starting Searching for a job: to get to know oneself better. Try thinking about interests you have since long ago, people you admire, people and things that you do not like, hobbies, et cetera. Talk to your friends, teachers and family if you think you can get good feedback from them.After trying to figure out what kind of person you are, it is time to get to know companies and jobs you might match with. Use all the research skills you’ve been getting as a university student.
Step 2: Internships Now, this might be a little bit disappointing for some people: internships in Japan usually take 1 day to 1 week. Of course, there are exceptions, but for most cases, the longest duration is most likely to be up to 2 months. Internships are good opportunities to check the office environment and giving a good impression to seniors.
Step 3: Paperwork and events Start searching online for companies that are open for receiving application forms, called “entry sheets” in Japan. Submit the application forms to the companies you are interested in. This application will be used by the company to know “what kind of person” you are, and they might refer to it during interviews. Seminars are events companies hold where they explain the company and its hiring process. It is important to attend it, and remember that these events are also part of the screening process. Also, alumnus events might happen at your university. At these events, the university alumni talk to the students about how working life is. It is an opportunity that you should not miss.
Step 4: Tests and interviews International students are more often than not required to take the same tests as Japanese students, so you should be prepared for them. The tests can be classified into: Japanese language competency tests, non-language competency tests and personality aptitude tests. If you pass the tests, you will be invited for an interview. The common types of interviews are: Individual, one-to-one; individual with multiple interviewers; Group interview, with multiple students and multiple interviewers; Group discussion; and presentation-style interview, when students should present about some topic that was designed to them. There is a high possibility that you will be invited for many different interviews from the same company the further you advance in the shuu-katsu process.
Step 5: GETTING A JOB OFFER!! Congratulations! You have successfully survived the job hunting process in Japan. Now you have to reply to the company to say if you want to accept or refuse the offer, and prepare the necessary documents. There is some time left between getting a job offer and graduation, so enjoy your last vacations as a student!