What is Japanese 逆質問(applicant question) at job interview?

What is Japanese 逆質問 at job interview?

The applicant question is the last question asked in many Japanese job interviews. Often, do you have any questions to us (employers) at the end? It can be asked like

""最後(さいご)に質問(しつもん)はありますか?""

In fact, many applicants have a strategic applicant question here. You can't just ask what you want to hear. You need to be careful here.

Questions you shouldn't ask too much

"Can I take a lot of vacation, please tell me the vacation system?"

This is a bad question. This is because wanting to take a vacation is not always seen positively among Japanese people. Of course, it's a legally recognized right, so it's not bad to hear the vacation system, but it's not wise to hear it during the interview.

"How much will my salary go up? Can I expect a salary increase?"

This is also a less recommended question. This is because it is normal to talk about salary after a job offer has been decided, and it is unnatural in Japan to bring up the story of money during an interview.


"I don't want to be transferred , so is that condition okay?"


I know I want to negotiate the terms in advance, but it's unwise to ask here. Many Japanese companies have a transfer system. If you say you don't want to move in an interview, it's likely that you won't be hired first.
If there are restrictions on the transfer, you can negotiate because the hiring has been decided. Depending on the situation, the employer may consider hiring only at work locations.

Strategic questions you may ask

"Could you tell me training system after joining the company? I would love to improve myself."

This is a good question because in Japan, employees who are active in self-growth have a good impression.

"I am very interested in the XXX project. How can I participate after joining the company?"

This is a good question as the interviewer can feel the interest and motivation for the in-house project.

How can I become a manager?

Since the number of young people aiming to become managers is decreasing in Japan these days, it is a good question given to interviewers with an image of being positive about promotion.

What you really want to hear is after you get a job offer

Generally, the Japanese recruitment system has the opportunity to meet the conditions after passing the interview. Instead of asking about working conditions during the interview, give top priority to passing the job interview.

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