In Japan, job interviews are taken very seriously and are considered to be one of the most important steps in the job search process. Japanese employers value professionalism, respect, teamwork mindset and proper etiquette during job interviews, and as a job seeker, it is important to understand and adhere to these cultural norms.
Here are some tips on Japanese job interview etiquette:
- Dress appropriately
- Be punctual
- Bow respectfully
- Use polite language
- Show interest in the company
- Thank your interviewer
In Japan, appearance is very important, especially during job interviews even at online interview. Dress conservatively in a dark suit and white shirt wearing ties if required. Avoid bright colors, flashy accessories, and heavy makeup.
*To wear tie depends on the situation but still common in Japan.
Arriving on time or a few minutes early is essential in Japan. Being late for an interview is considered a sign of rude, so make sure to plan your travel route ahead of time and arrive early. Remember, do not to be late!
In Japan, bowing is a traditional way of showing respect. When you meet your interviewer, bow slightly while introducing yourself. If you're unsure about how to bow, observe your interviewer's bow and match it.
The followings are useful expression in Japanese.
I am Lisa.
I am very glad I can join today`s job interview.
I am so excited to be here.
Use polite language
During the interview, use polite language and formal Japanese. Address your interviewer with the proper title and honorifics, such as "san" or "sama." Avoid using slang or casual language. Even if the interviewer is very casual, it is safer to stay to use polite language.
Can I ask some questions?
Show interest in the company
DO research the company ahead of time and show genuine interest in its history, culture, and values. This will demonstrate that you have passion and are so serious about the position.
おんしゃ（御社）の Vision｜Policy｜Businesses にひかれました。
I have strong interest about your company`s Vision | Policy | Business.
Thank your interviewer
At the end of the interview, thank your interviewer for their time and consideration. This is an important gesture of respect and appreciation.
Thank you for your time today.
I learned your company a lot today.
Understanding and following Japanese job interview etiquette is crucial for success in the Japanese job market. Remember again, by dressing appropriately, being punctual, using polite language, showing interest in the company, answering questions directly, and thanking your interviewer, you can make a positive impression and increase your chances of landing the job.