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  2. Theme02:Job-hunting in Japan

A Conversation with Foreign Associates

Please describe your job hunting.

As I mentioned earlier, I was clear about the industries I wanted to work in, so I focused on about 15 companies and prepared application forms and prepared for interviews. I applied for a job from a hiring website, and participated in company information sessions. My job hunt was done in the same way as Japanese students.

ome companies have a special system for hiring foreign students, but my job hunt was also done in the exact same way as Japanese students. If I use the system for foreign students, it is easier, but if I continue on that path, I'll just end up being treated as a special case. I wanted to be seen as an individual, and wanted to be hired by a company that would hire me in the same way as a Japanese student.

I was not hired as a new graduate, so my job hunt was as a mid-career hire. I discovered this way of being hired when I saw an ad for a career change website on the train (laugh). I immediately found out more on the internet and applied. It was through this site that I heard about DENSO.

There are a lot of ways the internet helps you with your job hunt in Japan, so it's easy to find information and apply for jobs.

What were the things that you felt unsure of during your job-hunting activities? How did you overcome these things?

In addition to the language, I was uncertain if any company would hire me. When I didn't make it past the second interview at a certain company, a part of me wondered if it was because I wasn't qualified or if it was because I was a foreigner. There was a time when I thought that being a foreigner was a disadvantage.

I can relate to what she's saying. I tended to think that given two people with the same if I was in the same shoes, the Japanese person would be picked. But as I continued on my job hunt, I decided that such thinking was fruitless and that the best that I could do is communicate what I wanted to do and if that wasn't good enough, there's nothing more I can do about that, as well as to keep going until I found a company that would hire me.

I asked myself how I could best take advantage of my experience. Would I be able to do work that I enjoy at a job? If it doesn't offer me to chance to do something I enjoy, the job doesn't have much to offer. When a company is deciding whether or not to hire you, you have to decide whether or not to work there. This is one way to overcome these uncertainties.

Exactly. During your job hunt, you tend to become passive. You can't forget that you're choosing a company to work for. If you become too passive and don't show your individuality just to get hired, you just become one of the crowd. You have to ask questions properly and say what you think. I think having an active mindset is very important.

The same goes for interviews. I bought books on what to say during interviews and on interview etiquette, but it's another thing whether the actual interview went according to plan (laugh). Rather than follow a manual, it's better to be true to your personality.

It's very difficult to choose a company based on limited information. What kind of criteria did you have for finding a company to work for?

It is quite difficult. For me, it was the atmosphere during interviews and the positive feeling I got.

I think it's good to actively talk to and listen to people. I talked to many alumni from my university and was able to get in contact with many alumni who were associates. It's by talking to people and hearing what they really think that you can often get valuable information to decide if a company is right for you.

I also believe that it is important to talk to people who actually work in the company, and to look at their expressions. It's important to see if they talk about their work excitedly or out of a sense of duty. Just by looking at that, it's possible to communicate the kind of atmosphere a company has. Whenever I talked to associates of companies I was interested in working for, I asked them not about the company itself, but about the work that they did.

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