Japan Jobs 日本の就活いろは

Job hunting preparation & measures for selection

Self-analysis is very important for job hunting in Japan. Here is a brief explanation of the key points of the “self-analysis” of foreign students.

Why self-analysis is necessary

Self-analysis is one of the first tasks necessary for job hunting in Japan. This is because many Japanese companies still prefer to recruit new graduates, just as mentioned in “Membership-type Employment”. Japanese companies tend to recruit those people who have potential for growth in a long time view. In other words, students who have possibility and potential are highly valued. Therefore, not only by current qualifications and abilities, Japanese companies will also gain insight into each candidate’s possibility and potential through the questions like “What do you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses?”, “What kind of jobs are you interested in?”, “What kind of efforts have you ever done?”.

Most Japanese companies ask the questions mentioned above during recruitment interviews. So, self-analysis can be regarded as an interview strategy. Besides in interviews, “knowing yourself” can also go a long way when you are working with different people and dealing with works after you enter society. Look back on your experiences so far to think about what kind of working environment you like and in which way you want to interact with the society in the future.

How to do self-analysis

There are various self-analysis methods, like making self-analysis notes.It is recommended to make notes once.

  • What are my strengths and weakpoints?

  • What is my expertise?

  • What have I achieved so far?

  • What challenges I might meet in the future?

  • What past experiences have influenced the formation of my personality?

Think about these questions. In addition, as an interview strategy, it is recommended you say something that is easy to be understood as much as possible when communicating with the interviewer. The “Support” page of Asagaku Navi write self-analysis methods. You can check it!

What does the self-analysis necessary for foreign students refer to?

Japanese companies considering recruiting foreign students may ask specific questions during the interview. When interviewing, in order to answer the questions definitely, you need to be well prepared to do self-analysis from several aspects to show yourself! The following is an example of the key points of self-analysis that are important for foreign students.

  • Why do you study in Japan?
    Why don’t you choose another country?

  • What can you do as a global talent?

  • When did you become interested in Japan?

  • In 5 years, 10 years, 20 years from now,
    what country do you think you will be in and what you will be doing?

  • Do you think it was good to study in Japan?

  • What is the differents between your country and Japan?
    Such as culture, customs and personality

  • Why do you want to work in Japan?

Many foreign students may be confused by unexpected questions during interviews. Do your self-analysis “as a foreign student" seriously. It’s important for you to prepare “well-reasoned” and “persuasive” answers to the question why you would like to work in Japan.

About the selection method

Most companies select candidates through “employment applications, written tests and interviews”. The contents of each selection method are different according to different companies, so it’s necessary to know about details to each method.

Employment Application

An employment application is the document to be submitted when applying for a company. This document is the first hurdle of recruitment, and the company will select candidates according to it before written tests and interviews. The contents of employment application vary with each company; there are there types mainly.

  • Resume type

    Fill in your name, university, faculty, department, qualifications and address, etc.

  • Questionnaire type

    Questions include introducing yourself, your reasons for applying, future vision and so on.
    [Examples of questions]“What do you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses?”, “What did you try your hardest when you were a student?”, “What kind of work do you want engage in?”, “Why do you want this job?” and so on

  • Professional knowledge testing type

    It’s often adopted by those companies offering professional and technical occupations. The questions are about the basic knowledge of each type of job.

Written test

A written test is usually conducted before or after the first round of interview, including “aptitude test”, “common sense test”, “short essay writing” and so on.

  • Aptitude test

    An aptitude test includes an ability test that examines candidates’ ability to think, judgment as well as the efficiency and accuracy of their work; as well as a personality test that estimates candidates’ social skills, ability to adapt and willpower. The result will be used by the company to judge candidates’ suitability for the job.

  • Common sense test

    The questions cover a wide range of general knowledge that is required to become a member of society, including current affairs like the international situation, politics and economy.

  • Short essay writing

    Given a theme, write down your opinions about it. Not only the knowledge, but also the ability of logical thinking and writing are examined.


Interviews include many types like one-on-one interviews and group discussions. And there are often several rounds of interviews, with the number of candidates gradually decreasing. The form changes along with the first round and the second round of interview, and in most cases, the officer will play a role as an interviewer in the second half of the interview, and the questions of the interview will also be more advanced.

Basic interview forms

Individual interviewThe candidate have an interview by one or more interviewers. In the first half of the interview, it is usually focused on concise questions; while in the second half of the interview, an interviewer (or interviewers) at the level of officer will meet with and interview the candidate.
Group interviewMultiple interviewers meet with and interview 3 to 5 candidates. This form is usually adopted in the preliminary interview, such as the first round of the interview. Not only stating their answers clearly, but also listening to other candidates’ answers carefully is quite important.
Group discussionSeveral candidates discuss around a given theme. In the discussion, they are required to express their opinions and act as a facilitator. The interviewer will evaluate the candidates based on the roles they played in the group.
DebateStudents are divided into pros and cons and discuss around the given theme. Besides the ability to convince the other party, their attitudes to listening to the other party’s opinion is also an evaluation standard.
PresentationA theme is given and the candidates are required to present a speech to the interviewer. For example, a product planning or product introduction.

Frequency questions foreign students are asked

  • Your reasons for studying in Japan

  • Do you want to work in Japan or a local subsidiary?

  • Your reasons for applying for a Japanese company

  • Can you adapt to Japanese customs and environment?

  • Questions about your future vision, such as “what do you want to do?”

  • Japanese proficiency related

Consider the questions above combining with your self-analysis!