Tuesday, August 14, 2012
No one expects the Spanish Inquisition
There's a fine line between anxiety and an impending bout of diarrhea, am I right?
That's how I felt at about 9:45 last night. Lest you worry, it was just a touch of nerves. No, I did not spend my interview trying to disguise the fact that I was chained to the toilet.
I sat on my bedroom floor, cross-legged, wearing sweat pants and this t-shirt:
I figured if anyone could get me through this, Pikachu was the man (or electric mouse pokemon) for the job. I got to the end of the interview with cold sweaty armpits and a feeling that the Spanish Inquisition might have been a little bit like that. I'm sure they talk to a lot of people that haven't thought this through and get people who flake after a month and run back home. So they want to avoid that. Naturally. I always get a lot of questions about why a psychologist would want to become an English teacher. I have so far resisted the urge to yell "YOU DON'T KNOW ME! YOU DON'T KNOW MY LIFE!" and instead give reasonable and measured answers about my desire to live in Japan, my prior experiences teaching English, blah blah blah.
One thing I have found to be different is that the questions tend to be a lot more personal. Even the resume format has more personal information. And they always ask for your picture. My picture is actually right at the top of my resume. Because let's get real: LOOKS MATTER. It also has my date of birth, marital status, and that I have no dependents. They even asked if I have pets. HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE YOU? ARE YOU A HASSLE? WHAT ARE WE REALLY DEALING WITH? Here's the other unusual thing: every company has asked me to list my education going back to ELEMENTARY SCHOOL on my resume. Quick: What years were you in middle school? Don't know? I didn't either. Apparently it is very important that you are truly a native speaker…don't try to fake it, kids! They will catch you out and then deport you. Probably.
So it went well. Did I say that? The interview went well. I'm on to the next step, which is to complete a written teaching task, which if they like my answers then I will get to roleplay it on the phone in the next interview. Whee! The best advice I got for interviewing with Japanese companies is to "not be weird." All I can say is: I'm doing my best. I am DOING MY BEST.