My JET interview pt. 2

…Continued from the previous post

Did you have a good bathroom break? Or maybe ran to the kitchen to grab a little snack? Well then good, let’s get right back to it.

So after the friendly chat we had, (no interogation for me, phew) I’m asked to do a role play demo lesson. My topic is animals. I stare at them blankly and think to myself , “Oh…my…god, I practiced every conceivable demo lesson theme I could think of..and I didn’t think to do animals.” They tell me I can have a couple minutes to think about it. I stand up, and quickly turn my back to them so that they don’t see the obvious deer in the headlights look I have. Behind me is a blackboard and some chalk. I pick up the chalk and begin writing ANIMALS in big letters on the board without a clue as to what I’m going to do. Suddenly I’m hit with a flash of inspiration.

I quickly draw 4 of the cutest animals I’ve ever drawn in my life. Lion, Giraffe, Elephant, Monkey – you four will determine my fate.

” WAHHH~!!! KAWAIII DESU!! HONTO KAWAII!! ” Translation: OMG! they’re cute!! THEY’RE SO CUTE!. My interviewers are literally exploding with cuteness overload. I thank my lucky stars that my interviewers are asian girls and that I can actually draw.

I run the demo lesson with big smiles and enthusiasm, lots of classroom participation. I ask them to repeat words after me.

“Can you say LION with me? “
“Rion!!”
“Good job! Do you guys know what sound a lion makes?”
” Um..rion! rion! ”
” LOL..close! But lion’s are not pokemons! “
*silence*
They make a sound like this: ” ROARR ”
I bellow like a huge lion and my interviewers laugh enthusiastically and clap. The next interviewee outside must be thinking ” WTF is going on in there??”

I do the same thing for Giraffe. I ask them if they know what sound a Giraffe makes. Suddenly I’m hit with the terrible realization that I don’t know what sound a giraffe makes. Undeterred, I decide to go for it anyway.

” Well,  a giraffe makes a sound like this… ‘E-E-E-E!’
As I wail like some sort of dying animal, the interviewers and I burst out laughing.

I begin doing the same thing for the elephant. The pretty interviewer stops me and smiles, “Thank you, that will be enough”. I say okay and begin erasing the animals. ” No no! leave them on there please! ” I smile to myself as I re-draw half of monkey-san.

Then they ask me how much Japanese I know since I took a course in 2nd year which I very nearly epically failed. A little I say. ” Chotto, chotto.” They smile and ask me if I can introduce myself in Japanese. YES! this is a very good sign I think. Demo lesson AND a self introduction. I’m going for broke. I announce I will introduce myself like I would to a class. I stand up. Bow. Big booming voice in japanese and an idiot smile plastered across my face:

” Good morning everyone! My name is APOLLO~! I am from Canada, I’m 22 years old and I studied economics in university. I have three younger sisters and they are VERY CUTE!. (the interviewers love that part). My hobbies are MARTIAL ARTS! FILM MAKING! KARAOKE! and EATING! (big gestures).”

My interviewers are smiling a lot now. The japanese lady asks me a question in japanese. I don’t quite understand it but I catch two of the words – ichiban and tabemasuka. I think she’s asking me what my favourite foods to eat are. ” Tempura..or sushi!” I retort with a big grin. She asks me another question, I recognize “kirei” but I have no idea what she says. I smile anyway – ” Gomen, wakarimasen!” (I’m sorry I don’t understand). She smiles and says thank you and I can sit down. Felt like I handled that okay.

I’m asked if I have any questions, but to make them quick since they’re already running late. I glance at my watch and it’s almost 35 minutes in. NICE! Overtime! I ask the ex-jet how she felt being a Canadian-Asian and what challenges she experienced. She enthusiastically tells me about her experiences.

Then I’m told the interview is over. I get up, walk over to their end of the table and shake their hands. They comment on the Canadian flag pin I wore on my suit. Yes! Another good-call! I thank them and step out. I feel a tremendous weight lifted off my shoulders.

I float back downstairs, smiling and saying hi to everyone I walk by. I hang around the lobby a little bit and talk to some of the other interviewees. They tell me some stories. I realize how lucky I was because some of them faced the dreaded war tribunal. From the fact that my interviewers were two asian girls, to the fact that they made me teach about animals, and that they both did dragonboat which gave us some commonalities, I don’t think I could have asked for very much more.. Maybe it was divine intervention or fate.

I see tall asian girl walk down. She looks slightly sick. Finally a new expression! I ask her about her interview and she tells me it wasn’t so great. Poor girl. I offer some encouragement. Blondie comes down. I chat with her too. She’s tiny but rather pretty. After a bit of chit chat, I tell her I’m taking off and that I’ll see her at pre-departure orientation. Wink and smile, thats my style.

Finally I step out of the building into the chilly February morning. Wish a few more interviewees good luck as they pass by. My phone rings – my mom asks excitedly how I did. I sigh with relief and recount the story I just wrote out.

And that’s my story! Different people will have completely different experiences. I was extremely fortunate that I didn’t encounter The War Tribunal or The Execution Committee, but if you’re interviewing for JET, you should be prepared for anything they might throw at you. In my next post, I’ll offer some advice as to how to tackle the interview itself.
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One thought on “My JET interview pt. 2

  1. Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. Hopefully I can be as lucky as you if I get selected for an interview this year 🙂
    I have to be honest and say that as I was reading the first part I was literally sick to my stomach with nerves. I felt as if I were waiting for my interview lol. Thanks for your post!

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