All current and former JETs know about the terrible anxiety and stress that comes with the official JET Programme Waiting Game (TM). As a recap and for those unaware, the application process opens sometime in late September or early October and begins with a paper application that must be completed by the end of November. After filling out a massive 40 page application, writing a stunning essay and collecting two of the most saccharine references of one`s life, so begins the massive wait until interview notifications are sent out in January. The interview takes place in mid to late February. You dont find out if you made it until mid April.
At this time, prospective JETs have either just had their interviews or will be having them very shortly. I vividly remember the many nights I spent preparing for the interview like a madman and my heart goes out to all of you who are going through this. Right now though, I`m actually going through the stress of the interview again as well!
Three of my friends (two of whom I am extremely close with) have their JET interviews next week. So for the past couple months, their stress has been my stress. It`s like deja vu stress! And here I was thinking I was past all that. This past week, I have been helping them practice by doing mock interviews, and today we spent 4 hours over Skype practicing. I truly believe if you haven`t had your interview yet, you mock interviews are the most practical way to use your remaining time to prepare.
I wish all you guys who are applying for this year tons of luck. By this point, you`ve either done all you can or are brushing up last minute for the big day next week. Either way, I`m sure if you`re reading this, you`ve gone through every forum post, every JET video on youtube, and read every possible morsel of advice you can find. I don`t know if theres much more I can offer (I already wrote a massive post on the interview here) but let me just give you something to think about. This is what you will feel in the waiting room right before you are called in and how you can prepare for it in those final seconds.
As you sit in that stuffy waiting room, watching the incredibly cheerful JET Life video playing on the TV (which will seem to be far too cheerful for the occasion) you will most likely feel the symptoms of (at best) nervousness or (more normal) absolute dread. As the adrenaline kicks in, your palms will start to sweat, your heart rate will increase, and your mind will jump back and forth between flashes of certain doom and total victory as you try to remember your notes and hours of mock interviews.
Breathe. In. Out. Deep breaths. Feel the air filling your chest and flowing out you. Notice how curiously, you aren`t nervous – your BODY is just displaying the symptoms of nervousness. There is no need to identify with it. You can just observe it from inside your own head and acknowledge the process that is passing through your body. Smile to yourself and remember its only a big deal if you make it a big deal.
It won`t be that bad. If you are reading this, you will probably have prepared for the worse case scenario. Even if you get the dreaded war tribunal panel, you know this is just their way of trying to smoke you out. Just keep smiling, laugh at yourself if you mess up somewhere, and thank the interviewers for their time.
Good luck everyone. See you on the other side.