for prosperity: i learned a lot when i went on my interview with nova. i was not offered a job, but it was my fault, i was arrogant and so sure that that i would get a job offer that i was messy in a few places. First, I showed up to the interview/group orientation about 20 minutes late, no good reason, I was just late. Strike two: I wore a blouse with ¾ sleeves that exposed a tattoo on my forearm. Though the interviewer was very nice and told me that in Japan I would have to be sure to keep it covered, I suspect that my not being mindful of it in the first place left a poor impression. Third: I have locks, and carelessly left them down and casual. I should have twisted and pulled them back for neatness. Turns out that NOVA doesn’t allow locks at all, but I should’ve at least made them neater and more conservative in appearance. Despite my having two bachelor degrees, a minor in English, prior teaching experience, and being certified to substitute teach, I was not offered a position with NOVA. I strongly suspect my aforementioned blunders left a very poor impression. So in the end, instead of the call with a job offer that I was sooooo sure I would get, I instead received a polite letter in the mail letting me know I would not be offered a position. So when you interview, be sure to:
- Be in the lobby and awaiting your appointment at least 15 minutes early, I cannot stress this enough. In Japan, being on time means being 15 minutes early. Our group for aeon interview was scheduled to start at 1. At 1:01, we were asked to move to the other room and the guy locked the main door behind us to prevent any latecomers from coming in. If for any reason you are late, call and let someone know.
- Cover all tattoos. Don’t mention you even have any. In Japan, tattoos are still associated with yakuza to this day are not at all casual as they are here in the states.
- Take out all piercings. Don’t mention you have any of these either.
- wear business attire. in the workplace, men must wear a long sleeve shirt, suit and a tie. Women’s attire is a little broader, but best to err on the side of conservative, you can’t go wrong with a blue or black skirt or pant suit.
- During your demo lesson, speak clearly and slowly, make eye contact and smile. Stop often and say, “do you understand?” or “any questions?” something to show you’re keeping the student’s comprehension in mind.
- For the lesson plan, less is more. Try to do something that has the students talking the most and the teacher the least. The Aeon goal is 20% teacher talk and 80% student talk.
- Type out your lesson plan in full detail of how you would use 30 minutes, but the demo will only be for 5. Pick the 5 minutes that you think will show you in the best light as teacher.
Try to come up with some sort of visual aid: objects, toys, or a colorful poster. If you’re writing something out on a poster be sure to use a ruler to make sure your lines are straight. Write it in pencil first, and then over that with a pen or marker.
- If you’ve ever taken a foreign language class yourself, bring this up at your one on one interview. Talk about what the experience was like for you as a student and how you would be as a teacher.
- You will be asked, “Why Japan?” Read up on Japanese culture and be ready to answer.