Ma Yifan (China)
Business Japanese Class, employed at a cosmetics distribution company (sales department)
Q 1. When did you start job-hunting and when did you get your employment offer?
I started job-hunting right after I entered the Business Japanese Class in October 2018, and received 2 offers. The first one on November 30th and the second one on December 27th.
Q 2. How did you look for job offers?
I mostly went to job fairs. I went to about five of them.
Q 3. How many companies did you apply to?
I have not really counted them. But I think I filled in between 20 to 30 entry sheets.
Q 4. Have you ever taken a written exam?
Yes. Questions were varied and ranged from easy Math problems to puzzles and JLPT N1 level readings.
Q 5. What aspects did you use to pay attention to when going into interviews?
I used to read carefully the company basic information and the opening content. I felt I would be asked if I understood the core values of the company or the type of person they needed, and thought of preparing to answer.
Q 6. Can you give an example of your regular day when you were job-hunting?
In ARC, the rule is to do your job search outside of class hours. Having classes in the morning, I scheduled my interviews in the afternoon. I would get home by 6 or 7 pm, and do my homework or prepare for the next interview.
Q 7. During your search for a job, what was difficult for you?
The worst was the recruitment suit. When I was job-hunting, temperatures were getting colder and colder, but I still had to wear my skirt suit and heels and go to places I barely knew; I would get lost almost every time. It was tough.
Q 8. How was the experience from your part-time job useful for job-hunting?
The usual greeting in my former part-time job when entering the shop was “I promise to do my work cheerfully, kindly and efficiently”. One time, this greeting turned up to be very useful. In the last round of interviews for a clothing retail position, I was suddenly asked what kind of customer service I wanted to provide. I panicked and could not think of anything but the usual greeting. I replied: “I want to work cheerfully and kindly”. I believe this answer was one of the reasons that got me the employment offer in the end.
Q 9. Among the topics you studied in the Business Japanese Class, what was the most useful in your search?
I learned many useful things, but the most important of them are, I think, tidiness, business level Japanese and manners. I heard that in Japan, unless you majored in science, companies do not really request you have preexisting technical knowledge. Recruiters base their first impression on the candidate’s appearance, then the behavior, personality and values determine the result of the interview. I was very glad my teachers taught me these three aspects.
Q 10. Do you have any advice for other ARC students who are going to start their job-hunt?
To never give up! Job-hunting is definitely a war of endurance. One needs strength of body and mind. Do not forget to take care of yourself when you go to job fairs and interviews. Remember no experience is for nothing, and that you will surely find the company that suits you.