Japanese questions frequently asked in interviews

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Japanese questions frequently asked in interviews

A Japanese interview with a Japanese company is something to be expected if you are a Japanese learner. Interviews in your mother tongue are hard enough, let alone in Japanese…

That’s why in this article, LearnJapanesedaily will introduce you to Japanese questions frequently asked in interviews with Japanese companies.

you might be also interested in: Interviews with Japanese companies – 7 gestures to avoid

1. Tell me about yourself

The very first question you are going to be asked in any interview: Tell me about yourself!

“Jikoshoukai wo onegai shimasu” (自己紹介をお願いします/じこしょうかいをおねがいします)

The keywords of this question are 自己紹介 jikoshoukai. Sometimes you might not be able to hear every words clearly, but if you get these keywords, it normally means the interviewer is asking you to introduce yourself.

To not be confused when being interviewed, prepare a brief introduction beforehand and practise it on your own or with a friend over and over again. The introduction should be something about you that is related to the job such as: Name (again), age, academic background (very important to people being interviewed for the first time), work experience… Keep the words formal and polite.

2. What do you know about us?

This question is also asked very frequently, especially in interviews for the higher positons in the company, or highly skilled candidates. They might ask:

“(Name of the company) ni tsuite nani wo shitte imasu ka?” (Name of the company  について何を知っていますか/についてなにをしっていますか).

What do you know about our company (name of the company)?

Or they can go further with questions about their products:

Name of the company ga dono youna seihin wo tsukutteiru ka, donna seihin ni tsukawareteiru ka gozonji desu ka?” name of the company がどの様な製品を作っているか、どんな製品に使われているかご存知ですか/name of the company がどのようなせいひんをつくっているか、どんなせいひんにつかわれているか ごぞんじですか).

To be ready for this question, develop a habit of doing research about the company through their websites… If you can’t find the information, be honest and let them know. But at least, give it a try, this shows your concern with the company and the job itself.

3. Why did you apply for this position?

This question is asked a lot in interviews with Japanese company, the question might be:

oubodouki wo oshiete kudasai” (応募動機を教えて下さい/おうぼどうきをおしえてください).

Instead of using 応募動機, the interviewer may ask :

shiboudouki, oubo shita riyuu,” (志望動機、応募した理由 / しぼうどうき、おうぼしたりゆう), 

ouboshita kikkake” (応募したきっかけ / おうぼしたきっかけ

or “shibouriyuu” (志望理由 / しぼうりゆう)

Prepare your answers ahead of time if you don’t want to look and sound disoriented.

Focus on the reasons on how you would suit the position the best, or just simple as how you have always wanted to work in a Japanese company, or how you like their products and want to take part in the production…

Of course you should also prepare answers to questions that interviewers might have asked when they hear your answers!

4. Others

Besides all the questions mentioned above, you might also receive such questions:

Why would you want to change your job/ why did you quit?

ima no shigoto wo kaetai riyuu ha nan desu ka” (今の仕事を替えたい理由は何ですか/いまのしごとをかえたいりゆうはなんですか).

Tell me about your current job?

genzai no shigoto naiyou wo oshiete kudasai” (現在の仕事内容を教えて下さい/げんざいのしごとないようをおしえてください).

This is a chance for you to show the interviewers your work experience and knowledge that you have garnered from this job.

Tell me about your sales experience!

ima made okonatta seerusu katsudou ni tsuite oshiete kudasai(今まで行ったセールス活動について教えて下さい/いままでおこなったせーるすかつどうについておしえてください).

How do you deal with pressure/stress at work?

puresshaa ni dou taiou shimasu ka, puresshaa ni taisho suru houhou wo oshiete kudasai.” (プレッシャーにどう対応しますか。プレッシャーに対処する方法を教えて下さい/ぷれっしゃーにどうたいおうしますか。ぷれっしゃーにたいしょするほうほうをおしえてください).

Strengths – Weaknesses

長 所と短所を教えてください。Chousho to tanshowo oshiete kudasai. This question is asked a lot in Japanese interviews. You should prepare for it.

Above are Japanese questions frequently asked in interviews with Japanese companies. Go to the interview all prepared! What is better than having all the answers to to every questions?

Be confident and ace your interview!

How to Start Learning Japanese

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Japanese is an East Asian language, spoken by approximately 125 million people across the world. It is the national language of Japan, but it is spoken in Korea, the United States, and many other places as well. If you are a native English speaker, Japanese will be very different. It will require practice, but with a little effort, you can become an effective Japanese speaker.

1 Learn Hiragana.

japanese-hiragana
Hiragana is the Japanese alphabet. It is comprised of 51 phonetic characters, and each character stands for exactly one sound. (This is different from English in which one letter may sound different in different contexts). Once you know Hiragana, you will know how to pronounce any word in Japanese. Begin your Japanese journey by studying and memorizing these characters.

The minimal way to learn Japanese Hiragana : Easy Hiragana App  (iOS)

2 Learn some Katakana.
katakana
Katakana is a series of characters used to stand for loan words or non-Japanese words (such as hot dog or internet). You will want to learn the Katakana terms for English words you are likely to use.

3 Learn Kanji.
kanji

Kanji are typographic Chinese symbols that are used to stand for basic words and phrases in Japanese. Whereas Hiragana symbols are more like English letters (depicting simple sounds), Kanji symbols are used to depict complete words. Knowing some basic Kanji will enable you to understand and speak basic Japanese.

Learn Japanese Kanji by using flashcards. Kanji Flashcards (iOS)

4 Avoid relying on Romaji.
Romaji is a system of using English letters to spell Japanese words. Romaji can be useful for learning initial key phrases, or for online communications. If you rely too much on Romaji, however, you will never move on to a genuine grasp of the language. Focus your study on Hiragana, Katakana, and some Kanji.

5 Practice grammar.
In order to learn Japanese grammar, you’ll need to try to forget everything you already know about grammar. Don’t apply the rules and concepts of your native language to Japanese. Instead, try to take the rules of Japanese grammar at face value.

  • Obtain a Japanese grammar workbook and begin following the lessons.
  • Locate free online resources to study Japanese grammar.

6 Learn some key phrases.
Learning a few key phrases will allow you to begin practicing, and may allow you to enjoy some casual conversation with a Japanese speaker. Although Romaji should not be relied upon, using Romaji to learn these basic phrases can work as a good jumping off point.

  • Hello – Kon’nichiwa
  • Goodbye – Sayonara
  • I’m fine, thanks – Watashiwa genki desu. Arigato.
  • Thank you very much – Domo arigato gozaimasu
  • Nice to meet you – Hajime mash’te

How to write an email in Japanese

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How to write an email in Japanese. If you’re working for a Japanese company, or in a company where Japanese is being used, you probably have to write emails in Japanese, hence the need to know how to write an email in Japanese. This is a chance for you to make use of your honorific arsenal. In this article, Learn Japanese daily will introduce to you how to write an email in Japanese in a proper way.

A proper email in Japanese consists of: 宛名 (atena : receiver)、挨拶 (aisatsu : greetings)、名乗り (nanori : addressing yourself)、要旨 (youshi : main body content)、詳細 (shousai : details)、結びの挨拶 (musubi no aisatsu : closing remarks)、署名 (shomei : name, signature). In case both parties are already close, you can leave out certain parts, however, the email be become less formal.

宛名 (atena : receiver)

Written right in the first line of the email.

ABC 株式会社 – Name of the company or organization, the form of the company shouldn’t be left out: limited, join stock.
代表取締役  – Position, skip this if it’s just an ordinary staff.
平野友朗様  – Fullname + 様 will make a better impression. However sometimes it’s ok to not write the fullname but only Lastname + 様.

When both parties are rather close, we can leave out the name of the company (organization) and the position. It’s ok to just write the fullname or Lastname + 様. When both parties are already really close and want to be more casual, replace 様 with さま.

挨拶 (aisatsu : greetings)

For example :

ご無沙汰しております。It’s been a long time.

先日は、ありがとうございました。Thank you for yesterday.

早速のご連絡ありがとうございます。 Thank you for contacting soon.

In case of contacting outside of the company, some frequently used phrases are: お世話になっております – Thanks for always helping me, or even more formal: いつも大変お世話になっております – Thank you for always supporting me. In case that’s the first time making contact, instead of using the two above phrases, we should use: おせわになります. I hope for the kind assistance hereafter. In internal cases, the frequently used phrase is: お疲れ様です – You have been hard-working lately.

名乗り (nanori : addressing yourself)

Next, write the name of the company (organization), position and your name, just like the receiver’s section (of course we don’t use 様 for yourself). You can use the structure: Position ~をしております、fullname と申します. Some people think the name of the sender is already displayed on the email, however not every web browser will display your name right, or when you read your email on your phone, the sender’s information may not be displayed. Therefore, you should address yourself so the other person can catch a glympse of who they are exchanging emails with.

要旨 (youshi : main body content)

When you are done greeting and addressing yourself. It’s time to move on to the main body content of the email. In this section, mention the main ideas of the email so the receiver can get an idea of it. Some phrases might be:

打ち合わせの日程について、ご相談いたします。 I’d like to discuss about the meeting schedule.

先日のお礼を申し上げたく、メールをお送りしました。I’d like to show my gratitude to you about the other day.

… についてお詫びを申し上げたく、ご連絡いたしました。I’d like to apologize about…

お見積内容のご確認のために、ご連絡いたしました。I’d like to confirm the bidding information.

In case you need an answer, you can use such phrases:

「お手数ですが、ご確認よろしくお願いいたします」 Excuse me, but could you please confirm…

「お返事をお待ちしております」 I’m looking forward to your feedback.

詳細 (shousai : Details)

In this section, explain to the other person what you wish to convey, what you want them to do for you. The most important thing is to explain clearly, the used words shouldn’t be too complicated. Using honorifics is important, however, if you are not too good at honorifics, use the formal form (ます) to prioritize the content you want to convey.

In this article, you can organize the content in a list, or use bullet points… to make the content more clearly. For example:

内容       ビジネスメールコミュニケーション講座

日時      2015年2月20日(金)

場所      株式会社アイ・コミュニケーション

対象      新入社員もしくは研修担当者

参加費   8,640円(税込)

結びの挨拶 (musubi no aisatsu : Closing remarks)

After you have done stating the main body content, use some closings to wrap it up, for example:

今後ともよろしくお願いいたします。I hope to receive your assistance hereafter.

ご検討の程、よろしくお願いいたします。I really hope you can consider.

引き続きよろしくお願いいたします。I really hope you continue (the job).

ご協力いただけますよう、よろしくお願いいたします. I really hope you will give me your cooperatioin.

署名 (shomei : name, signature)

You can write your name or insert your electronic signature to wrap it up:

会社名 name of the company、部署名 position.

名前  name (if the name is hard to pronounce, there should be a pronunciation).

郵便番号、住所、ビル・建物名 (address)

電話番号 (telephone number)

ファクス番号 (Fax number)

メールアドレス (email)

URL(ウェブサイト名も記載)the company’s website.

These above information will help your partner contact you more conveniently, especially for emergencies.

Above are the 7 main parts of an email in Japanese and how to write an email in Japanese. Hopefully this article will help you be able to write your a work email on your own.