Work in Japan

Thinking of working in Japan? You probably have heard something about working in Japan.
No worries! We are all in the same boat. Let's talk about working in Japan.

General information

Japanese employees are used to working long hours since the 1950s, but nowadays it has changed because of labour laws. It’s much less strict, thankfully.
Japanese workplaces are more formal. Japanese employees usually call each other by their last names at work.

Drinking Party
In Japan it is common to regularly go for drinks together after finishing work.
Food is not so important. The main point is the drinks. After working overtime, people go out to drink until late. Sometimes they go to Karaoke after drinking.
It’s really a good time to get to know each other. You can speak to those who you normally are not able to speak to within the company.
While everyone is drinking, you will be able to get to know another side of their personality.
How you dress
In general, I would say Japanese workplaces are more formal than other countries.
The dress code is “business casual” with gray, navy, or black suits. Men almost always wear ties, even during the summer, when it’s very hot outside.
How to work in Japan
Japanese workplaces focus on the group.
Many Japanese companies stick to a mantra, which is called "Ho-ren-so" that combines the first syllables of three verbs: houkoku (report), renraku (contact), soudan (consult).
This is a very important idea, which means that an employee in Japan must always keep their superiors up to date about what they are doing.

Work interview

Get ready for your Japanese job interview.

【Manners at reception / waiting room】
Having enough time to arrive at the company, not only prevents you from being late, but also gives you advance confirmation of the topics, which you will talk about in the interview.
You will be able to deal with lost items and delayed trains on time.
【Arrive 5 minutes before the appointed time】
Be sure to arrive at the company five minutes early, take off your coat at the entrance, and be sure to turn off your mobile phone.
It is safe to do a final check on your appearance here.
It should be noted that arriving too early is a violation of manners.
Wait until the appointed time and then sign in at the reception.
【Don't be late! Contact us immediately if unavoidable】
The main point is never to be late. If it is unavoidable that you are late, make sure to call in.
If there is a train delay, it is better to get off at the station and contact the person as soon as possible, so that the waiting time is shorter.
Don't panic, let's first inform the hiring staff.
【Correspondence with the receptionist is one of the interviews】
When you arrive at the company, first inform the receptionist of the purpose of youe visit and ask for the hiring manager.
Please be careful about your behavior, as the correspondence here may already be checked.
Behave as if the interview has already begun, when you step into the company.
【Wait in the waiting room until you are seated】
Depending on the company, you may be temporarily taken to a waiting room or reception area until the interview is ready.
When you are guided to the waiting room for the interview, wait quietly in your seat as not to disturb anyone through your presence.
Make sure that you are mentally well prepared before the interview.
So that you can enter it smoothly.
【Etiquette when entering the room】
When you are guided to the interview room, be calm and enter the room.
Depending on the interview, there are cases where the hiring manager has already waited, and cases where the hiring staff enters later.
【Knock on the door and enter the room when told "Please"】
When you enter the room, lightly knock on the door and open it when you hear "Please" (douzo).
If there is no instruction from the receptionist that the person in charge will come later and there is no response from the interview room,
knock again, and if there is no response, say "Excuse me" (shitsurei shimasu) and open the door.

Enter the room

【When you enter the room, face the door and close it gently】
When you enter the interview room, turn to the door and close it quietly.
Closing it with your back to it is a violation of manners.
【If you want to wait, wait next to the lower seat】
If you are guided to the interview room and are waiting for the hiring staff, be sure to stand next to the lower seat.
The basic seat manner is that the seat furthest from the door is the top seat, reserved for people with the higher positions.
Therefore, stand next to the seat closest to the door, which is the lower seat.
However, if the receptionist assigns a seat or guides you to take a seat, sit in the assigned seat.
【Give a first greeting and bow】
When the hiring manager enters the room, look ahead and say "Thank you for your time today"(kyou wa arigatougozaimashita.) and thank you.
Of course, if you are seated, get up and say hello.

During the interview

【Etiquette during the interview】
If the company has instructed you to bring the application documents, you will be required to submit them at the time of the interview.
Also, in interviews, many people take notes.
【If you are given a business card】
If the hiring manager gives you a business card, tell them your name and receive the card politely.
Just because you have been given a business card does not mean that you need to give a business card in return.
Sit in a chair after being asked "Please" and leave the business card on the table to your left.
【Straighten your back and keep your posture】
It is desirable to keep your back straight and your hands lightly on your knees during the interview.
Hand gestures should not be exaggerated.
【Manners when leaving the room】
After the interview, put your documents and business cards in a bag and stand up.
Handle business cards and documents given by the recruiting staff carefully.
【Leave the room after bowing】
Don't lose your focus when the interview is over.
First, stand beside the chair and say "Thank you" to the interviewer and thank them again in front of the door before opening the door.
Take care to close the door quietly.

Stay focused!

【Pay attention to your behavior until the end】
In some cases, after the interview is over, the hiring staff will lead you to the exit or elevator hall.
In that case, please follow the guidance and keep your posture.
When you say goodbye, thank them again for the interview and excuse yourself (shitsurei shimasu).
When you are leaving by elevator, keep your head bowed until the door closes.
【In order not to fail in interview manners】
Preparation is the key to success. If you are unprepared, unexpected situations might surprise and panic you. This could lead to unwanted behavior or bad impressions.
Check the hiring manager's name, and remove the envelope containing the application documents from your bag in advance so that you don't have search for them during the interview.
A recruitment interview is a tense situation, so let's calm down and prevent mistakes with a little preparation and care.