Saturday, May 21, 2011

My JET Interview

As I'm still waiting in placement notification limbo, I feel that another blog post is in order. There are so many things going through my head right now regarding my future location, but in the meantime I wanted to write about THE INTERVIEW.

Back in February, my good friend Silas invited me to his family's dinner party in celebration of Chinese New Year. I've known him and his family for several years (since college) so it was nice to see everyone again, and enjoy delicious food! His parents handed out Lucky Money red envelopes to the guests towards the end of the meal. My husband suggested I hang on to the money for the morning of my JET interview -- and I did! A lucky latte was purchased that morning, I believe caramel brulee.

After getting my coffee and having hair/makeup styled, I went back home to get ready. I never wear my hair like that, but I figured it looked very "adult" and professional. I opted for a skirt suit to look more feminine, and a blue dress shirt to match my eyes. Hilariously enough, it's actually a little boy's shirt! All the women's dress tops were too low cut, even the ones with buttons.

Suit: Calvin Klein (K&G had some great deals!)
Shirt: Kohl's
Shoes: Payless (2" heels to keep it conservative!)
Hair/Makeup: Stewart & Co. (my loves!)

As for the interview itself, that went quite smoothly. The Atlanta Consulate is only 10 minutes from my house, so I had no troubles getting there or with parking. I arrived an hour early, so there was plenty of time to compose myself and make friends with another JET interviewee.

I was expecting the worst, but my interview experience was quite pleasant. I've done a handful of professional interviews before, so I had an idea of what to expect. I went in with confidence and reminded myself that there was nothing to lose. This was MY time to shine!

There weren't any Japanese on my interview panel, but they were very open and friendly with me from the second I walked in the door. I don't know what it was, but it felt like a switch turned on inside of me and my true self came out in that interview. There were lots of nods and smiles, even a few laughs. Since I'm a teacher and married, a lot of their questions were around those topics. Typically the interviews last 20-30 minutes, but mine was pushing 35. I also made sure to prepare questions for them at the end, and I felt they demonstrated my passion for teaching and interest in the JET program.

At the end of it, I felt amazing. I had gotten this far and given it my best. Had I not been shortlisted, it wouldn't have been for lack of trying! All of my preparations ended up paying off, though. ♥ Hopefully the next time I post, I'll have my PLACEMENT! Maybe sometime in the future I'll make a blog with interview tips, ok?

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