Japanese Job Interview Question “Reason for applying for a job” and How to Answer!

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We’ve explained in some articles about questions and answers at Japanese job interviews so far.

This time, we would like to explain more details, about “reason for applying to a job” that it’s asked as same frequently as “Reason for changing/leaving a job” during jobs interviews at Japanese companies and how to answer it properly.

From the viewpoint of a foreigner who’s changing jobs in Japan, it might seems not very important, but for Japanese companies who want to hire personnel to work with for a long term, the reason for applying would be one of the most important questions in job interviews.

What Japanese companies are checking through “reason for applying to a job”

First of all, let’s understand why Japanese companies focus so much on the question “reasons for applying” and what Japanese companies are seeing through the question.

There are 2 main points that Japanese companies are focusing through “reasons for applying”.

  1. Does the applicant have high motivation and clear reasons to work for the job?
  2. Is there no gap in what the applicant wants and the company wants?

We’ll explain more details about these 2 points.

1.Does the applicant have high motivation and clear reasons to work for the job?

Regarding “Does the applicant have high motivation and clear reasons to work for the job?”, talents who can positively influence for both the company and their employees with high motivation to work and strong commitment would be evaluated highly by any companies regardless of whether it’s Japanese company or not.

And also, since Japanese companies often want the people they hire to work for the long period of time, it is very important that the applicants have clear reasons for working at that company.

Therefore, you should prove a clear reason that the company you applying can understand deeply why you apply for the job in the job interview.

2.Is there no gap in what the applicant wants and the company wants?

Regarding the second point “Is there no gap in what the applicant wants and the company wants?”, it can be connected with the reasons for changing/leaving jobs. The company side has the image that the applicant will work with them for a long period of time if the applicant can achieve his goals at the job.

However, if what you want to do is different from what the company expects, the company may be thought that you should work for other companies.

Be sure to check out the jobs and companies which you apply in advance, and think about how you can fit what you want to do with what the company expects.

Key points to answer for “reason for applying to the job”

Next we’ll explain the points you must consider to make a solid reason for application based on what Japanese companies are checking in job interviews.

Let’s try to consider the reason for application according to the following order.

  1. Understand the companies and jobs applying from various perspectives!
  2. Choose what fits with your needs and skills!
  3. Think concrete reasons and examples for what fits above!
  4. Check if it match with your reason for changing jobs!

We’ll explain these 4 key points in details.

1.Understand the companies and jobs applying from various perspectives!

“Understanding from various perspectives” means understanding the company and work content from various perspectives. Here are some specific examples.

  • What kind of products and services the company handles?
  • What kind of vision and management philosophy they have?
  • What kind of employees are working
  • What is the corporate culture and personnel system like?
  • What skills are required for work
  • What kind of results are required
  • What kind of team you work for

There are other various viewpoints than the above.

2.Choose what fits with your needs and skills!

After you understand the companies and jobs applying from various perspectives, let’ choose something that match with your needs and skills.

When you make a reason for applying, if it is more unique, the company seems that you have a high motivation to join them.

In that case, if the reason is made from just one point of view, it might be the same reason for applying as other companies.

However, if you think it from various points of view, you can say that you are interested in the applying company in a comprehensive way.

3.Think concrete reasons and examples for what fits above!

Not only when you tell the reason for applying, when you have to explain something to someone, it would be more convincing that you use some specific cases.

For example, if you are interested in the products and services of the company you are applying for, it is more convincing to tell you that you have actually used it as a user.

In addition, if you are interested in the employees or corporate culture of the company you are applying for, it will be more concrete and credible what kind of working environment make you feel more motivated and work harder through your working experiences so far.

4.Check if it match with your reason for changing jobs!

Finally, check if your reasons for applying match with your reason for changing/leaving jobs. If what you covey as your reason for changing/leaving jobs doesn’t match with your reason for applying, the interviewer of the company would take it like your lying.

It is not necessary that your reason for changing/leaving jobs and the reason for applying to be exactly the same, but it is necessary that your reason for applying can solve you reason for changing/leaving jobs.

Summary

As considering the Japanese company’s approach to human resources, the reason for applying to the job is so important in the job interview.

Even if you have great skills and careers, you may not get a good result for the job interview because the reason for applying to the job isn’t appropriate for the company.

Therefore, be sure to consider seriously the reasons for applying before going to a job interview.

If you would like to learn not only about the reasons for applying job but also about how to generally treat Japanese job interview, please read the following articles.

Common Japanese Job Interview Questions and Best Answers!

Japanese Job Interview Question “Reasons for Changing/Leaving Jobs” and How to Answer

If you are an IT engineer looking to change your job and want to take a job interview after taking appropriate advices about job interviews, please register with G Talent, a Japanese recruitment agency specialized in IT engineers. A professional consultant will support you in changing jobs in Japan for free.

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