Common questions to expect during a Japanese job interview

Navigating a Japanese job interview can be a challenging task, especially for those unfamiliar with Japanese culture and language. Japanese job applicants often go through multiple rounds of interviews before receiving a job offer. The exact number of interviews can vary depending on the company and the industry, but it is not uncommon for applicants to attend 3 interviews before receiving a job offer. These can include initial screenings, group interviews, aptitude tests, and final interviews with company executives or HR personnel. The lengthy and rigorous interview process in Japan highlights the importance of being well-prepared for the most common interview questions to improve your chances of success. In this article, we will explore the typical questions you may encounter during a Japanese job interview, and provide guidance on how to answer them effectively.

1. Self-Introduction Questions

Introducing yourself is usually the first step in any job interview. Be prepared to answer the following questions:

自己紹介をお願いします。(Please introduce yourself.)

● Focus on your education, work experience, and relevant skills.

● Keep your response concise and professional.

あなたの強み・長所は何ですか?(What are your strengths?)

● Highlight strengths that are relevant to the position.

● Provide examples to demonstrate your strengths.

あなたの弱み・短所は何ですか?(What are your weaknesses?)

● Mention weaknesses that won’t directly impact your ability to perform the job.

● Explain what steps you are taking to overcome your weaknesses.

2. Motivation and Interest Questions

Interviewers want to understand your motivation for applying for the job and your interest in the company. Be prepared to answer the following questions:

この仕事に応募した理由は何ですか?(What made you apply for this job?)

● Discuss your motivation for applying, focusing on your interest in the company and the position.

● Explain how your skills and experiences align with the job requirements.

当社のどこに魅力を感じましたか?(What appeals to you about our company?)

● Research the company’s products, services, history, and corporate culture.

● Highlight specific aspects that resonate with your values and career goals.

3. Skills and Experience Questions

Interviewers will assess your skills and experiences to determine your suitability for the position. Be prepared to answer the following questions:

仕事で大切だと思うことは何ですか (What do you think is important in this job?)

● Provide specific examples of how your skills and experiences will contribute to your success in the position.

● Explain how you have developed these skills and experiences through education, work, or extracurricular activities.

今までの仕事でもっとも誇れる実績や成功体験は何ですか? (What achievements are you most proud of in your previous work experience?)

● Choose achievements that showcase your ability to perform well in the role you are applying for.

● Quantify your accomplishments, if possible, to demonstrate the impact you made.

By conducting comprehensive research on the company and its industry, you will be better equipped to engage in informed discussions during the interview, ask insightful questions, and demonstrate your genuine interest in the position. This thorough preparation can significantly increase your chances of making a strong impression on the interviewer and securing the job.

4. Future Goals and Aspirations Questions

Interviewers are interested in your future goals and aspirations to gauge your commitment to the company and your potential for growth. Be prepared to answer the following questions:

将来のキャリア目標は何ですか?(What are your future career goals?)

● Outline your short-term and long-term goals, focusing on how they align with the company’s objectives and growth opportunities.

● Show your willingness to learn, develop, and contribute to the organization over time.

当社で働くことで達成したい目標は何ですか?(What do you hope to achieve by working at our company?)

● Discuss the specific skills and experiences you aim to gain while working at the company.

● Explain how these will contribute to your overall career goals and benefit the organization.

5. Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions help interviewers assess your ability to handle various work situations. Be prepared to answer the following questions:

困難な状況を乗り越えた経験は何ですか?(Tell us about a time when you overcame a difficult situation.)

● Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your response.

● Focus on the actions you took to resolve the situation and the positive outcome that resulted.

チームで何かを成し遂げた経験について教えてください。(Tell us about your experience when you accompleshed something working in a team.)

● Share an example of a successful team project you participated in.

● Highlight your role within the team and how you contributed to the project’s success.

5. Company-Specific Questions

Be prepared to answer questions related to the company and the industry it operates in. This will show your interest in and knowledge of the organization:

他社よりも志望企業が優れている点は何か?(What makes our company stand out compared to our competitors?)

● Research the company’s industry, competitors, and unique selling points before the interview.

● Identify the aspects in which the company excels compared to its competitors, such as product quality, innovation, customer service, or corporate culture.

当社の業界で今後のトレンドは何だと思いますか?(What do you think are the future trends in our industry?)

● Stay informed about industry news, trends, and developments.

● Discuss potential opportunities and challenges the company may face in the future.

5. Questions to Ask the Interviewer

At the end of the interview, you will likely have the opportunity to ask the interviewer questions. This is your chance to show your genuine interest in the company and the position:

● 御社で仕事を始める前に、特に何について勉強しておいたほうがよろしいですか?

(Before starting work at your company, what should I particularly focus on studying?)

● 入社後の研修期間はどれくらいで、どのようなトレーニングを受けて、実務にどの程度関与しますか?

(What is the duration of the training period after joining the company, what kind of training is provided, and to what extent will I be involved in practical work?)

● 配属先部署の人数や、社員の構成について教えていただけますか?

(Could you please provide information about the number of people and the employee compositionin the department I will be assigned to?)


Being prepared for common Japanese job interview questions is crucial for your success in the competitive job market. By understanding the types of questions you may encounter and practicing your responses, you will be well-equipped to tackle your next Japanese job interview with confidence. Make sure to also check Japanese Job Interview Etiquette (link to article)  and  Best practices for making a strong impression during a job interview to improve your chances of success even more.

Good luck!