jet cir interview questions

After mountains of paperwork and stress, you have been accepted for a JET Program interview. If you clear this last hurdle, youll become a Japanese public servant and live and work in Japan—which means meeting amazing people and doing things you cant do anywhere else. A life-changing experience, to be sure.

I have been both the interviewee (as a JET hopeful) and the interviewer (as a JET alum), so I know what to expect, how to prepare, and whats going through your interviewers head. Ive also talked with other interviewers and JET alumni about their experience in both positions, and this guide is a compilation of all that knowledge. I hope it helps you nail the interview and land your five-year job in Japan.

Before you go any further: we also recorded a podcast about the JET Progam interview, though we highly recommend you read the article and listen to the podcast episode (instead of just one or the other).

Interviews for Top Jobs at JET Program

CIR Interview


I applied online. The process took 5 months. I interviewed at JET Program (Vancouver, BC) in Mar 2015


There were three interviewers. One asked questions in English, one in Japanese, and the other only took notes and did not interact with me at all. I was asked some basic questions about information from my application, then some more questions about my experience in more detail (in English). Mostly seemed intended to determine whether I would get homesick and try to get out of the contract early. Then the interview switched to Japanese. I was asked to introduce myself. Then I was given a short article and some time to scan it. I was asked to then read it out loud, then given some comprehension questions answer.

Interview Questions

  • What experiences have you had living among people of a different culture than your own? How did you handle any troubles you had at that time?

CIR Interview


I applied online. I interviewed at JET Program in Feb 2018


It was a very hard interview because I was asked to answer many ALT questions instead of CIR. In the beginning of the interview, they asked me whether I read Japanese news, (being the extremely honest person I am) I answered “No, I don’t but if it is a part of my job, I would do all I can to learn.” However, they weren’t very happy about it so my interview geared more towards the ALT side instead. (just my own reasonings, might not be actually “why” they decided to change topics) Most of the questions were in Japanese instead of English, making it extra difficult. As well, I was asked to give a japanese presentation on the spot. Although I was very prepared and have passed the N1 exam, it was still harder than I have imagined. Mock teachings are usually not a CIR question but I was asked to give quite a few on the spot. All in all, I don’t think my experience was a “normal” JET interview. I haven’t received the outcome yet.

Interview Questions

  • Please give a presentation about Canadian culture in Japanese for 2 minutes, starting from now.

CIR Interview


I applied online. I interviewed at JET Program (Chicago, IL)


You apply online and after the initial screening you get an interview. You are interviewed by a panel of native Japanese speakers and a former CIR. First they give you a small reading test to see how strong your Japanese is. The next part consists of the panel questioning you.

Interview Questions

  • They asked my opinion on the article

Upon review of your paper application at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C., select candidates will be invited to interview. To find out if you have been invited to interview, please check the Embassy of Japan JET webpageOpen in new window . Instructions on how to determine if you have moved on to the interview phase and how to locate your JET Program application ID number are posted to that website as soon as the information becomes available. Please be patient, as they review thousands of applications. Candidates who have successfully moved on to the interview phase of the application process will be interviewed at a predetermined time and location on one day during the interview period. Interviews are conducted over a period of a few days, but candidates will only be interviewed ONCE during this time period. There are not multiple interview phases. An average of 80-100 candidates are interviewed annually through the Consulate-General of Japan in Denver. Interviews are conducted both in Denver, CO and Salt Lake City, UT in late January / early February. Candidates who have moved onto the interview phase of the selection process and have requested to be interviewed in Denver or Salt Lake City will receive detailed instructions and information from the Denver JET Program Office. This information is sent out via email, so please be sure your spam filters allow email from our office ( to come through. Every year we have candidates who miss crucial pieces of information due to spam filters. There are many online resources for preparing for your JET interview. Please take into consideration the source of the information. While some forums and websites have very helpful information, others may not be so accurate. There are no official JET Program-sponsored websites to help prepare you for interviews, but please keep in mind this is a professional interview for a professional job. You should treat it as such. CIRs will have a Japanese language assessment component to their interview. The best way to prepare for a CIR interview is to brush up on your Japanese by:

– Reviewing and learning new kanji – Reading Japanese newspapers and magazine articles – Taking the practice JLPT tests (there are several resources online and you should strive to be equal to level 2) – Take sample Japanese exams from the MEXT scholarship applicant Japanese tests (MEXT Scholaship webpage: Examination QuestionsOpen in new window )

If you have questions regarding JET Program interviews please contact the JET Program Coordinator at the Consulate (or Embassy) that you are interviewing at. Although the actual interviews are conducted using the same guidelines and at approximately the same time, specific information can differ from location to location.Visit the Embassy of Japan JET webpage: Contact Open in new window to see a contact list for each consulate and the Embassy.

Read over your Statement of Purpose

To start prepping for the interview, read over your applications Statement of Purpose essay. Those two pages (probably) got you the interview, and theyll be studied by the panel so you know youll be asked questions based on what you wrote. Think of your essay as the “spirit” behind what you want to convey.


How do I prepare for a jet interview?

To start prepping for the interview, read over your application’s Statement of Purpose essay. Those two pages (probably) got you the interview, and they’ll be studied by the panel so you know you’ll be asked questions based on what you wrote. Think of your essay as the “spirit” behind what you want to convey.

What is a CIR in the JET Program?


This position requires a high-degree of fluency and positions are less than 10% of all JET Program participants. Their duties are carried out as specified by the supervisor at individual contracting organizations.

How many jet applicants get an interview?

Out of 10,000 applicants, at least 4,000 – 5,000 will get interviews. Out of the 5,000, around 2,000 will make the short-list and probably 500 on the alternate list. The JET Program application is a competitive process.

What is CIR job?

Coordinators of International Relations (CIR)

CIRs are engaged in internationalisation activities. CIRs are placed in local government offices or related organisations. Participants are to carry out their duties as CIRs as specified by the supervisor at individual contracting organisations.

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