The real intention of interviewers in Japan

woman filling job application form in office with boss

Because of Covid now all countries have economic problems. But fortunately the Japanese economy is not so bad. Then some friends who can’t have jobs in their countries asked me if they could work in Japan or not.

Hmm… it’s very difficult.

Because foreign workers don’t have as much value as Japanese workers in the labor market. I’m not saying that their personalities are inferior to the Japanese, but I do mean that the structure of the Japanese economy is not suitable for foreign workers.

So today I will explain to you what the Japanese interviewers who will talk to you think.

Employment is a very expensive act.

Employment is a very expensive act for companies, now I imagine that they have to pay money like these things;

  • The salary of the interviewers
  • The commission to the human resources mediators
  • The cost to educate employees

You see, it’s not as cheap as we workers imagine.

Besides, companies can’t basically lay off permanent workers in Japan, so interviewers have to watch very carefully if they are the people who lie a lot about their CV or not. If an interviewer were to employ a liar, this person would do a lot of damage to the company.

I will give an easier example. We are goods in the job market.

photo of discount sign
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on

Imagine, you went to buy a ring that cost $5000 in a department store. Then after you returned home, you noticed that this ring was worth only $1000. And you couldn’t return it to the store.

You’re going to scream with your tears, aren’t you?
I feel that now you can understand the feelings of the interviewers.

Maybe the foreigners will easily leave our work.

woman leaning on table
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Interviewers doubt that you will leave the job easily. But this is not discrimination but a statistical reality.

In fact, foreign workers leave their jobs more easily than Japanese workers. According to the study below, the average foreign worker can continue to work for only 2 years, and return to his or her country.


Why can’t they work for a long time? The reason is that they cannot have a stable career in Japan. Currently, there is almost no one who can live in Japan with a permanent job for 20-30 years. Many are employed by English teachers, and are dismissed by their temporary contract when companies no longer want them. One American lost a lot of money this month and said he couldn’t earn more than $400 because no one wants to go to the English class because of the Covid recession.

So imagine, why do companies want to employ foreigners? To prepare for a very diverse and global situation is a luxury of international companies like P&G. Normally many foreigners cannot work in these companies and have to look for some work from Japanese companies (If you are an international elite, of course you can.) But normal or small companies do not work for global people but for Japanese people, then you cannot use your special skill, for example the foreign language, besides you have a disadvantage for not knowing the business in Japan. This is like playing soccer by cutting off one foot.

Wichai.wi が

However, there are still some companies that want to employ all people including foreigners. They are “black companies”, companies acting illegally to employees, or jobs that their salary is very cheap, but the skill of the foreign language is necessary, for example hotel receptionist.

So if it’s a job that the Japanese don’t want to do, you can easily do it.

Thus the fate of foreign workers is decided. They work very hard and think “Ah… really the working environment in Japan is very hard. I’m coming home now…”.

But this is not true. There are some very good jobs, but foreigners cannot easily get any except for international elites.

Because of these motivations many foreigners return to their country and Japanese companies will think that employing foreigners is a risk because they leave their jobs.

Therefore, if you want to work in Japan, you should prove that you are not a normal foreigner, for example you should read some economic magazines, have N1, or graduate from a Japanese university. In order to get some work experience, it is good to send messages to Japanese companies to work without a salary (because if you work with a salary, it is illegal).

But if I were a foreigner, I wouldn’t work in Japan because I can earn more in Singapore.

marina bay sands singapore
Photo by Kin Pastor on

Perhaps there would not be much advantage in employing foreigners.

Next, the interviewers feel this way;

“Because of some risks there is not much advantage in employing foreigners.”

There are not many advantages to employing foreigners who do not speak Japanese well. To begin with, they only know the business situation in their country, but most Japanese companies work for the Japanese, so they want to educate the Japanese more than they employ a foreigner.

Although if a person is very intelligent, there is a risk of the visa. If immigration decides not to give the visa, companies can no longer employ you and this year’s plan is broken. That’s why interviewers can’t decide to employ you if you don’t have unique skills.

I show you a successful case. A foreign friend of mine graduated from a prestigious Japanese university and won a business competition. After this she sent many messages to presidents of Japanese companies she met in this concert to work and now she has a permanent job in a listed company. To have a stable steady job you have to strive like her.

If you can work that hard you should move to Germany and study the programming. Because the working environment is much better than in Japan.

aerial view of city buildings
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva on

The index whether you can work in Japan or not

Is it impossible for me to have a permanent job?

Eh… exactly. That’s why many foreigners return to their country. But living in another country is so difficult even if you don’t go to Japan.
Now many young people think that the world is very global, but it is the story of logistics and IT. Human resources are not so global.

But if you want to work in Japan, you should have some results before you come to Japan.

  • A Chinese who graduated from the prestigious university.
  • A Mexican who was a Google programmer in Mexico.
  • A Spanish who cooked in a famous restaurant in Madrid.
  • A British who had a degree in teaching English and taught it to the Japanese online for 3 years.

If you are so unique, the interviewers want to hire you. Do you feel that it is too much? Yes, but there are many normal Japanese people in this country.

Well, I say so but I can’t have a good job in another country either. I don’t want to be a Sushi cook in Los Angeles leaving a job that gives me 2500 dollars a month. Sometimes I go to USA for a trip.

The interviewers always smile in front of you because they don’t want you to hate them. But in their brains a lot of calculation works. But don’t have such a grudge against them, please. They also have their lives and their family, they can’t lose their jobs for the important people.
Instead of them today I give you an opinion. I hope you use it well.

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