Japanese for your job interview

August 3rd, 2010By Category: Work Tips

Job interviews anywhere can certainly be stressful endeavors. Even when you know that you’re qualified for the job, the pressure to make the best first impression possible can always throw you off guard. As if all of that weren’t enough stress, tensions fly off the charts once you add in a move from your home country to a foreign land.

If you have been living in Japan for some time or studied Japanese before arriving then you are well armed for impressing potential employers. The majority of job interviews on GaijinPot will be carried out in English, but a number of positions do require some Japanese ability and even where it is not stated, the employer can sometimes appreciate it if you can handle basic communication.

Steve Nagata / Flikr

With special thanks to the Murasaki Institute we have put together a introduction to some (very) basic Japanese which might come in handy for your job interview.

●  Useful Expression 「失礼いたします」 / 「Shitsurei itashimasu:しつれいいたします」

– Not only used for ‘Good-bye’ but also;

① When you knock on the door to enter the interviewing room…

② Before sitting down in the chair…

③ When leaving the room…

Another handy phrase worth remembering:

Making your appreciation to the interviewer known…

「本日はお時間をお取りいただきありがとうございます。」 / [Honjitsu wa ojikan wo otoriitadaki arigatougozaimasu]

Essentially, thank you very much for taking your time for me today.

● If you can not understand a question made out first time, it’s better to say…

「恐れ入りますが、もう一度お願いできますか?」 /  [Osoreirimasuga mouichido onegai dekimasuka?]

Would you repeat one more time, please?

Example Dialog


Mr. Smith :  [Knock the door] Shitsurei itashimasu. (Interviewee)

Mr. Yoshida :  Douzo. Okakekudasai.

Mr. Smith :  Shitsurei itashimasu.

Mr. Yoshida :  Honjitsuwa okoshiitadaki arigatougozaimasu.

Mr. Smith :   Kochirakoso, honjitsuwa ojikanwo otoriitadaki arigatougozaimasu.

Mr. Yoshida :   [Question] %&(0#43\‘!”$”=^ ?

Mr. Smith : Osoreirimasuga mouichido onegaidekimasuka?

…After you finish the interview…

Mr. Smith : Honjitsuwa arigatougozaimashita Shiturei itashimasu …

Bow and leave the room…

English Version


Mr. Smith : [Knock the door] Hello,

Mr. Yoshida : Please, have a seat.

Mr. Smith : Thank you.

Mr. Yoshida : Thank you for coming today.

Mr. Smith : Same here, Thank you for taking a time for me today.

Mr. Yoshida : [Question] %&(0#43\‘!”・・・?

Mr. Smith : Would you repeat one more time, please?

…After you finish the interview…

Mr. Smith : Thank you very much for see me today. Good-bye.

This post is intended to give some quick and handy tips to job seekers out there. Special thanks to the Murasaki Institute for putting it together. Find out about the institute and its Japanese language classes.

Author of this article


GaijinPot is an online community for foreigners living in Japan, providing information on everything you need to know about enjoying life here, from finding a job and accommodation to having fun.

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  • Jane says:

    Thank you for the hints and hope that you can also give some points about the interview when somebody want to go back to thier previous company.

    Best Regards

  • Asdddsa says:


  • xsddf says:

    It has nothing to do with “Japanese for your job interview”.
    Someone was looking for anything to fill up the space.