Apr 12 2019 Software Developers and Engineers! What Japanese companies are really looking for in a candidate

Have you ever gone for a job interview, wearing your carefully pressed lucky shirt, hair slicked back or in a clean ponytail, with your resume, the one you proofread 5 times the night before in hand, and thought everything went well. But then days pass and you finally receive a call or an email that almost always starts with “Dear Mr./Ms. -- Thank you for your time with us. However, I regret to inform you…..”

We’ve all been there. But where exactly did it go wrong?

Japan is one of the most technologically advanced countries that always pushes for new innovations and development. It attracts a lot of developers and engineers from all over the world not only because of its rich culture but also because of the availability of technology and abundance of opportunities. This gives foreigners enough insight to know that there are jobs available, but the question is how to successfully secure one despite the tight competition with both fellow foreigners and of course the locals.

Here are some tips to put you ahead of the game for your next job interview:

1.) Actual role in your most recent job

Are you a technical lead designer or a technical lead contributor?These people interview a lot of candidates per day so make sure that you don’t just put your general job role and make the mistake of not going into detail during the interview. Most of the candidates have similar generic job titles and almost the same programming language skills. So, it’s best if you are clear with defining your actual role and contributions.

2.) Fluency in Programming Languages

Yes, they know you know how to use C++ and C# but how well do you really know how to operate with them.To quote what a great IT professional once said, “There is a difference between knowing the language and being good at using the language.”It always helps to give the interviewer an idea of how long you have been using the programming language and highlight what specific projects you have used them on.

3.) Recent experience

Were you the product owner, product manager/vendor manager, technical expert, or technical contributor? With the tough hiring protocols and strict screening procedures candidates have to undergo, It is always important to stay realistic in terms of matching the company’s expectations against your own. So you have to be realistic about whether your recent career track is inline with what the company needs.

4.) Track Record of Business Success

Ideas, code, systems, and other things you have developed and worked on look great on your CV but what makes you stand out as an applicant is the actual business implementation of all your hard work. Of course the performance and results of these things are as equally important as the process itself.

5.) Open Source Contributions

Besides having ultimate bragging rights and street credit from having strong profiles on platforms like GitHub, Kaggle, Stack Overflow and so on, companies also take engagement from these things as one of the criteria to judge a candidate’s expertise, passion, and enthusiasm for their fields.

So when you go to your next interview, feel free to follow these tips and hopefully land your dream job in the land of the rising sun! 頑張ってください!

© NicholeJosh

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