Start the countdown!

That’s right folks! Start the countdown because I will be going to Japan next spring. I received an email with an offer of employment from Interac at around midnight last night, not even a day after I’d been informed that my information had been released to the Japan office. I sent an email accepting it this morning. It doesn’t quite feel real yet and I have a strong feeling it won’t until I do something like buy a one way plane ticket or possibly get on the plane. Anyways, March is a long time off and I have plenty to do in the meantime. Namely find a way of making at least $5000 before March. Other things I need to work on are getting my passport renewed, getting any documents ready, and obviously working on my Japanese. I wonder if my old Japanese sensei will let me TA again…. Probably not.

I will try to keep this blog updated semi-routinely as things progress with getting the paperwork in this fall and any other preparations that I am making for Japan. This is happening! Like really truly happening!

Interac Skype Interview

Hello everyone! I am back with another post on my Interac process as I have just finished my Skype interview. Now comes the worst part, waiting.

So, after my phone interview I was invited to a skype interview because of my location relative to the various seminars. This meant that there was a load of things I had to do on my own before I got the interview. I had to ensure that my two references were in, which meant several emails making sure that that was all taken care of. It was a tough time of year for me to be asking for this as my references were mostly partner teachers from my practicum and it happens to be the end of the school year here. I also had to complete the grammar test and pre-interview questions and email those in, not to hard really but I’m glad I didn’t just have the grammar test thrown at me or anything. And most importantly I had to do my demo lesson.

This was not all that simple to get together on your own because you need to film from a tripod or other surface which has to be high enough. Luckily my brother-in-law is a videographer and was willing to help me film it. I practiced the Japanese in my self introduction until I had it perfect, not to much the English part, whoops. There are 4 parts to the demo lesson video: self introduction, script, elementary warm-up, and high school lesson. The first two parts are relatively straightforward and in all honesty so are the last parts. For the high school lesson I choose the irregular verbs and it was fairly simple to do. They provide you with examples and are very straight about telling you that you can copy these lesson. Do that. Don’t get all creative because copying ensures that you have all of the components they are looking for and that you are being judged on how you present yourself more which is what they are really looking at. My video ended up 6:30 long and I was really worried that it was too long but it turned out fine.

Once all those things are done you will get an email about a skype interview. After the phone interview they provide you with links to dozens documents including the seminar presentation which they want you to look over. They mention that in the skype interview they will go over this with you but in mine that did not happen, she just jumped right in to the questions. The questions were typical and if you’ve searched Interac interview questions than I can guarantee that you’ve seen them. There was a lot of repeat questions too like about driving and such. I also got the school lunch question this time! Also the question about tattoos which I was just very straightforward about and confirmed that I would keep it covered at all times. Otherwise the questions are basic. Is there any reason why you would leave early? What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you couldn’t be placed in a certain area how would you react? What is a typical day for an ALT? What do you consider professional? How do you deal with conflict? Criticism? That was about it really. After that I was asked if I had any questions and then I had to do another elementary warm up as part of the interview. That was the only nerve wracking bit as there are no do overs like when filming the demo lesson. All in all my skype interview lasted just over fifteen minutes. That was it and then she wished me luck and we were done.

As far as I know, now my things will be sent off to Tokyo and I will hear back 2-3 weeks after that whether or not I will have an offer of employment. Deep breaths because now the waiting begins.

Update July 9, 2015: I received an email today saying that my things had been sent to Japan and that I will hear back within 3 weeks. So by the end of the month I should know whether or not I’ll be going to Japan and this blog will be continuing as I intended it.