(Make sure to follow the bubbles in Japanese format, right to left!)

At this time last year, I was nervously preparing for my JET interview… make that over-preparing. While I can’t say the interview went perfectly, it obviously went well enough for me to be here now, which I’m grateful for. I’m very pleased with life right now, but right after the interview I certainly wasn’t! Later on when I got together with a bunch of the other people who had been accepted, someone smiled and recognized me as the girl who was sure she had dishonored all of her Japanese teachers with all of her mistakes and stupid-sounding answers. Thankfully that’s a slight exaggeration, but I certainly was worked up about it for a while with no idea how I did.

My advice to everyone preparing now: relax! If you’ve gotten to the interview stage, your written application has already shown that you’re competent. Let your passion shine through in your answers, however ungracefully worded they may be. As for the CIRs’ Japanese language portion, focus on communicating–which may mean slowing down. The nice old man on my interview panel even made it a point to tell me that during the interview!

Ganbatte, everyone! Come visit me in Matsue when you get to Japan!