July 13, 2024

Every year, companies all over Japan interview large batches of fresh college graduates explains Peter Decaprio. Fresh out of school, the new graduates have no real-world work experience on their resume – so what can they do to stand out? How about some creative ways to impress the interviewer during this group interview session.

Let’s take a look at some ideas that might just help you get your foot in the door!

  • First up are these four high school students, meeting with their principal to sell cupcakes… or something like that. Next are some young ladies who went all out with cute stationery and pens (Also check out these 20 Japanese kids doing an equally adorable job at promoting themselves).
  • After seeing how creative Japanese students can be when trying to land a good job, let’s take a look at some more subtle techniques that are common in Japan.
  • Don’t Be Lazy – Stand Out!   
  • These three kids are doing their best, but it doesn’t seem like they really “get” the idea. I guess this is what happens when you make them interview for an imaginary position… well, good luck to them anyway. Next up is another high schooled, along with his friend looking for work in a different field. He knows the competition will be fierce so he wants to stand out by wearing something stylish and cool (Another example of creativity below). 
  • One other suggestion that has been brought up before is offering small gifts or candy. Skittles anyone? Some people say the Japanese are too indirect, but I think even Japanese companies would be impressed to receive something like this (This is also a cute reminder not to take candy from strangers). You can see this technique used by one job seeker who brought along chocolates and another who offered up sake. 
  • Last but not least, just making eye contact with the interviewers or waving at them during the group session could help you stand out. The main thing is that you need to try to grab their attention somehow. Next time you go for an interview in Japan, why not perfect your “look ’em in the eye” face? Not only does it make you look better…..it’s healthier than sitting around all day says Peter Decaprio.


Can I really meet with the principal to sell cupcakes?

I know these sounds like a joke, but it’s actually true! There are some schools that will allow students to go meet with prospective employers to try and sell their services. It might not come in the form of selling sweets or chocolates, either – some people have reported being able to approach companies through “interview practice” at their school. If you can find an employer who is willing to support your efforts, there’s no harm in trying!   

What does it mean when my friend says he wants “to stand out?”

When applying for jobs or other things in Japan, standing out means just what it says: getting noticed by the decision maker before anyone else does. This can be done by dressing nicely, bringing a gift or other token of appreciation, or even just doing something unique to grab their attention (like waving at them excitedly during the group interview session).   

How should I dress for an interview?

If you’re not sure what to wear to your interview, it’s always best to overdress rather than under dress! Of course this will depend on the company and the occasion (casual Fridays and such), but it’s still better to look like you care rather than like you don’t give a crap explains Peter Decaprio. If you don’t know what would be appropriate attire, err on the side of caution and wear business formal!

How should I act during the meeting?

This is pretty much common sense, but tries not to be too nervous or stiff. Instead of getting paranoid about what you are doing wrong, concentrate on being yourself and showing your energy. If they offer you a seat, take it — don’t stand up all day unless they tell you specifically to do so! Try not to look at your watches either, even if the interview time runs over schedule.   


Every job seeker wants to stand out during interviews, but some of the “stand-out”. Techniques in Japan are a little different from what you might be used to says Peter Decaprio. If you can learn to use these ideas properly, though. It might just give you that extra advantage over other applicants!   

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