Working in Japan

6 ways to make a great video interview

Get your dream job in Japan with a video interview! Read our tips to make a video that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Our video interview process is unique to Jobs in Japan. Unlike a video resume, a video interview features your answers to commonly asked interview questions. It is a golden opportunity to demonstrate your personality and abilities.

Why should I make a video interview?

A video interview a great way to showcase your personality and interest in the job, in a way that is more engaging than a typical paper resume. A video interview is an excellent opportunity for employers to really learn who you are. Even the most articulate resume can only give a potential employer a ‘on-paper’ idea.

We get it. Not everyone likes being in front of the camera. It can feel awkward or uncomfortable filming yourself at first. But with a little practice and preparation, you can make an excellent video to get that dream job in Japan!

Follow these 6 steps from our recruitment experts to help get the interview!

1 – Have good lighting

Back Lit Lighting

Good lighting is the difference between a professional looking video and an amateur one. We are not asking you to buy expensive YouTuber-style LED ring lights (but great if you have one already!). Take care to think about the position of the light source before you start recording.

A common mistake that we see is candidates who film themselves in front of a bright window. The huge source of outdoor sunlight coming through the window can backlight you which will make you look too dark to see on camera. If the employer cannot see you, it defeats the point of the video! They want to see you clearly.

Remember, the sensor on your phone camera or webcam is very small and are very susceptible to low-lighting and can make your video look grainy. Try to use overhead lighting and if possible, position lots of light in front of you, from behind the camera. Light that smiling, ideal-candidate-face right up!

2 – Have good audio.

Audio quality is essential. Employers need to hear your answers. Aim to make the best out of your webcam or phone microphone.

Think about the room where you are filming. What electronic devices are on? Remember that the mic will pick up any whirring of your AC, fridge or outdoor noise. You want the room to be a silent as possible.

Also, aim to film in a ‘soft’ environment. Choose a room with carpet or soft flooring. Bedrooms or living rooms with soft furnishings will help absorb the sound. If you film in a bare room, the audio will bounce around surfaces. An echo-y audio can be very distracting (and annoying) for the employers viewing your video. Clean audio will help you look more professional.

3 – Have a clean background

Make sure your room is clean.

No one wants to hire a person living in a dirty room. Be sure to clear your recording space before you film! Piles of dirty laundry or last night’s takeout containers do not create a polished or competent image. Also, be careful of any personal items lying around. Your huge collection of anime figures may not form a good impression and may be too distracting. You want your background to look clean and organized.

What about blurred or virtual background filters? Well, they might be ok for a zoom meeting, but the technology is still a little defective for video interview purposes. The filter can awkwardly cut out hair or weirdly blend clothing colors into the background.

The best option is to film in front of a plain wall. Move any furniture or wall-art out of the way. This blank background space will help you stand out as the core focus of your video.

4 – Frame yourself properly

Don’t put yourself in the corner.

This video will be your first impression to the employer. It is important to get it right.

Ensure there is plenty of space in the video frame to include your head and body from the waist-up. Videos with half of your face off-screen will not be considered.

If you are unsure, do a quick test. Set your camera in position and record yourself for a few seconds. Watch the video back and see if any part of your head and shoulders are out of frame. If so, re-position yourself or the camera and try again.

5 – Dress professionally

Japan takes appearance very seriously. Here, clothes really do make the man (or woman, or any other gender). Conservative workwear is essential for all employees. There is a time and place to let your unique personality shine through your outfit. But your video interview is not it.

For men, a smart suit and tie will work wonders. If that is not possible, at least wear a collared shirt and a jacket.

For women, please wear a shirt or blouse, preferably with a high neckline. Japanese companies are very conservative about cleavage. So, the higher the neckline, the better!

6 – Be succinct with your answers

Employers are busy. They have emails to write. Meetings to attend. They want to know why they should hire you. They do not want to hear your entire life story.

To prevent yourself from muddled rambling, practice your answers to some questions. Jobs in Japan have provided a video interview guide to look through and help you prepare.

Also, keep your answers relevant to the question. Sure, you want to convey how much you love Japan and want to move here. But if it is not pertinent to the position, you don’t need to talk about it. You want to show that you are the most qualified candidate for the role. It is more important to convey your skills and experience. Be sure to mention any certifications or qualifications you have achieved.

Your video interview should express how well you will fit in the company environment. Qualifications are not the only factor. Japanese companies love team-players and want to hire people who will not cause problems. Demonstrate your adaptability, flexibility and eagerness to be part of their team.

Contact Us

Tokyo Office
C/O Global Village Media
1-7-20-B2 Yaesu, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
[email protected]