Personal thoughts about job hunting

I’ve been continuing job hunting for half a year now and I personally think this activity is ridiculous. I don’t know if it’s because of the pandemic, but I just feel that it’s impossible for me to reach the end of this journey. It may sound like I’m complaining and whining, but I’m just trying to express my thoughts about this topic.

First of all, I never understood why companies try to dig so deeply into why we want to apply for that certain company. They also expect us to do research and know everything about the company we’re trying to apply to. They expect it as if it’s natural, and it never made sense to me. Why? We applied to know you. We never worked with you, never had experience in the working force, yet why do recruiters expect we speak like a professional, knowing what and why we wanna do stuff. It just seemed ridiculous. It makes more sense if you ask this to people who transferred from one job to another, or basically just people who had experience being part of the workforce.

But to ask this to fresh graduates? What are companies expecting from us? The fact that they emphasize the ‘reason for applying’ itself is weird. It made it seem like there’s a right and wrong for the reason itself. Why would one’s motivation to apply for a job be wrong?

It’s just sad that your pure interest alone is not enough for you to appeal to the company. You can talk about a bunch of stuff like promoting your skillset or talking about how your personality fits with the company culture. But I really think it’s bullshit. Why is it that despite long stages of screening and interview, trying to find the perfect employee, companies still have high turnover or end up with the candidate that they’re not expecting? Because there’s no such thing as a perfect employee. No one’s perfect. That’s common knowledge, yet companies still try to seek out that ‘perfection’. If someone seems so perfect, you know something’s not right.

Companies make it so hard for fresh graduates to land a job so they start mass-applying. And now companies struggle going through hundreds of CV each day. And what do they do? They just use machine and online tests to screen out people and yet, recruiters somehow still have a hard time dealing with candidates. Now they add pre-recorded interviews to the screening process to further ease the work of the HR department. Wow. I guess we are not even worth your time for a first-step interview?

Another question that never made sense to me is, ‘What do you want to do in this company?’ This question is absolutely ridiculous, especially in Japanese settings. Here in Japan, most positions available for fresh graduates are called generalist or 総合職 (sougoushoku). It means when you apply for the position, you won’t know what kind of job you’ll end up doing until you get hired and assigned by the company. Knowing this, they still ask what we want to do? People usually tell me to answer what my future targets are or what position I hope to get. But if the position you’re aiming for is not to open currently in the company, then they will treat you as if you’re not the right candidate for their current open positions. What a joke.

I mentioned online tests earlier, which is also one of the most unreasonable steps in the screening process. Especially for foreigners. 99% of the time, the test will be conducted in Japanese. It’s hard enough for native speakers to pass this test, but they insist on having foreigners taking the same test and evaluation. The test will measure your language skill, calculation skill, and also your personality. Is it important? Maybe. Do these skills always have a direct relation with the job/position? Nope. Yet they still require it.

Japan’s facing a decline in the young population so they’re trying to attract the workforce from abroad. But with the current standards and hiring process they have, I doubt it’ll help the issue. It may seem okay for now, but definitely not in the long run. I really love this country, and I really want to stay here, but I guess its’ time to open my eyes and face reality that they probably just don’t appreciate people (especially foreigners) who put this much effort to work here.

2 replies on “ Personal thoughts about job hunting ”
  1. It’s great that your venting, but the application process is the same in the states. I know it’s very frustrating, and tiring, and annoying. I’m going to write up some tips on my blog for you. Maybe it could help? And it wouldn’t hurt to find more information about the company you’re applying to. I know. I’m sorry I had to say that. Again, frustrating. I’m only trying to help you. Interviews are not the easiest thing. When you have your next interview, take a deep breathe before you start, hold it, and let go. Find your self-confidence. And answer your best. Don’t stress if you gave the wrong answer. Now the survey questions, they want to know what your personality is like. Will you clash with others? Are you not very committed to your job? Things like that. Even though the math skills may not apply to your current position, they want to know how much you know, same thing with language. Again, you’ll need great communications skills in the work force. They know you can speak multiple languages which is a plus for most companies. I’m sure they want to make sure you are able to comprehend what’s being said. We have these survey questions as well here. They can be a little nerve-wrecking, but before you take the test, drink something that makes you feel relaxed/calm. Make sure you’ve got food in your tummy, and got plenty of sleep so you can comprehend the questions. Read the answers first, then read the question. Sounds silly, but it helps you understand the question better. Also, back to the personality part, they want to know if you make the correct choice in situations and usually there is one clearly wrong answer. Sometimes the phrasing is confusing to trick you which is why you need to take your time. Have your phone ready to define words too.

    1. Thank you for the tips! I know in the back of my head that these things are done for a reason. I’m just frustrated at the situation and at myself for not being able to do things right haha. I suck both at maths and language, which makes the situation worse. It’s just sad that there’s no way to go around this other than working your ass off and practicing.

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