I have N1, but why I was rejected due to lack of Japanese language skills?

It is very difficult to convey your experience, skills and how you can contribute to the company in a limited amount of time. You are not a native Japanese speaker.

It is difficult for even a Japanese to appeal in an interview. In this article, we will show you how you can appeal and pass the interview even if you are at the N3 level or lower.


N1 is not necessary

You don’t need to have any one level of Japanese language ability. You can pass the interview by speaking in a way that Japanese people often use in business situations.

This is because speaking Japanese well is a means to an end. The goal is to communicate. In an interview you have to communicate. If you cannot convey your experience and skills to the other person, it is meaningless even if you have N1. The purpose is to communicate but for many people to purpose is to speak Japanese well.

Please be careful that the means and the purpose are not reversed. I’ll say it again because it is important. What you need is not N1 level Japanese language skills, but the ability to convey how you can contribute your past experience to the new company.


The way of talking

If you can learn how to communicate in a way that Japanese people often use in business situations, your chance of getting a job offer will increase.

In fact, even those who had N1 failed the interview because their way of communicating was unfamiliar to Japanese and difficult for Japanese to understand.

However, even those with N4 level past the interview if they mastered the way to communicate. Is your way of communicating unfamiliar to Japanese and is it not often used in business situations?

If you use the way we Japanese often used to communicate, your message will be understood better by others.


Tips to communicate

I’ll teach you a way of speaking that is familiar to the Japanese and we Japanese often used in business situations. This way of speaking is very easy for the Japanese to understand.

Let’s use the example of why did you apply for this position. Let’s talk in this order.

Conclusion → Reason → Conclusion again


No,1 Shortly state the conclusion

Being by explaining why you want to work for the company. Be careful not to make it too long.

For example,


I am interested in working with you because my past experience can contribute to your A project as an immediate asset.


The shorter the sentence, the easier it is for the listeners to understand. The subject should be the company, not yourself. Instead of telling them that you want to be involved in project A, tell them that you can contribute to the company.

Because you can make use of your past experience in project A and what benefits they will receive if they hire you.


No,2 Give reasons

Give a short explanation of why. it is even better if you also include your appeal points.

For example,



The project I am in charge of at my current company is similar to Project A, and I have the skills and experience required by your company. In my previous job, I was a manager and managed subordinates, and I hope to assist the manager in Project A as a sub-manager.


No,3 Shortly state the conclusion again

For example.


I am applying to your company because I believe that my past experience can be put to immediate use.


Here is the advice

Don’t give too much information for one question. Communicating in an interview is like playing catch. You receive one ball from the interviewer. How many balls do you throw back. If you throw too many balls the interviewer will not be able to catch them.

In other words, even if you give a lot of information, the interviewer will not be able to understand it, and eventually will not know what you are trying to say. This is where the miscommunication occurs and you will be rejected due to your Japanese language ability.


A bad example

Next, I’ll give you a bad example. Let’s use the example of why did you apply for this position.

In fact, this is how most foreigners talk about communicating. Answers that are not answers and a lot of useless information


No,1 Answers that do not answer the question


I worked as a design engineer in my home country. I also work as a design engineer in Japanese. I have more than 5 years of experience.

The company is asking why, but it is not good answer.


No,2 Unnecessary information

For example


I have had many experiences. At my current company, I received an award from the company for a service I created that made a customer very happy.

The company have no idea what you are trying to say. What I often find when I talk with foreigners is that although their Japanese is very good, I don’t understand what they are trying to say.


Always start from the conclusion

The reason for this is not your Japanese language ability. It is simply that we Japanese are not accustomed to your way of communicating in Japanese business, it is normal to start with a conclusion.

If you talk long, people will ask you,

What is your conclusion?

What do you want to say in the end?

If you don’t start with the conclusion even Japanese speakers will not get the message. In other words, just by changing the way you communicate, you can get through to the other person. This is because that way of speaking is very easy for Japanese people to understand. Just by changing the way you speak, you can increase your chance of getting a job offer so please use this method.


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