Sunday, March 07, 2010

Job interview

I went to my interview for the crosswalk guard position on Friday afternoon. I'm supposed to get an answer from the city this week.

On my way to the interview I looked down at my jeans and bright blue shirt and had the thought...

"Wait a minute. I seem to recall that when going to interviews young college graduates at least have an interview "uniform" of black slacks, black jacket, black shoes etc. I wonder if I was supposed to get dressed up for this."

Too late. I look like what I look like. At least I'm not pretending to be what I'm not. (I don't own black slacks, black jacket or black shoes.) I went in smiling to my interview because I'm sure my attire was a first.

Japanese young people are in the last stages getting ready for new jobs. The fiscal year starts in April (as do schools, TV programs etc) and college students have madly been pursuing "shushoku katsudo", job hunting, for the past two years. Yes! Two years! Around the middle of the junior year in college, companies will start conducting interviews and accepting applications and resumes for positions two years hence. By the time the student starts their senior year in college, ideally they should have a position secured for them upon graduation. I don't know how the companies know how many positions are going to be open or how the economy is going to be in two years but anyway, college students and parents get very nervous as the senior year continues with no employment future cemented. And by the way, not a lot of studying gets done in college that last year when all that is required of the student is a diploma to show to their future place of employment. On the other hand, the colleges really play a big part in finding their students jobs, so the good and bad of the system balances out.

Back to interview uniforms, otherwise known as recruitment suits. Many parents will buy their college bound son or daughter a black suit that will be put to use over four years of college. The suit can be worn once for the entrance ceremonies to school, and two years later it can be worn daily throughout the many months of job hunting seminars, interviews and ceremonies. I was always very relieved when I listened to my friends woes of the cost and styles of recruitment suits that they were buying for their children. I wonder if my kids will EVER have use of a formal black suit. (Pictures from the Internet)

Ah well. My interview is over (sat alone in a folding chair across from three men at a long table while they made inquiries of my crosswalk interests, my language ability, my driving record and my husband's job).

And they did make it clear that IF I should get the job I wouldn't be able to wear my jeans...

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