Acing Job Hunting in Japan: Self-Analysis for ES, Rirekisho, and Interviews
Self Analysis（自己分析）is one of the first and most important steps in Shukatsu. It refers to the process of looking back at your experiences and understanding your strengths and weaknesses, success/failure stories, motivations, and so on. You will use this information to write a convincing application form (ES) and answer logical interview questions logically. Read on to understand 1.the purpose and 2.how-to of self-analysis!
The purpose of self-analysis
Learn how to talk about relevant experiences and your motivations in a concise manner.
For example, imagine answering the question, “why did you apply to our company?”. In an ideal answer, you need to include both
- The company’s value 〇〇/culture 〇〇/business〇〇 attracted me to it
- I found 〇〇 attractive or fitting because...
The first one can be answered through researching about the company -- read about the whole process here--but the second one requires self-analysis. The more you can link your experiences and passions, the better!
Discover your own values and passions, and find companies that match them.
By knowing your strengths, motivations, and interests, you can narrow down the industries and company values you feel attracted to.
Steps of self-analysis
The major method is to look back on your life and list up major experiences, then keep asking yourself WHY and HOW. In the end, you make a story that highlights your strengths and shows the ways you think and motivate yourself during hardships.
① List up the major events in your life.
Look back on your university, high school, extracurricular activities, study abroad, and/or part-time work experiences and list the following up. You can even look back to your childhood to reflect on yourself.
• Things you put the most work into
• Major decisions
• Things you enjoyed or were passionate about
• Failure and how you overcame it
② Dig deeper: Ask WHY and HOW
Step 1. Pick a theme - “something I put hard work in” “something I enjoyed” “something I struggled with” etc.
For this article, we will pick “hard work”.
Step 2. List up events that you put a lot of effort into. Pick from a wide variety of environments and settings.
• I studied for a Japanese exam.
• I worked at a family restaurant.
• I was the leader of the school orchestra in high school.
Step 3. Pick one of the events from Step 2, and keep asking yourself “WHY” and “HOW”. Throughout this process, you will discover what you value, and what you are passionate about.
For example, take “I worked at a family restaurant”.
→ “WHY” were you so motivated to put in hard work?
I have had a lot of colleagues with me since the opening of the restaurant.
→ “WHY” did having peers motivate me?
I became close friends with them and looked forward to going to work.
→ "HOW" did close relationships with coworkers make work fun?
We could cooperate and rely on each other at work. In rush hours, we could help each other.
→ "WHY” do you find such a cooperative relationship important?
I like working hard in a team.
→ "WHY” do you like it?
When people put their effort together in a team, we can accomplish bigger tasks than each individual can.
This process reveals the individual’s unique values and passions; “I like to cooperate in a team to accomplish a big task” “I value people I work with.” Self-analysis allows you to discover and explain your values with a story.
Step 4. Use the findings in ES and Interview.
Find the company that matches your values and passions.
Link the result of self-analysis with the company’s characteristics.
To write a convincing application document, you can find the similarity between your values/passions and the company’s. Stress this similarity to show the recruiters why you’re a great match, and just how motivated you are! This will make a very convincing statement of motivation.
Be ready to talk about 3-4 stories.
During the selection process, companies will dig deeper into several stories of yours in order to understand and evaluate the interviewee from a variety of perspectives. Make sure to prepare 3 to 4 stories based on your self-analysis. With these stories, you can show that you truly understand yourself and your motivation for working at the particular company.
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