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Name: Alex
Nationality: USA
Industry: Translation

I see localization as bringing life to the characters, giving them personality. The team I work with is lively and enthusiastic.

Total years in Japan: 2 years

Your impression about YIT Recruiting team?

To be honest, my first impression wasn’t the greatest, but first impressions are often a poor indicator. The staff were cordial, but I had been job hunting for a while and that much was far from unique. I had interviews with a number of recruiters, many of which had nicer looking offices up front and were more specific in their questions. YIT asked the same standard questions about my resume and employment goals. The one thing that was unique, which I thought was fun and revealing, was that the translation test I was asked to complete. I had been working as a translator for some time and in several instances the tests felt like an attempt to trip up the applicant with obscure and/or exceptionally specialized terminology, often unrelated to the actual job contents. Since I was looking for a job in game localization YIT’s translation test, which actually involved character lines, was far more suitable. It seemed “easier” up front, but was a far better indicator for the field I was getting into.
I would say my second impression was better than the first though. Before interviewing at the company I am with now, the YIT facilitator took some time before hand to talk with me, not so much about the upcoming interview, but more to learn about me as a person. This was not only effective at reducing the stress of the interview, but also gave him more to work with when talking about me to the interviewer.

Did you have problems during jobs search in Japan?
*If yes, what kind of problems. Did our team help you in resolving this question?

I had all kinds of difficulties, but in the end they were all valuable learning experiences. When I first came to Japan I had just recently graduated and had not passed the JLPT test. I did take and pass the test a few months after arriving, but that was long after a number of interviews had come and gone. I also did not have that much professional translation experience at that pointed. I did freelance work for a while to build experience. Many recruiters would interview me and say that they would contact me if an opportunity came up, but the waits were long and the jobs recommended often ill-suited to my skill set. While it was quite some time before I heard back from YIT, it was clear to me that they took to heart what I had described in my interview as an ideal job. Their advice before the interview was clear and on point.

What do you like in your current job?

I have been a gamer since I was young and greatly enjoy the opportunity to join in on the process of making new games and bringing them to the west. I see localization as bringing life to the characters, giving them personality. The team I work with is lively and enthusiastic. They come up with great material, but also allow me the freedom to inject some of my own creativity into the characters. In the end, watching new players enjoy the game that we worked on is a marvelous feeling.

What would you recommend to job seekers in Japan?
*Your advices (experience) for job seeking process.

It may sound cliché, but learn the language and take the JLPT. If you want to work in something other than English teaching, you will need to pass at least N2. Almost no company will take you seriously without a test score. After that, there are two things. First, whatever job you want to do, find a way to get some kind of experience in that field before you apply for the company you want to work with most. Freelance, work for a smaller firm, read up on the company and their goals, and make sure you have a skill that will be useful to them. Second, apply everywhere. As a foreigner, chances are you will have to apply for dozens of jobs at dozens of companies if you want to get hired. Do not be discouraged. Find ways to improve your skills and your pitch with each interview you take. Make sure you have a good idea what you want to be doing, what you want to be accomplishing, but be flexible. Sometimes the job title may not sound like what you’re looking for, but if you have something worthwhile to offer, there will probably be someone looking for that skill.