Black Tokyo Podcast 1: A Job Interview in Japan


I interviewed Bradford Bell about his job interview in Japan. Brad shares his experiences with using the Japanese language and some of the things he faced while in Japan. Part 1 of 2. Recorded via iChat. Better quality and audio soon!

Click here for A Job Interview in Japan, Part 2.


  1. Thanks so much for this interview! Awesome to hear about other blacks in entertainment. It’s a thought I’ve had for awhile to find info and this interview had some great insight. Great questions in this interview about speaking Japanese. Last thing I learned in class was using honorifics.. I never got that down and was thinking about the use of that in work while watching the interview. Everything was greatly informative to get a different perspective, a black perspective; and from an area that somewhat relates to mine here in the US. This made me excited to try and make more contacts and work on my skill in my profession and in Japanese. I would love to try working in Japan. I’m in TV now and would want to try and work in media and TV there! Can’t wait to hear more!

  2. Great video. I’m learning super formal keigo for speaking/writing, and I now write resume in handwriting. Some keigo books come with CDs. If I fail to write business email, some companies cancel a job interview. One time, I didn’t know the difference between 御社 and 貴社. I used 御社 during the in person interview, and I failed it.

    Also to me, learning English keigo is important. For example, “would you mind -ing …” instead of “can you…”.

    By the way, I’m Japanese, but it’s quite hard to learn that partly because I didn’t do any 就職活動 process college students do. Maybe I should write about what kind of things Japanese people do in college, getting Eiken/TOIEC, studying for SPI, contacting OB/OG in companies, how to write entry sheets, practice job interviews, doing a job interview, how to write a thank-you letter, how to make up for a job interview, voice training, hair styling, how to take a picture for your resume and so on…

    Some companies don’t take gaijin as someone special. I hear a story where a gaijin has to answer the phone like Japanese when she or he is the most recent hire in the company.

  3. Mary,
    It’s wonderful to hear that you are inspired to share your abilities in television with our Japanese counterparts. One thing I must say is that working in television will definitely prepare you for the long work hours we hear so much about in Japan. Working in television can be an extremely stressful environment and the hours are long, as I am sure you are well aware of. One question that will most likely come up in an interview will be your ability to work long hours. I found this humorous and told them “hey! I work in Hollywood, long hours are nothing new to me.” One downside to the entertainment industry in Japan is that salaries are considerably lower than what you may make in the US. One major plus is that Japan is such a culturally enriching environment that you will gain some wonder experiences. It was also fun to swap stories of working in the industry and sharing tips, tricks and techniques with working professionals in Japan. I wish you the best of luck if you decide to take the plunge and move to Japan.


  4. Takaaki,
    As a Japanese citizen you bring important insight to this topic. I have spoken to many friends and associates from Japan and they all mention how difficult it is to use “keigo” or honorifics. I have always found that to be extremely interesting because it would appear that you have to relearn your own language.

    Mary makes a good point about learning honorifics in class, having difficulty grasping the concepts and wondering how difficult it is to use on a day to day basis. In addition, Japanese resumes must meet an extremely strict criterion such as format, placement of picture and required information. If done improperly many candidates may not be considered for an interview. Some companies are moving away from the traditional hand written resume however having your resume translated into Japanese is a must. Takaaki, you also bring up a good point that despite your education and industry experience as an American you will most likely not receive special treatment nor should it be expected.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Latest from Culture & Society

Why Japan?

Eye-Ai Magazine interviews Zurui, the Black Tokyo Creative Director. As you may
Go to Top