Questions that trip you up

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A couple of years back I was in an interview for a scholarship to Japan. I didn’t get it, I’m pretty sure I failed on the Japanese test as my Japanese wasn’t that good at the time (even now I’m still suspect), but we also had an interview in Japanese and one of the questions I still remember clear as day because it stumped me: “What’s the biggest difference between Japan and New Zealand?”

Loaded in this question is “how much knowledge of each culture do you have?” and at the time I had only been to Japan maybe once, and had limited experience with Japanese people as well. I have no idea what I answered, but after time I realised what my answer to this question would be, and if you want to know, it’s the role of women.

I’m not here to talk about that, but this question that stumped me was a good litmus test for similar interviews in the future. If you have a good answer for something like that, then you can be confident that you could pass such an interview. Otherwise, I guess you just need a bit more experience!



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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan

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