368 5 interview questions employers in Japan are no longer allowed to ask


Interviews can be nerve-wracking for even the most experienced candidates, but Japanese companies don’t always ask the most predictable questions. In fact, some of their questions can be downright weird. Many of these oddball interview questions, however, may not actually be legal.

Governmental labor departments around the country have been amending labor equality laws in an effort to level the playing ground for all candidates and decrease discrimination.

Questions about a thing such as dining habits may seem harmless, but they give the employer a pretty good look into your out-of-work lifestyle and standard of living. The Federation of Economic Organizations thinks that such questions can be discriminatory and should not be asked to potential employees.

I – Word Understanding
nerve-wracking – causing stress
oddball – strange

II – Have Your Say
Starting August (2015), employers are no longer allowed to ask questions which don’t relate to applicants’ aptitude for the work or professional duties.

Some of the questions that are now considered “NG” (no good), include:
1. “Where is your parents’ house? Is it north or south of the station?”/“Where is your permanent residence?”
2. “Where does your father work?” / “What level of education did your parents receive?”
3. “How many times a month do you eat out?”
4. “What political party do you support?” / “What’s your favorite book?”
5. “Are you planning on having any kids soon?”

368 5 interview questions employers in Japan are no longer allowed to ask