How I Turned JET Down Twice And Still Got Interviewed Again!
There are a lot of rumors and superstitions when it comes to applying for the JET Program. I mean, it’s the dream for a lot of people, and therefore there’s a lot of anxiety and stress about getting in. People say that if you don’t talk to your coordinator and other interviewees at the interview, you won’t get it. I’ve even heard that if you don’t attach your papers the proper way, you’ll automatically get disqualified.
I can’t claim to be an expert, as I’ve never actually worked with the program and I certainly don’t have any inside connections that would spill the beans to me. But what I do know is the longstanding rumor that if you turn JET down, you’ll never get interviewed or accepted again is false. Well, at least partially. How do I know? Because I did just that and I got accepted twice.
I applied for JET for the 2014 year and 2015 year. The 2014 year was my first time applying. It just wasn’t the right time in my life to move to Japan, so I politely declined the job offer after going through the arduous application process.
The 2015 year was a bit different. I felt like I made a mistake in 2014 by turning down the position, and I was eager to head to Japan. I went through the process again (the only thing that changed was my interview location) and again got a job offer. I accepted and went through the motions, receiving placement and details about orientations. But I decided to go with Interac instead of JET, and turned them down again.
If I applied in 2016, do I think I would’ve gotten another interview? No. And here’s why not: I turned JET down after I found out my placement. Honestly, I think I’m probably blackballed for life since I did that. But, if I turned them down again right away, I think I would’ve had another chance honestly.
I say this with confidence: JET doesn’t care if you turn them down right after getting shortlisted. They have a bunch of replacements that they know will be eager to hear they’ve been bumped up. But JET definitely cares if you turn them down because you found out you didn’t like your placement on some tiny island off the coast of Okinawa. Now they have to coordinate with that BOE and tell them someone else is coming instead, and coordinate with the new person’s local consulate, etc. All that extra work and they’ll definitely punish you for it.
Long story short: If you get cold feet about joining the JET Program, be sure to do it before you get your placement. Otherwise, you won’t get the chance with JET again.