Interview with a Candidate vol. 03: What were you focused on during your job search?

The below interviewee could change jobs successfully. The following 4 points were the most important for the candidate: industry, job type, fully remote work, and salary increase. The job search function is great and helped me find a suitable job.

A candidate, who successfully found a job via CareerCross, told us about his job search!


Successful Candidate’s profile:

Previous job: Quality Assurance Manager, Japanese Auto Parts Manufacturer

Current position: Foreign-affiliated automobile parts manufacturer, technical sales representative

Application: 4 companies

Scout: 2 companies

Job change activity period: 10 months

Unofficial decision: 1 company

CareerCross: Please tell us what you were in charge of in your previous job.

Successful candidate: I was working as a quality assurance manager, but due to organizational changes within the company, I was also working as a product strategy analyst. At first glance, quality assurance and product strategy seem to be completely unrelated. However, since my entire career has been in the automobile field, I have a wide range of knowledge that not many others have, and I think that is why I was chosen for the position.

It was an unusual arrangement as I was doing two jobs. The quality assurance department was responsible for quality assurance of product lines such as power steering motors for automobiles, while the product strategy department was responsible for product strategy of drive motors for EVs.

CareerCross: As far as I can tell, you were very busy.

Successful candidate: The product strategy department had just been started, so it was very busy. It became a lot busier around the time when there was a movement to limit gasoline cars in Europe.

CareerCross: Please tell us about your current job.

Successful candidate:  It is foreign-affiliated company that has just started up so It is a company with a short history in Japan. It is an automobile parts manufacturer and I’m in charge of technical sales.

CareerCross: What are your tasks in your current job?

Successful candidate: My job title is Sales Application Engineer, but there are only a few members working in Japan, so everyone does whatever they can (laughs).

Since my previous job was a quality assurance job, I am asked to see the product from that perspective with my background, and I am also expected to talk with various people to help expand sales using the connections that I have made so far.

It takes time to communicate without a technical background. So I was hired as I am able to communicate smoothly thanks to my experience.

CareerCross: Since your headquarters are overseas, do you use English internally?

Successful candidate: There are bases in the Asia-Pacific region, and the general manager serves as the president of Japan. The interaction with that person is in English.

CareerCross: Your previous job was with a domestic company. Did you have the opportunity to use English?

Successful candidate: During quality assurance work, I was also contacted for quality problems such as complaints about products, and all the customers in charge were overseas customers, so it was in English. As my subordinates were non-Japanese, even when I went to work, I didn’t use much Japanese for a very long time.

CareerCross: Did you feel your workplace was multinational?

Successful candidate: Most of the members were from companies that had expanded to Southeast Asia. Communication was mainly in English.

CareerCross: Not only the language, but was the culture among people from Southeast Asia very different?

Successful candidate: Since it was a multinational company, there was training about cross-cultural communication, and I learned about business customs and characteristics for each country. It was useful to know about what’s good and what’s not good depending on the country in advance.

CareerCross: Where did you learn English?

Successful candidate: Originally I worked for an automobile company, and I was stationed in the United States twice during that time for a total of 6 years.

For the first two years, I went to conduct a study collaborating with an American university. The next four years were when business partnerships between automobile companies were flourishing, and in order to generate synergies, I was working in the technical center. During that time, I was trained to develop my English skill because I did not use Japanese in my day to day work. 

CareerCross: Do you feel like your English improved after you went to the U.S.?

Successful candidate: At the beginning of my time in the U.S., I felt like it was a risk because I didn’t understand English (laughs).

CareerCross: Why did you choose to be stationed overseas?

Successful candidate: There were candidates in each department, and I was lucky enough to be selected among them.

There was a free English conversation course after working hours in the company. I steadily attended and at that time I was able to get about 700 points on the TOEIC test.

But with that score, at the beginning of my trip to the United States, I had no idea what the local students were talking about when they started talking fast. (Laughs)

CareerCross: Did you feel that 700 points wasn’t enough?

Successful candidate: Not enough at all. The university started in September and there was a pre-English course for people from non-English speaking countries so I studied there. I did it for 3 months from June but three months wasn’t enough (laughs)

CareerCross: Did you want to use English for your new job?

Successful candidate: Yes, I wanted to use English more, but that is not the reason I chose this job. I didn’t feel that my previous job was boring, but I wanted to look for a job that suited my situation at home a bit more. 

Some time ago, my mother became ill so I moved back in with my parents. My commute became longer so I had less time in my day. 

The deciding factor in choosing my current job was that I could work fully remotely, which is more convenient for helping my family and also the pandemic situation.
Also, the salary was a little higher which was nice.

CareerCross: Do you think that the Corona situation prompted you to change jobs?

Successful candidate: Yes. It opened up the opportunity to look for a job that was more similar to my previous role and that suited my lifestyle more.

CareerCross: It says that the period of job change activity is about 10 months, and you were looking for a job that suits your wishes by making use of your experience.

Successful candidate: Remote work has made it easier for me in terms of time and mental health. I can also use my spare time to spend time with my parents.

CareerCross: While you were changing jobs, there were 2 scouts and 4 applications, but how did you decide your job, was it by the scout or the application?

Successful candidate: By a direct scout.

CareerCross: Did you use other career change services at the same time other than our company?

Successful candidate: Yes. I also used social media to change jobs. I’ve got a few introductions, but I couldn’t find the job I was thinking of because the workplace was far from my place.

Also, there is a career consultant who has a long relationship with me personally, and although I have not been introduced by him this time, I got a lot of advice on how to get a job offer.

CareerCross: Did you have any impressions about our service?

Successful candidate: This is my own impression, but despite being a free site, there are many jobs that fit my career. I also used another paid site, but I didn’t find many good opportunities.

At CareerCross, there were many projects that my experience in the manufacturing industry and job description match.

For example, when I narrowed down my search by occupation and industry in CareerCross, there are about 300 positions related to automobiles.

Even in manufacturing, there are about 500 positions, and I feel that there are many cases that fit with my experience.

For example, before I was a quality assurance manager, I was working as a project manager at the same company. There were quite a few sites that didn’t have such an option when trying to find a project manager in the automotive industry. 

There are many IT-related project managers, so I think it was good to be able to narrow down the search by the industry.

Even if there are many options, it is meaningless if it does not match with your request, and I think it was very good that the search function was so effective.

CareerCross: Thank you very much.

Thoughts after the interview

It is a good point for this candidate’s job change that he could finally find his job that matches with his hopes such as ・Use of English ・Fully-remote work ・Car industry, by using CareerCross’s search engine. There are many jobs for both bilinguals and non-bilinguals on CareerCross but it is possible to narrow down search and find a job that meets the hopes. I think it is great for him to make it possible and enjoy his new work with the best lifestyle for him.