How to Find a Part-time Job in Japan for Foreign Students: A Comprehensive Guide

With language learning tips and interview preparaion guide

Part time job in japan

Studying in Japan is an exciting and enriching experience for many international students. One way to enhance this experience is by working part-time to support oneself financially and gain valuable skills. However, finding a part-time job in Japan can be challenging, especially for those who are not proficient in the language. In this guide, we’ll explore the process of finding part-time jobs for foreign students, provide helpful resources, and offer suggestions on how to succeed in the Japanese job market.

  1. Understand the Visa Requirements

Before starting your job search, make sure you have the appropriate visa that allows you to work part-time. If you’re a student, you’ll likely have a “Student Visa.” However, to work part-time, you must apply for a “Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than That Permitted Under the Status of Residence Previously Granted.” You can apply for this permit at your local immigration office.

  1. Learn Basic Japanese

While not all part-time jobs require proficiency in Japanese, having a basic understanding of the language will significantly increase your chances of finding employment. Invest time in learning conversational Japanese and familiarize yourself with industry-specific terms.

Enhancing your Japanese language skills will improve your chances of finding a part-time job in Japan. While there are jobs that do not require fluency in Japanese, many employers prefer candidates with at least a basic understanding of the language. Here are some steps you can take to learn Japanese:

a. Enroll in a language course: Many universities and language schools offer Japanese courses for beginners. Enrolling in a course is an excellent way to learn the language in a structured environment with the guidance of an experienced teacher.

b. Utilize language learning apps: Applications such as Duolingo, Anki, and Memrise offer interactive lessons and flashcards to help you learn Japanese vocabulary, grammar, and phrases. These apps are convenient for learning on-the-go and can supplement your formal language studies.

c. Join language exchange groups: Participating in language exchange groups can be a fun and effective way to practice your Japanese speaking skills. These groups often host meetups or online sessions where members can converse in both their native languages and the language they are learning.

d. Practice with native speakers: If you have Japanese friends or classmates, take advantage of the opportunity to practice speaking with them. Engaging in conversations with native speakers will help improve your listening comprehension and speaking fluency.

e. Familiarize yourself with industry-specific terms: Depending on the type of part-time job you’re seeking, it’s essential to learn relevant vocabulary and phrases. For example, if you’re looking for a job in the service industry, learn terms related to customer service, food items, and payment transactions.

f. Watch Japanese media: Immersing yourself in Japanese movies, TV shows, or podcasts can be a helpful way to improve your listening skills and pick up on colloquial language. To enhance your learning experience, try watching with Japanese subtitles or listening to content specifically designed for language learners.

By dedicating time to learning basic Japanese, you’ll not only increase your chances of finding a part-time job but also make your experience living and working in Japan more enjoyable and fulfilling.

  1. Search for Part-time Jobs

There are several ways to find part-time jobs in Japan. Here are some resources you can use:

a. Online Job Portals: Websites like GaijinPot, JobsinJapan, and Daijob are great places to start your search. They offer job listings in English and cater to foreign job-seekers.

b. University Career Centers: Many universities have career centers that help students find part-time work. Check with your school to see if they have such a service.

c. Networking: Connect with other foreign students or expats who are working in Japan. They can provide valuable advice on job-hunting and may even know of job openings.

d. Local Businesses: Visit local businesses, such as restaurants, cafes, and convenience stores, and inquire about job opportunities. Some businesses may prefer hiring foreigners, particularly those that cater to international customers.

  1. Prepare Your Resume and Interview Skills

Before applying for jobs, make sure your resume is updated and tailored to the Japanese market. There are specific formatting guidelines you should follow when creating a Japanese resume, such as using a standard resume template and including a professional photograph.

Additionally, brush up on your interview skills. Be prepared to answer questions about your experiences, skills, and availability. Practice speaking in Japanese if you’re interviewing for a position that requires language proficiency.

How to prepare for job interview

Preparing for a part-time job interview in Japan is crucial to making a good impression and increasing your chances of being hired. Here are some steps to help you prepare effectively, along with examples:

  1. Research the Company:

Gain an understanding of the company’s values, mission, and work culture. This knowledge will help you tailor your answers to align with the company’s expectations and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job.

Example: If you’re applying for a part-time job at a popular Japanese cafe chain, learn about their customer service philosophy, menu items, and any unique aspects that set them apart from competitors.

  1. Review Common Interview Questions:

Prepare answers for common interview questions, such as “Why do you want to work here?” and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”. This will help you feel more confident during the interview.

Example: If asked why you want to work at the Japanese cafe, you could mention your interest in Japanese culture, your desire to improve your Japanese language skills, and your passion for providing excellent customer service.

  1. Prepare for Language Requirements:

If the job requires Japanese language proficiency, practice speaking in Japanese and answering interview questions in the language. This will help you feel more comfortable using the language during the interview.

Example: Prepare a self-introduction (自己紹介, jikoshoukai) in Japanese and practice responding to common interview questions like “どのような経験がありますか?” (What kind of experience do you have?).

  1. Dress Appropriately:

In Japan, appearance is essential during interviews. Dress conservatively and professionally. For most part-time jobs, business casual attire is appropriate.

Example: Wear a clean, ironed dress shirt with dress pants or a skirt, and closed-toe shoes. Avoid flashy accessories or overly casual clothing.

  1. Bring Necessary Documents:

Prepare copies of your resume, passport, visa, and any other relevant documents, such as your work permit or letters of recommendation.

Example: Have a Japanese version of your resume, along with a copy of your passport(if necessary) and resident card.

  1. Practice Good Manners:

Japanese culture places a strong emphasis on respect and etiquette. Practice polite greetings, maintaining eye contact, and bowing correctly. Additionally, be punctual and arrive at least 10-15 minutes early for your interview.

Example: When greeting your interviewer, offer a polite bow and say “はじめまして、(Your name)と申します。どうぞよろしくお願いいたします。” (Nice to meet you, my name is [Your name]. Pleased to make your acquaintance.)

  1. Prepare Questions for the Interviewer:

Towards the end of the interview, you’ll likely have the opportunity to ask questions. Prepare a few thoughtful questions that show your interest in the job and the company.

Example: You might ask about the company’s training program, opportunities for language practice, or what they value most in their part-time employees.

By following these steps and practicing beforehand, you’ll be well-prepared for your part-time job interview in Japan. Good luck!

  1. Be Persistent

Finding a part-time job in Japan may not happen overnight, but don’t get discouraged. Be persistent in your search, and don’t be afraid to apply to multiple positions. Remember, the more applications you send out, the higher your chances are of securing a part-time job.


Finding a part-time job in Japan as a foreign student may seem challenging, but it is not impossible. By understanding visa requirements, learning basic Japanese, utilizing various job search resources, and preparing your resume and interview skills, you’ll be well on your way to securing a part-time position. Not only will you gain valuable work experience, but you’ll also enjoy the opportunity to immerse yourself in Japanese culture and create lasting memories.