Notes for English Interview Preparation


Hello, I’m Pooh.

I’m currently considering relocating to Malaysia and have applied for several job openings.

To prepare for upcoming interviews, I’m leaving notes here for English interview preparation.

I’ll do my best to communicate effectively.

Self introduction(short)

Hello. My name is Pooh. I’m originally from Hyogo Prefecture, and I graduated from Kwansei Gakuin University.

Currently, I reside in Tokyo and work in accounting at a foreign insurance company. Until today, I have experienced various jobs. I have gained experience in sales, customer support, and accounting roles in both Japan and Singapore. Among the various positions I’ve held, I believe accounting suits me best, and I aspire to continue building my career in this field.

Furthermore, since returning to Japan, I still have a desire to work abroad, and now that I have a child born this year, I wish to raise my child in an overseas environment, which is why I am planning to relocate to Malaysia this time. Thank you for your attention today.

Self introduction(detail)

Nice to meet you. My name is Pooh.
Thank you very much for taking the time to meet with me today.
I am originally from Hyogo Prefecture, and I graduated from Kwansei Gakuin University.
After graduating, I started my career in Osaka, working as a salesperson at a comprehensive insurance agency. I was responsible for proposing revisions to individual medical and life insurance policies.

Later, I moved to Singapore and worked in corporate sales at a recruitment agency. My main responsibility was introducing candidates to Japanese companies in Singapore. As a corporate account manager, I handled tasks such as understanding job requirements and presenting suitable candidates to clients.

Following that, I transitioned to a BPO company in Singapore, where I handled insurance service inquiries. I managed accident claims for Japanese tourists and expatriates visiting Singapore, providing support for medical facility visits.

After getting married, I transferred to the Tokyo headquarters and served as a team manager (SV) at a call center in Yokohama. I was responsible for managing a team that handled inquiries for extended warranty services for home appliances, utilizing property insurance. In addition to call center operations, I was involved in building and implementing new services with clients, managing finances, handling invoicing, sales management, expense reimbursement, conducting staff interviews, assigning roles, and team building activities.

From my previous experiences, I realized the importance of acquiring specialized skills for career advancement. Given my background in financial matters, I decided to pursue accounting expertise. I began studying bookkeeping, obtained a Bookkeeping Level 2 certification, and transitioned to a role in accounting at my current company, where I handle various accounting tasks for a real estate leasing company.

While I am satisfied with my current work situation, I have a strong desire to live abroad again. I want to continue building my career in accounting while working overseas. Additionally, with the birth of my child, I am considering raising my child in an international environment. When considering my career and childcare, I believe that living in Malaysia would be the best option, so I am actively pursuing job opportunities in Malaysia.
That’s all from me.

Why move to Malaysia?

I believe Malaysia provides a conducive environment for children’s education. In Malaysia, many people use English in their daily lives, and individuals from diverse backgrounds live together. I personally aspire to work in such an environment to further my own growth. Additionally, I want my children to grow up in an international setting, where they can learn to speak English and build a foundation for future international success.

Malaysia holds a special place in my heart. During my solo travels, I stayed in Malaysia for over a month. I was treated with great kindness by the locals, enjoyed the delicious cuisine, and appreciated the relaxed atmosphere, which was different from Japan but very appealing to me.

Among familiar Asian countries, Malaysia and Singapore are English-speaking nations. While I considered returning to Singapore, I found that obtaining a visa there has become significantly more challenging compared to when I was there. Therefore, considering the opportunities, the favorable aspects for children’s education, and the potential for improving our quality of life, I have chosen to plan my relocation to Malaysia.


my strength①

I consider my strength to be my ability to diligently tackle tasks.
In terms of practical experience, in my previous role, I was responsible for reviewing a large number of insurance applications. In my current position, I handle expense reimbursements, invoice processing, and payroll procedures.

These tasks require meticulous attention to detail, such as checking for errors in amounts and verifying the accuracy of application details. However, I am able to approach these tasks diligently and with focus.

While many people may find paperwork challenging, I personally do not find it burdensome, and I am able to concentrate and work efficiently during these tasks. In performance evaluations with my supervisors, I have been informed that my processing speed is faster than others, indicating my capability to handle detailed tasks such as handling data and numbers. Therefore, I believe my strength lies in my ability to tackle meticulous tasks effectively.

my strength②

My strength lies in my proactive nature. Whenever I believed something was beneficial, I took action promptly. I embarked on solo trips abroad, relocated to Singapore, returned to Japan, engaged in job searches, pursued certification exams, and now, with the decision to relocate once again, I’ve consistently acted upon my desires without hesitation.

Though I’ve encountered various setbacks, overall, I believe I’ve enhanced my life significantly through these experiences. In my professional life, I approach challenging tasks by swiftly initiating action from wherever I can make progress, effectively advancing projects.

Even in new roles, I’m confident in my ability to tackle tasks one by one, learning and growing through failures along the way.

Please tell me about your achievements so far①

In my current position, I was recognized for my contribution to streamlining the accounting closing process. Quarterly closing tasks often required extensive work, and in previous years, overtime and working on holidays were common practices to meet deadlines. When I first joined the company, overtime was routine due to the heavy workload.

However, after gaining experience with the annual accounting cycle for a year, I organized tasks that could be addressed in advance or prepared ahead of time. I meticulously identified all tasks I needed to undertake during the closing process and created a detailed to-do list. Starting a month in advance, I began working on tasks related to the closing process, completing them ahead of schedule.

As a result, the quarterly closing for the current fiscal year progressed smoothly without the need for overtime or holiday work, significantly reducing overall working hours. My efforts in expediting the closing process were recognized, and I was honored with the President’s Award at the end of last year.
I believe in organizing tasks efficiently and contributing towards the overall goals of the team.


Please tell me about your achievements so far②

I led the implementation of an accounting system. To replace an outdated expense reimbursement system, I was involved in selecting a new accounting system, conducting meetings with software company representatives, configuring the system to fit our company’s needs, explaining the system to management, holding internal briefings, and providing post-implementation support.

Throughout the process, I communicated with various stakeholders to refine the system settings to better suit our operational needs. The introduction of the new system improved the expense reimbursement process and established a document storage system compliant with Japanese accounting regulations.

Even after my departure, I’ve heard that the system is still in use and continues to facilitate efficient workflow processes.


What are your weaknesses?

I believe one of my weaknesses is that I tend to dive into tasks without fully understanding their purpose. I used to approach tasks without considering why they were necessary. While this allowed me to complete tasks quickly, it often resulted in a lack of understanding of the overall accounting processes or the broader context of the company’s operations.

Recently, with the arrival of new employees and finding myself in a teaching position, I’ve started to think more about the reasons behind the tasks I perform. This shift in perspective has improved my understanding of the entire accounting process and how operations are conducted on the ground.

By considering the underlying principles, I’ve found that dots start to connect, and I gain a clearer view of the company as a whole. In any new environment, I aim to continue learning by teaching others and deepening my understanding of the tasks at hand.

While I acknowledge this as a weakness, I also recognize the value of “trying things out” as an important approach. When I strongly believe in something or have made a firm decision, I am proactive in taking action. Sometimes, even small steps can lead to unexpected progress, so I prioritize taking action rather than dwelling on overthinking or giving up.

Please tell me about the most challenging experience you’ve had so far.

The most challenging time for me was when I worked in sales. In that role, I was responsible for cold calling prospects to generate new business, making over 100 calls every day. I relentlessly made calls until I found potential customers, and if they showed interest, I would schedule appointments and try to secure contracts during face-to-face meetings.

Despite making calls diligently every day, I struggled to close deals. I tried increasing the number of calls to 150, 200, and sought advice from senior colleagues to adjust my approach. However, the situation didn’t improve, and I faced hardships daily.

From this experience, I learned that there are jobs that suit individuals and those that don’t. Personally, I found that administrative work, handling documents, numbers, and data management are more suitable for me than sales. Among these, my current role in accounting aligns well with my skills and interests. I believe that with more experience, I can further enhance my expertise in this field. Therefore, I aim to continue building my career in the fields of accounting and finance.


My career path

I aim to progress step by step along the accounting career path. Firstly, I want to become capable of handling the year-end closing process independently. Although I currently work on most of the journal entries and prepare the P/L and B/S with support from my supervisor, I aspire to develop the skills necessary for full-cycle accounting (comprehensive accounting tasks) as quickly as possible, so I can complete them independently.

Next, I aspire to acquire skills in financial analysis, reporting, budgeting, and variance analysis. Currently, these tasks are handled by my supervisor, who is highly knowledgeable about accounting tasks and Japanese tax regulations, earning trust from many employees. I also aim to be able to report on the company’s current status to the management team.

Ultimately, I envision leading the accounting team. Through my experience and skills, I want to focus on team building, ensuring smooth accounting operations within the company. As an accounting manager, I aspire to contribute to business decisions and offer solutions to company issues from the accounting perspective. I aim to gradually progress in my accounting career, ultimately being involved in the company’s management and leading the company forward.


Why accounting?

I believe that accounting is a crucial position that interacts with all departments within a company. Contrary to my initial expectations before starting in accounting, I’ve found it to be a role that requires significant communication skills. It’s rewarding when I can effectively support accounting processes and transactions.

I chose accounting because it aligns with my skills and allows me to enhance my expertise. In contrast to my previous experiences in sales and call center roles, where I struggled with aspects like sales techniques and handling customer complaints, I found administrative tasks such as document and data creation more suitable for my abilities. These experiences made me realize that I’m better suited to back-office and management roles.

In particular, having dealt with tasks involving money, such as insurance claims, in the past, I became interested in accounting as it offers a career path where I can specialize further. In accounting, I see the opportunity to steadily build my career with experience, as well as the chance to broaden my knowledge and skills. I’m attracted to the wide range of tasks and the possibility of pursuing continuous learning in this field.

By leveraging my attention to detail, accuracy, and concentration, as well as the qualifications I’ve acquired, I believe I can excel in accounting and build a successful career based on my expertise. Therefore, I’ve chosen accounting as my professional focus and aim to advance my career in this field.


How do you cope when things don’t go well at work?

When things don’t go well at work, I seek advice from colleagues or mentors who may have faced similar situations. I believe in learning from others’ experiences and applying their strategies to my own challenges. Additionally, I find solace in physical activities like running, which helps clear my mind and generate positive thoughts.


What moments at work do you find fulfilling?

I find fulfillment in the role of accounting, particularly in preparing financial statements that are viewed by various stakeholders both internally and externally. Seeing how our work informs decision-making processes within the company, as well as influences external perceptions, is immensely rewarding. Furthermore, I look forward to expanding my role into financial analysis, as it presents opportunities to contribute more directly to strategic decision-making.


What is your personality like?

I consider myself to have an amicable and non-confrontational personality. I have always been someone who avoids conflict and prefers cooperation. I believe that teamwork yields greater results than individual efforts alone, and I strive to foster a collaborative environment in my work. Given the frequent need for communication in accounting roles, I prioritize maintaining positive and considerate relationships with colleagues and stakeholders alike.