After what felt like forever, interview information was finally sent out around the end of January.
For those reading that might be unaware, the long paper/online application that is completed in the fall is screened at the Japanese Embassy in your home country. From there, they send out information to the nearest embassy or consulate to you and they inform you if you have been selected for an interview or not. Typically you only get about 2-4 weeks notice of the interview date and time, of which you have zero control over. Additionally, any costs of going to the interview and returning home are not covered by the programme.
The first year I applied I believe I was given about 15 days notice of my interview. This year I only had about 10 days to prepare. Luckily, while I don't live in my interviewing city, I have a good friend whose home I am always welcome at so I at least had a place to stay and it wasn't too costly for me. Still, there is a lot to do in preparation for your interview.
May 7, 2015
Applications for The JET Programme typically open in Autumn - usually in early or mid-October for Canadians and US hopefuls. The initial process is time-consuming and fairly daunting for anyone, and even more so if you have an already busy schedule. I had gone through the process once in 2013 and was both excited and dreading having to do it again. On one hand, I really wanted to be accepted and that meant giving it another go, but on the other I was terrified of being rejected again - or worse, not even making the interviews this time...
Nerves and fears aside, I dove into the application almost immediately once it opened up.