I applied online, very soon after submitting the full application I was first given a basic phone interview with a very friendly woman out of the Utah Interac office, next I was given much online information to study. Then, a second phone interview was to quiz me on how much of the online information I had studied and remembered, which I passed fine. I was granted an in-person interview in Los Angeles with one of Interac's truly wonderful recruiters, Mr. Stephen Madsen. I brought my A+ game to the table and did my very best, somehow when I left there I knew that I had gotten the position! About 6 weeks later I received an email with an employment offer! It brought me to tears and I knew my life was about to change in a very big way. This was in early Spring 2013. I came to Japan in August that year and as soon as arriving in Okayama, Interac representatives were there meeting everyone with open arms and big smiles. I remember waiting by the big fountain by Okayama station alone before anybody had arrived, sort of worried. When the Interac people showed up and other future employees came one by one, I knew that I was in good hands and everything was going to be alright.
We had our one week intro training which I found very interesting and fun! Afterward, I was sent off to Maniwa City to begin my journey. Everything wet great in my schools and my Branch Manager Ryan was always just a phone call or email away. I was in contact with the office for anything I needed, and they were always there for me to send help or instructions. Even though I was a big city California boy and world traveler, I felt totally comfortable and taken care of in the middle of nowheresville, rural Japan.
Living in the countryside was very lonely at times but I found a nearby bus that went straight to Osaka so I would go there once every 3-4 weeks and have a very wild weekend! I could write a best selling book about my experiences in Japan (and I've only been here two years), but long story short, there are many English teaching companies in Japan but the one I would recommend most is Interac. There are so many companies that wouldn't think twice about ripping off a new employee but I have always seen Interac treat myself and others with extreme fairness. They all have big hearts and I really could not imagine being treated better by a company, especially as a newcomer to the education field.
Being in Japan has given me a chance to really dig in deep and learn about a TOTALLY different culture. I have descended completely into the world of Japanese competitive arm wrestling and it is a total rush. I may not be in Japan forever but if you're afraid of being alone or getting stranded in a foreign country, just make sure you're working for Interac because they have always got your back. If you do your job well and give what you're expected, you will always have a good time here. They are very fair.
The bad stuff: Japanese girls are only cute on the outside. They are as crazy as women anywhere else in the world so if you're coming here searching for love, pick another country. Japanese people in general have one HUGE social flaw: communication. I'm not saying don't come, just don't be surprised when people here aren't always genuine in what they will say to your face or when potential mates promise you the world and then disappear forever with no apparent cause. I have made some TRULY great Japanese friends in the strength world here and I consider most of them exceptions to this rule.
Food variety is pretty bad, there are two kinds of food in Japan: Japanese food and Japanese food. Say goodbye to steaks, real cheeseburgers, hot dogs (as you know them), pizza, philly cheese steaks... if I go on I will begin to weep.
If you're placed in a non-driving position, well, I hope you love walking! I'm a 315 lb power lifter, we do not enjoy long walks on the beach, we love sitting on a beach chair and eating meat! You will walk a LOT. In Okayama I had a company rental car (that Interac paid for! Some companies make the EMPLOYEE pay for those cars that are required for some positions, TOTALLY unfair. Interac takes the burden for that which is another proof that they are a great company).
Save your money and come try out Japan for a year! If you don't like it, you can return home with a whole new outlook on line and a priceless new set of life experiences. If you do like/love it, stay! If you never come, well, let's just say regret is one of the worst feelings in the world.
The Interac staff is very hard working but one thing I truly appreciate is how understanding and down to Earth they are. Whatever problems I've had, they have always been understanding and helpful, they have a great sense of humor too which really helps someone a little on the wild side like myself!