A review of the application process and employment conditions for working at Interac, with offices also run under the name Maxceed or Selnate.
The application process can start at any time year-round. Most Interac contracts either start in April or August, and in both cases go until the following March 24th (or there about).
The application process starts with you applying online for the job, between 2-4 months prior to the start date. Successful applicants are contacted by phone and invited to interview seminars if successful.
During the interview you may be asked to do a very quick demonstration lesson that will be videoed.
You will be contacted again about 4-8 weeks before the required departure date. This will be to tell you that you have a job and the visa acquisition process will begin.
To get the visa needed teach English in Japan, the government requires that you have earned a Bachelor degree. (Not an English BA degree, just a degree from an English speaking country.) You must also have 12 years of formal education in English.
Qualities that Boost Your Attractiveness as an Applicant
- Speaking Japanese (not JLPT L1, but just conversational is good enough)
- Having TEFL / EFL certification
- Having a driver's license in your home country and being willing to drive in Japan for work.
- Having experience teaching or working with children / young adults
Interac will sponsor your visa, and do the majority of the paperwork for you on the Japan side. You will be required to process the Certificate of Eligibility (COE) with your local Embassy or Consulate of Japan in your home country. The goal is to get on to an Instructors visa. In some cases where they haven't allowed enough time, they will ask you to get a work-travel visa (in countries that allow it, such as Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, etc).
Note: Coming to Japan to work full time on a work travel visa is technically illegal. Interac will not sponsor you in Japan, and will direct you to apply through your home country.
Salary or wages
Salary is paid monthly at the end of the following month. ie. Salary for January is paid at the end of February. Base salary for full-time ALT's is ￥230,000 per month. Thus if you come in April, you won't receive your first pay till May 31st/June 1st.
However, four months' salary is prorated.
- For April, if your contract starts for example on April 10th, you will get approximately 68% of normal salary;
- August is 50% of normal salary (because of summer vacation);
- December is 75% of normal salary (because of winter vacation);
- March is prorated based on contract end date (usually the 24th, so March salary is prorated to 77% of normal salary).
There is a five day training course in Japan, before you start work. Note that this training period in unpaid and that you will not be officially employed until you pass the training course.
You will be working in public schools.
You are expected to be at work from 8am to 5pm, but you will only be scheduled up to 29.5 hours teaching time per week, as per the Interac contract. You will be assigned up to 6 classes per day, subject to the 29.5 hours rule.
The reason for this 29.5 hour rule is so your contract can avoid full-time classification. If you have a full time contract, there are greater financial obligations on the company's side (one example is they would have to pay half of your national health insurance).
The Interac contract defines working time as the time scheduled in class. Any time that you aren't teaching in class is, by that definition, your own time and any school related work you do in that time is voluntary.
You will be working with kids aged from 6 to 12 years old in the Primary Schools, 12 to 15 years old in the Junior High Schools or 15 to 18 years old in the High Schools.
- Summer Vacation - During July/August, and can be up to a month long.
- Winter Vacation - During December/January and can be up to 2 weeks to a month long.
- Spring Vacation - If you decide to renew your contract in March and stay another year, then spring vacation can also be up to a month long.
- Public Holidays - There is generally also about one public holiday every month scattered throughout the year.
The good reasons to work for Interac Ltd:
- Interac pays you when they say they will.
- You know what your pay will be. (ie even though not every month is the same, it is not based on how many lessons you teach as in some conversation schools.)
- You don't have to work nights or weekends.
- Many ALT's in rural area's get a private car - which you will really need! (But you will have to pay half of the lease.)
- Interac has a lot of experience in ALT placement, so they will help you out.
- Interac basically doesn't care if you have side-jobs or other lessons, as long as it doesn't interfere with your work as an ALT.
- Coming to Japan with Interac is an easy way to come to Japan. They provide more assistance than many other suppliers of ALTs.
The not so good things about working for Interac Ltd:
- Even though you are paid a salary, a third of the time it isn't the full salary.
- If you live in a rural area, you will have to pay half the lease on a car you don't have much choice in getting.
- Interac is an extremely large company so you are only one of many. You are the product they sell and they work at maximizing profits.
Interac places ALTs at schools throughout Japan so be aware that you can be placed anywhere. If it is your first time coming to Japan, then you can likely expect rural areas.