Takashi Okubo, a student at Ibaraki Prefecture’s University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences, gives a presentation to a corporate recruiter Monday in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward.

In a reverse of conventional recruitment practices by Japanese businesses, a group of college students hosted an event Monday in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward aiming to provide students with the chance to demonstrate personality and talk about their expectations of potential employers.

During the event, called the “Gyaku-kyujin” festival (reverse job-interview festival), 37 college and graduate students gave presentations to about 30 corporate officials and asked them what it is like working at their companies.

Of the students, about 25 were college juniors, who expect to start job hunting next spring. The rest are seniors who are not satisfied with jobs so far offered to them.

“It is often difficult for students to tell what kind of jobs they really want and why, due to a lack of work experience,” said Yoshinori Orisaka, 23, a senior student at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, who organized the event, at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center.

“But these things are usually asked in job interviews, forcing students to lie about themselves,” he said.

Daisuke Sato, 22, a senior at Nihon University who has yet to find a job, said he wishes employers would realize that providing students with an opportunity to talk honestly is the first step toward employee-employer satisfaction.

After talking frankly with some of the students, Hirohisa Fukuda, manager of the personnel division at financing firm Shinki Co., said he came to realize that his company needs more flexibility in interviewing students.

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