Students using stand-ins for online employment exams


College juniors have begun hunting for jobs after graduation, while various government ministry officials are visiting the Chamber of Commerce and Industry requesting action to ensure more employment opportunities. Some students, though, are coming up with different means to gain an advantage in securing a job.

Messages posted on a Sophia University student’s blog, subsequently shut down, caused the uproar. In recent years, more companies are conducting employment examinations on the Internet, known as the "web test," and a number of postings by students were found bragging how they used stand-ins to take over parts of the exam that they know they will score poorly.

“As if I remember anything about math… for the Avex exam, I had friends help me out.” “Toyota Tsusho asked about web competency, so I’ll manage to get myself an interview.” Students seem to have no qualms about paying a couple thousand yen to friends to answer exam questions on their behalf. So long as the ID and password are available, there is no way to confirm the identity of the applicant.

A number of prominent companies, including Sony, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Nippon TV, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Kirin, and Kao have adopted this system to cut expenditures incurred to hold examinations across the country (one examination can cost 15 million yen). These companies find the stand-in issue vexing, but are confident that such students would never pass subsequent tests and interviews.

Not so, according to an interview with a new employee of a manufacturer who successfully got his job through this method. The young man said he knew of others like him in the company.

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For the folk here who want to get into a generalizations (noborito, Pukey2, etc.), doesn't it make just as much sense to say, "ah! kids these days" as opposed to sticking a nationality or local vs. foreigner herring into the discussion? I think you'd find generational generalizations a richer vein. I'd still be ready to disagree, but at least it would be a fresher discussion.

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Cheaters? Delegators? Outsourcers?

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It's like a teacher telling students to do a closed book test at home. Of course some, or even many are going to cheat. Let's see, no one is looking and basically I can't get caught. If companies are serious about screening their potential employees, they should come up with something better than this.

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Personally, these few who did "cheat" are smart. They're taking advantage of the system.

So, according to you, if they're Japanese, then they're just being resourceful. What if they're foreigners?

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Easy way to solve this, the companies select at random 10 questions which the student got correct on the web-test, and ask them again at the next round of the hiring process. If you get any of the 10 questions wrong, you are kicked out and the company lists you on their web-site as a web-test cheater. Nothing like a good list of rule breakers to get everybody to play by the rules...

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@ironchef. great idea - hit first before you get hit. are you still in kindergarten?

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what i am tired of is euphemisms used in japan. a stand-in indeed. CALL THEM CHEATERS!!!!!!!

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"This is nothing compared to the loss of productivity by the people they hire who can't do the job correctly because they cheated on the test."

Bingo. I totally agree. People just chuckle and nudge each other, it seems... the ends justify the means until you realize that the guy scheduled to do your heart surgery is the child of some rich guy, he barely got through high school, cheated through college, and daddy bought his way through med school. Ooops. Or how about Japanese companies filled to bursting with people who paid their friend a few thousand yen to take a math test.

Wise up people. If you condone cheating, how can you complain when someone cheats you? Cheating is always bad. If you can't stick to the rules, you should not play.

Sure, the companies are goofy to think that people will not cheat, but why are honorable people at such a disadvantage these days? Companies cannot even assume that people will present themselves honestly?

I hire people who don't lie and don't steal. You would be surprised how far that will get you in life these days.

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one examination can cost 15 million yen

This is nothing compared to the loss of productivity by the people they hire who can't do the job correctly because they cheated on the test.

What seems like a good deal now may end up costing these companies dearly. Did no one think of this situation when they began the tests? Duh!

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Why don't they use prometric? I recently did a prometric test at Temple Uni and they are very strict about checking photo ID and moderating the exams.

If they just do a blind test on the web what do they expect?

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These scammers would be perfect to work for Ozawa.

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I am more surprised than anything that the companies themselves are surprised, and that they think they can filter these people out in subsequent interviews. Don`t seem to have the brains running the joint in the first place - maybe they need some of these creative people?

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bokudayo (The Man),

Shhhhhh...don't ruin the fun for everyone, you teacher's pet.

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Noborito, speak for yourself. You sound like a politician, by the way. Personally, these few who did "cheat" are smart. They're taking advantage of the system.

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If the company is too cheap and are conducting these online screening tests

I don't think 'cheap' has much to do with it. It isn't as if the final decision is made on the strength of the web test; it's just a mostly arbitrary means of cutting down the number of applicants to a more manageable level. The job market at the moment is so dire each half-decent position attracts literally thousands of applications. The companies simply can't deal with all the applicants. These days they even have tests for attendance at the 'setsumeikai'.

We Japanese don't cheat. We Japanese don't do anything wrong.


Try watching the daily news. 'Ore ore' scams, food mislabelling scams, bid rigging scandals, etc etc etc.

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We Japanese don't cheat. We Japanese don't do anything wrong. We Japanese..... I.E. This article reads, We Japanese cheat. We Japanese do things wrong. We Japanese....

Interesting culture.

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So they will be perfect for the Japanese business world

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otherwise known as cheating

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I think showing creativity in finding a job is very important and if getting a surrogate test-taker gets you the job, you're being creative. If you can't do the job once you're hired, however, out you go.

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If the company is too cheap and are conducting these online screening tests, then it serves them right if these students scam them. I'm always pro-employee and anti-company. These companies will get rid of you at any time so I say get them first.

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