On a random note, why do recruiters always feel the need to add "well, it's a tight economy..." Seriously, I haven't been under a rock for the past five months, I can figure out the economic situation myself, I don't need the additional discouragement. Particularly not since despite all the dire warnings, I'm still seeing a lot of stuff out there.
On a somewhat related note, since it came up in the interview I decided to look into the Japanese Language Proficiency Test" to start thinking about what would be involved in taking it. I clicked the sample questions for the first degree, thinking it would be the first test one takes. Holy cow! I could answer maybe one question in five on the vocab part! *sobbles* And it gets harder from here? Day-em!
... Then it occurred to me that maybe it goes the other way, with four being the first one. And indeed, that is the case. My first clue was when all the directions for it were in hiragana, and some of the wrong answers included characters written backwards. Check. That one I can do with my eyes closed. The second degree is about my level, though it would be worth my while to spend some time solidifying kanji that I know what it means but don't bother looking up how to read it. The first degree is beyond my reach at the moment, but can be handled if I spend more time reading, particularly reading newspaper articles and actually looking up the words I don't know.
So that's kind of a nice ego boost. Now to find out what's involved in sitting the test. I might as well take the beginner ones, just to say I have them, and get the experience of working up to the harder ones.