Photo/IllutrationMilight Taxi Co. is starting a new interview process for driver applicants that will take place in a taxi. The company’s aim is to create a comfortable environment to interview candidates. (Provided by Milight Taxi Co.)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

MORIGUCHI, Osaka Prefecture--Since many prospective young drivers tend not to show up for their job interviews, a taxi company here thought, "why not come to them?"

So, starting this month, they’ll pick up applicants at their home and conduct their interviews in the back seat of a taxi.

Targeting applicants from Osaka Prefecture and parts of Hyogo and Nara prefectures, Milight Taxi Co. started soliciting applications through its webpage from Aug. 6. Job-seekers will no longer have to go to a nearby taxi office to be interviewed and can just submit an address, date and time to be picked up.

The company is calling the novel approach “Super casual job interview in a taxi.”

“Having interviews in taxis can help applicants easily get an idea of the nature of the job,” said a Milight Taxi public relations official. “We can also conduct the interviews in an easy-to-talk environment.”

On the scheduled interview day, the taxi company will use one of its own cabs to pick applicants with its recruitment staff in the taxi.

During the interview, applicants first receive a briefing on how to use taxi meters and transceivers from active taxi drivers. After that, they are interviewed in the back seat of the same vehicle.

The taxi company recruits about 100 drivers annually, but its workforce has declined over the years with the aging and retirements of senior drivers.

There were about 1,700 drivers in total in 2009, which dropped to about 990 in 2019.

Currently, about 38 percent of the cabbies are 65 or older, creating a major challenge for finding a younger pool of drivers.

One other benefit for the new interview process at Milight Taxi is that applicants can eschew the suit and tie for something more comfortable.

“Applicants don’t need to wear formal interview attire,” said Taigi Sasai, senior managing director of Milight Taxi. “We want people to be interviewed in a casual manner."