GoSnow logo
6 12 19 1771

Careers FAQ

Frequently asked questions about working with GoSnow in Niseko.


When can I apply?

We open recruitment each season in June.  Once recruitment is open, you can submit an application via the relevant position tab on our careers page

How does the recruitment process work?

If you are successful in making it through to the interview stage;

  • Support staff and instructor positions will have one interview with a GoSnow Manager either online or in a New Zealand or Australian Resort
  • You will be contacted to arrange a time and date to interview for your position - you will be advised if this interview will be conducted online or in resort
  • Interviews will be conducted Monday to Friday during business hours (Japan time)
  • If you are successful, you will receive an offer of employment within a few days of your interview
  • All offers will need to be accepted within 14 days or the position will be reopened to other applicants

If I am successful in my application - what happens next?

If you are offered a position we will require an answer within 2 weeks of the offer being made

You will then be required to provide some more information regarding visa requirements, proof of qualifications & experience, accommodation needs etc. You will also receive regular emails updating you on pre-season training, visas, accommodation, police vetting etc.

Can I email you my CV directly?

No, please do not email your application directly. We get hundreds of applications in a very short amount of time and find our online system is the only way we can successfully manage them.

I have made an application but I haven't heard back!

We receive a high number of applications each year - only those who are successful in reaching the interview stage will be contacted

Employment Requirements & Visas

What qualifications and experience do I require to be considered for an instructing position?

A minimum level 1 certification from a recognised international certifying body plus a minimum of 1 season teaching experience with a recognised ski school.

I am not yet certified as an instructor - can you help me with that?

We provide in house training for our certified team members to help them achieve their next level of certification.  We do not take onboard any uncertified instructors or provide training for non GoSnow staff.

If you are looking to get your certification, we recommend you get in touch with either NZSIA/SBINZ (New Zealand) or APSI (Australia) to investigate options that would work best for you

When do I need to be available for work?

For most of our support staff roles our full season contract is from mid-November through until mid-April. We do offer short term contracts so if you are not available for the entire season, you should still apply - just let us know your availability in your application.

For all new Snowsports instructors you must be available to start work in the first week of December. We can offer both short term contracts (until the end of February) and full season contracts (until Mid April) You are required to be available for the full duration of your contract.

Can I take holidays during the season?

We offer consistent work throughout the season and as part of your seasonal contract, we are unable to allow extended periods of leave during our busy winter season.

Please discuss any planned leave dates at the time of interview - all leave days will need to be approved by your manager and will be subject to business demands.

Do you have information on the Japanese Working Holiday Visa?

You can find information on the Japanese Working Holiday Visa at  http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/w_holiday/ 

Rules can change from year to year and country to country without the changes being updated on the above website so we recommend that you enquire with your local Japanese embassy or consulate;

  • Be sure to ask when is the appropriate time to apply for the working holiday visa based on your expected entry dates to Japan
  • Many embassies have waitlists to make an appointment for a visa so ensure that you do not leave it to the last minute!
  • Check if you are required to be in your home country for a set period of time (eg 3 months) prior to making your application 

Please note that it is your responsibility to arrange your Working Holiday Visa and we do not offer any assistance with this process

Can you sponsor my work visa?

We can consider sponsoring working visas for those staff who meet the requirements set by both Immigration Japan and also GoSnow's internal policies

For non-instructing positions;

We have opportunity to sponsor candidates for selected Manager & Supervisor positions on a Humanities Visa.  To be eligible for this sponsorship you must have completed a Bachelors Degree and provide a copy of this to be submitted for processing

For instructing positions;

There are two types of sponsored visas available for instructors - the Ski Instructor Visa and the Skilled Labor Visa. The eligibility requirements are set by Japanese Immigration and are non negotiable

To be eligible to be sponsored on the Ski Instructor Visa (ski instructors only) you must provide a copy of your ski instructing certification from one of the following associations, AADIDESS, APSI, CSIA, DSLV, BASI, NZSIA

You must also meet the below requirements;

  • You are not able to obtain a Working Holiday Visa
  • You hold a minimum level 2 qualification with one of the approved certifying organisations
  • You have worked a minimum of 3 seasons (full time) as a ski instructor

To be eligible to be sponsored on the Skilled Labor Visa (both ski and snowboard instructors) you must have a minimum of 36 months of snow sports instructing experience from a recognised ski school. It is a requirement that you provide verification of employment letters from these ski schools detailing the dates that you worked with them

Staff Accommodation & Transport

Is there staff accommodation available?

Staff Accommodation Is available for all staff and we have a number of different housing options available in Hirafu Village and Kutchan.

We have a variety of housing options available and cost of accommodation is dependent on the room type you select

  • Lodge style share housing (twin, triple or quad share)
  • Apartments (twin share or single) ** please note that single rooms are available for senior staff only**

A bond deposit of ¥30,000 will be required before you can move into your accommodation.

You can find some additional details and sample photos of accommodation via the Staff Accommodation Page

If my partner works for another company, can they live in staff accommodation with me?

If you wish to live with your partner who does not work for HTM, we may have accommodation available for the two of you but can not make any guarantees until allocations are completed in November.

Where will my accommodation be located?

The two main locations in the wider Niseko area are Kutchan town and Hirafu Village and we have staff accommodation in both of these locations

Kutchan: Is the main "hub" of the Niseko area and has around 15,000 year round residents. There are 3 main supermarkets and a bar and restaurant district offering a variety of food options as well as the famous karaoke parlour which proves to be very popular with the seasonal staff! Living in Kutchan gives you a more authentic Japanese experience than Hirafu.

Hirafu Village: Is the resort area and is much more Westernised that Kutchan. There are a lot of hotels, restaurants and a fun nightlife scene however expect to pay resort prices!

Is there staff transport to and from work?

A staff shuttle is in operation for the duration of the winter season and will transport staff between locations within Kutchan (the main town in the area) and Hirafu Village (the resort) to ensure that you can make your way to work and home again. If you are located in Hirafu Village, it may be required that you walk to work during peak operation times of the staff bus.

General Questions

Do I need to speak Japanese?

You will find English spoken more than Japanese in Hirafu village in the winter, but if you go 10 minutes down the road you are back in the Japanese countryside. It is respectful to know a few words of Japanese when you are communicating and we encourage you to learn the basics!

Will I get a lift pass?

All GoSnow Instructors will receive their own Niseko United All Mountain lift pass.

All GoSnow Support Staff will receive their own Grand Hirafu season lift pass.

What locker room facilities do you have for staff?

We have two locker rooms at the two base areas of Hirafu Mountain, located at the Gondola & Family Base areas. Both locker rooms are ski in ski out and include:

  • Ski/board storage
  • Boot drying room
  • Personal lockers for staff
  • Lunch & rest area
  • Fridges/Microwaves/Toaster ovens
I am travelling with a friend/partner, will they also get a job at GoSnow?

If you are both suited to positions within GoSnow we can certainly try to accommodate this. GoSnow is part of the HTM Group which has several different companies and opportunities for employment. If a position is not available within GoSnow for both of you, then we may have you fit in to a more suitable role within one of the other companies.

View the HTM Careers page for more information.

How expensive is it to live in Niseko?

Relative to many other places in the world, Niseko's cost of living is still low however to avoid any undue stress we recommend that you arrive in resort with enough savings to get you through to your first pay check (25th December)

For information on what to expect with day to day costs, have a look through the Cost of Living Guide

Do you provide in house training?

We have an excellent training program for our staff with sessions taking place 5 evenings a week outside of peak seasons

Sessions focus on certification training, freestyle, adaptive and open topic ski/board and are conducted during night skiing hours from 4.00pm - 6.00pm.  Day sessions will be provided based in operational demands of the business

How much work will there be during the season?

Due to our location in the center of Grand Hirafu Resort, our on site sales desk, priority lift lanes and magic carpet learning areas, we are consistently busy throughout the season.  Instructing staff across all certifications had an average of 400 teaching hours over the course of the 2023/24 winter season.  Most weeks you will have 2 days off however during peak times there are 1 day off or 0 day off periods in place

Support staff roles will work 5 days on 2 days off during peak and average between 35 - 40 hours per week. Dependent on business demands, a 4 days on 3 days off roster may be in place outside of the busiest time of the season for support staff

You will be provided with further information on expected hours if you are successful in obtaining an interview.