The Palfish Interview

by Kate Moran
The Palfish interview

So, you’ve started the journey to becoming an official Palfish teacher! Amazing, great choice!

You should have already completed the application, filing in personal details and bank accounts etc, if not look back at my previous post about how to become a Palfish teacher, before you start reading into the Palfish interview.

After completing your application, Palfish will verify your TESOL/TEFL certificate and you will be asked to complete an interview. This is nothing to be nervous about! It’s a great chance for you to get comfortable with your teaching style and facing the camera.

The interview consists of a trial lesson with an ‘absent’ student. (That is the hardest part, teaching a student that isn’t there). It’s just you and the camera in the room.

I had the ‘Hello, Monkey’ trial, but I know Palfish change the interview trial frequently.

The Palfish team will rewatch your interview after its completed, they are looking for the following things; your accent, they need teachers who have a neutral English accent and who are easy to understand. Your tone of voice, the more euthanistic you can be the better and finally, your character.

Are you able to teach back to back classes and still remaining happy and smiley?

The interview should last at least 15 minutes, that’s ten minutes less than the normal teaching class. You do not have to complete the whole trial in this time, you can stop the recording and leave the lesson as soon as you’ve hit the 15-minute timer, at the top of the screen.

First thing: You’ll need a uniform!

Any blue t-shirt will do. The T-shirt can be plain, or with small details and any shade of blue. I purchased mine from Kmart, $3, easy!

The official teachers’ handbook also states no visible piercings or tattoos… yes, I have both. I have to remove my nose ring for every class, but I don’t mind. I am teaching small children from a different culture to my own. Although, I had left it in once (I forgot) and I never received a complaint. Now to the tattoos, I tend to teach wearing a long sleeve top with my blue T-shirt on top. This is mainly because my room gets cold and sit still for a few hours isn’t good for the circulation. However, this does solve the no visible tattoo thing.

Secondly: Buy or make a few props.

It is not a requirement from Palfish, but it does help to get you noticed. Plus the children love it!

I have a few props that I use almost every day. These include my flashcards, I purchased these from Kmart. In particular, I use the ‘monkey’, ‘fish’ and ‘dog’ cards. In almost all trials, the ‘fish’ make an appearance, so either printing a cute picture of an animated fish or a drawing, or even better, find a stuffed fish toy.

Salvos and charity shops come in handy, right about now!

However, don’t put too much pressure on yourself for finding the best props, I even know a teacher who used a real life-sized mop as a ‘reward’ for a student once.

The best props are some times the simplest ones. I teach a child all about classroom objects, as you can imagine, this includes an eraser, ruler and pencil. Easy! I already own them.

With regards to the interview, if you have the ‘Hello Monkey’ trial, you may consider having a dog, fish, cat or monkey prop. You will use these props over and over again, so it won’t be wasted money.

Third: Set your interview time

Choose a time that is suitable for you. You can change the day and time multiple times if you need to. As soon as you have set your time, you are able to view your interview.

You are able to dip in and out of your interview to practice the slides as much as you want. I cannot recommend this enough, you want to know the lesson inside out, read all of the ‘Teacher Guidance’ notes and learn the songs.

There is a ‘Hello’ song, and a ‘Goodbye’ song to every trial, up until level 5 (PF5). You’ll be singing them in your sleep.

Fourth: How to actually do the Palfish interview

Make sure you enter the classroom with enough time, as soon as the countdown timer hits ‘0 minutes’, you’ll be live and ready to go.

Spend about 2-3 minutes introducing yourself, this is a lot longer than you normally would with an actual child. I would suggest writing a little post-it note and sticking them somewhere to read off for extra support. My interview went something like this…

‘Hello, I’m Teacher Kate. What’s your name?
Wow, Tim! Great name!
Tim, I am from London, United Kingdom but I now live in Australia now.
There are so many kangaroos, crocodiles and sharks in Australia.
Do you like sharks? (wait a few seconds, for an answer you’ll never receive)
YOU DO, Tim?! WOW, I don’t like sharks… (pull a scared face)
Then move on to talking about your lesson.
‘Tim, today, we are going to learn ‘Hello, Monkey’.
Are you ready? Let’s go!

A requirement of the interview is to explain to the ‘child’ aka Tim, how to draw a circle on the screen. In case you missed this point, Palfish is completely interactive, the children can drag and draw on the screens. There are also some great face filters that come in handy when trying to grab the child’s attention, or if you want to have some fun.

The best way to explain to a none exist child about drawing a circle, is to simply ask ‘can you draw a circle?’ And then act out, drawing a circle with your finger in the air and on the screen.

Congratulate the child for drawing a circle (which is you, go you)! 

Remember to go slow, not only will it buy you time in the interview, but the interviewer and the children learning this level PF2 will only understand basic English.

Finally: Go for it! You can do it!

Just remember, I am here to support you! Make sure to use my referral code, so we can talk through the Palfish app.

Referral code: 65792754

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