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Peppy Kids Club Interview
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neggo



Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 12:34 am    Post subject: Peppy Kids Club Interview Reply with quote

Hi Guys!

I just recently signed up to the forum but have been lurking for a bit. The information here is a goldmine for those interested in travelling over to Japan to teach English.

I realize there are lots of PKC threads but most have been left inactive...

Anyway, I sent in an application to PKC (Vancouver office) and they contacted me for a phone interview. I had the phone interview (it was actually easier and shorter than I expected) and I was invited to come in for a face-to-face interview that will take place in the near future. My question is, how do these interviews go? I was told that I will be given flash cards and that I will be making a lesson plan with them but that was all. Does anybody else know what goes on for the duration of the 90 minute interview?

Also, in regards to placement for PKC, how well do they take into account the placement requests of their applicants?

I heard places like Interac are quite good in placing their teachers as close as they can to the city that was requested, but what about PKC?

It seems to me that the Kanto and Kansai areas seem to be the most popular choices for ALT's and eikawa English teachers.

Thanks! Smile
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 3:14 am    Post subject: Re: Peppy Kids Club Interview Reply with quote

neggo wrote:
I just recently signed up to the forum but have been lurking for a bit. The information here is a goldmine for those interested in travelling over to Japan to teach English.


That, I think, is the point. There are some negative nancies every now and then, and some of us can come off harsh if we think someone is totally ill-prepared for life in Japan, but most of the time, we're pretty happy to help.

Quote:
I realize there are lots of PKC threads but most have been left inactive...


Thank you for searching.

Quote:
Anyway, I sent in an application to PKC (Vancouver office) and they contacted me for a phone interview. I had the phone interview (it was actually easier and shorter than I expected) and I was invited to come in for a face-to-face interview that will take place in the near future. My question is, how do these interviews go? I was told that I will be given flash cards and that I will be making a lesson plan with them but that was all. Does anybody else know what goes on for the duration of the 90 minute interview?


I wouldn't sweat it. The big thing here is to see how energetic, cheerful, and flexible you are.

Quote:
Also, in regards to placement for PKC, how well do they take into account the placement requests of their applicants?


No clue. I've never worked for PKC myself, just had friends who did.

Quote:
I heard places like Interac are quite good in placing their teachers as close as they can to the city that was requested, but what about PKC?


I'm not so sure of that, I suppose it depends on Interac. In my case, Interac knew my main issue was salary, and so they found my a position based an salary and some other benefits I wanted. Place didn't factor in for me. So this is probably true. For PKC, there are a lot of them all over the place, so you might be a few hours out of where you want to be but you might be close enough...

Quote:
It seems to me that the Kanto and Kansai areas seem to be the most popular choices for ALT's and eikawa English teachers.


Kanto has Tokyo, Kansai has Kyoto. I'm all about Kansai, and I am only leaving because I couldn't take my previous position back in April because I had to finish up my MA on the American school schedule. I plan to move back to Kansai asap. I often introduce myself, jokingly, as kansaijin, because for me, I have never found any part of Japan lovely or as friendly as Kyoto prefecture. I also was in the same apartment, the same schools, with the same students for years, and so to me, Kyoto is home. We'll see if that changes.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For most in-person interviews plan on a panel of people asking the questions and not expecting you to ask much. Demo lessons look for some creativity and at least a passing awareness of how to teach (to match with the employer's style), and overall impression will be whether your personality and chemistry fit them, perhaps even more strongly than knowledge of English.
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Rooster.



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 127

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 10:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Peppy Kids Club Interview Reply with quote

neggo wrote:
Hi Guys!

I just recently signed up to the forum but have been lurking for a bit. The information here is a goldmine for those interested in travelling over to Japan to teach English.

I realize there are lots of PKC threads but most have been left inactive...

Anyway, I sent in an application to PKC (Vancouver office) and they contacted me for a phone interview. I had the phone interview (it was actually easier and shorter than I expected) and I was invited to come in for a face-to-face interview that will take place in the near future. My question is, how do these interviews go? I was told that I will be given flash cards and that I will be making a lesson plan with them but that was all. Does anybody else know what goes on for the duration of the 90 minute interview?

Also, in regards to placement for PKC, how well do they take into account the placement requests of their applicants?

I heard places like Interac are quite good in placing their teachers as close as they can to the city that was requested, but what about PKC?

It seems to me that the Kanto and Kansai areas seem to be the most popular choices for ALT's and eikawa English teachers.

Thanks! Smile


Would you give details of your interview once it is completed?

I too am interested in placement and the actual interview.
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Calico



Joined: 20 Jun 2010
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bear in mind I interviewed at the LA office in 2010.

It was just me and the recruiter (who hadn't even ever been to Japan...yay.) It last about 90 minutes. First thing she did was have me watch a video about the structure and environment of PKC. We then talked about my resume, wanting to go to Japan, history, etc.

I was not asked to do a demo (beyond talking about things I would) but I volunteered to do one and this made her day. I just used preschool flashcards and talked about the different ways you could teach English words to kids andthen did an actual demo with them. turned out it was pretty much the way PKC did things with their toddler flash cards so I lucked out. I also had a mini puzzle of the United States where the states pop out because I'm a huge geography buff to use with older kids. (One of the things I did during my year at PKC was gradually teach my kids the names of all 50 states and their geography, heh.)

As for placement, in my case it made no difference what I requested. I requested to be placed as far north as possible and originally ended up placed in Kyushu. (this was before March 11th.) But my real life friends who got jobs at PKC after I recommended them ended up being placed pretty much in the exact cities they wanted, if not region. It's a total crapshoot. Be as specific as you can at least with the type of place you want (small, large, around lots of mountains, etc) but in the end you go where they want you. I find from past coworkers that you have a better chance being placed somewhere if you have family in the area.
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neggo



Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies, guys!

And I'm sorry for the late reply Smile

My PKC interview is very soon so I'll let you guys know how it goes. Calico, it seems that the format of your interview may resemble mine. I guess we will see!

As for placement, the recruiter I spoke to on the phone said that the requested area I'd like to be in is most probably open but that there is still a chance that I may be placed far away.
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xandi



Joined: 15 May 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a recent hire for PKC from Vancouver (I leave for Japan this month!) so here's how mine went:

You will first be given a short grammar quiz and a question you must answer in about 500 words or less. The grammar quiz was quite simple and you are given the choice of 1 of 5 questions to answer for the paragraph. From what I remember they were asking things like "why do you want to go to Japan?" etc. You have 15 minutes to complete both.

After that, the recruiter will give you a briefing about the company before the actual interview commences. She asks about 7 or 8 questions, mostly situational such as: "What would you do if a child ran out of the room?" or "What would you do if the children are unmotivated?". There were also questions like "What kind of teacher do you think PKC is looking for?" and "Why do you want to work with children?".

Last, I was given a deck of flash cards and asked what I would do with these flash cards to teach a lesson about vocabulary for an age group of my choice. The deck of cards seems pretty random, but you don't have to use them all. I was not asked to demo the lesson, rather to explain what I would do.

As far as placement goes, I requested to be in Matsuyama as that is where my partner is currently living and teaching but ended up getting placed in Okoyama City, which is only about 3 hours away by train. My recruiter seemed to be quite understanding with my reasons as to why I wanted to be where I requested, but in the end it is head office that has the final say.

Overall though, the interview was not too anxiety-inducing and the recruiter was very nice. If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to answer them. Good luck!
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Rooster.



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 127

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info!

I have two questions. From the time you applied to the time you were contacted, how long was that? When they did contact you was it by phone or my e-mail?
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neggo



Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xandi wrote:
I'm a recent hire for PKC from Vancouver (I leave for Japan this month!) so here's how mine went:

You will first be given a short grammar quiz and a question you must answer in about 500 words or less. The grammar quiz was quite simple and you are given the choice of 1 of 5 questions to answer for the paragraph. From what I remember they were asking things like "why do you want to go to Japan?" etc. You have 15 minutes to complete both.

After that, the recruiter will give you a briefing about the company before the actual interview commences. She asks about 7 or 8 questions, mostly situational such as: "What would you do if a child ran out of the room?" or "What would you do if the children are unmotivated?". There were also questions like "What kind of teacher do you think PKC is looking for?" and "Why do you want to work with children?".

Last, I was given a deck of flash cards and asked what I would do with these flash cards to teach a lesson about vocabulary for an age group of my choice. The deck of cards seems pretty random, but you don't have to use them all. I was not asked to demo the lesson, rather to explain what I would do.

As far as placement goes, I requested to be in Matsuyama as that is where my partner is currently living and teaching but ended up getting placed in Okoyama City, which is only about 3 hours away by train. My recruiter seemed to be quite understanding with my reasons as to why I wanted to be where I requested, but in the end it is head office that has the final say.

Overall though, the interview was not too anxiety-inducing and the recruiter was very nice. If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to answer them. Good luck!


Congratulations on getting hired and thank you very much for the information. It will definitely help! How long did you have to wait after the interview to find out if you've been hired? How much longer did you have to wait to find out your placement?

Rooster. - After I applied online they contacted me about a week or two after by e-mail. Depending on the recruiter, I suppose, the recruiter will ask for two reference letters before setting up a phone interview.
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xandi



Joined: 15 May 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found out I was hired the day after my interview. Word about my placement however didn't come until about a month and a half after I found out I was hired.
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john_713



Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 1
Location: GB

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you hear about your placement depends on how long it is until you start. We applied in April to start in November, had the job offer in May but didn't get our city until September.

My girlfriend did a blog post about PKC which you might find useful...

http://susiesomewhere.blogspot.jp/2012/03/working-for-peppy-kids-club-in-japan.html
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neggo



Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John, I have looked through your girlfriend's site and it has been a great help. I have actually asked her a few questions and she has been extremely helpful.

So I interviewed a couple of days ago and they got back to me today with an offer. The interview was exactly what the others here had explained it would be.

First was the short grammar and essay...nothing really to worry about there.

Second was the actual interview. What would you do if a child ran out? What would you do if a child was scared of you because you are a foreigner? How would you deal with homesickness? How would you deal with disruptive students?

It was extremely laid back and really nothing to sweat.

I have a dilemma, however, and that dilemma is Interac. I interviewed with them a few weeks ago and attended their seminar...my recruiter said that my results were favourable but I do not know when they will get back to me. I was hoping either today or tomorrow and I have to reply back with confirmation of my acceptance by Sunday.

At this point, I suppose it goes down to which company is most flexible in terms of placement. I guess I will give it another day.
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neggo, where is it that you want to go?
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neggo



Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally, I would like to be in Tohoku. More specifically, in Sendai. Failing that, somewhere in Miyagi.

PKC, during my phone interview, explained that Miyagi should be available because not too many people want to go there. It is, however, up to head office in the end to decide where they want to put me so placement is not 100% guaranteed. When I was sent my offer today, the recruiter mentioned this fact again.

Interac explained during the seminar that they are looking for people in Tohoku and when I told them about my preference of being placed in Sendai, it seemed available. Failing Sendai, somewhere in Tohoku will be available.

I heard back from Interac and they said that the results would not be in until next week and that they hope that I could wait a little longer. I have to, however, provide a verbal (e-mail) confirmation of my acceptance to the offer from Peppy by Sunday. I assume they will send me my real contract once I provide that confirmation.
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sendai and Tohoku in general got hit so hard last year that I would find it surprising if you didn't find something in the area. You're probably fine.
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