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Teach for America Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 20, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

76%
10%
8%

Interview Experience  

67%
24%
7%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
421 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Teach for America in November 2013.

Interview Details The initial process begins with an online application with areas specified for personal, educational, and professional information, as well as a few questions regarding interest in the organization. If you qualify for an interview, you're notified through email and are given some tips on how to best prepare for a phone interview. The phone interview is rather brief (about 25 minutes) and it feels somewhat rushed even though they try to stress that you take your time. The questions asked are based on what your responses are to their prompts. If you are selected after the phone interview, you move along to a group session in which you meet with TFA teachers and administrators. During this part of the process, there are group activities and prompts to go through. More cuts are made after this point.

Interview Question – How have you handled issues with coworkers in previous positions?   View Answer


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Teacher Interview

Teacher

Interviewed at Teach for America

Interview Details 30 min phone interview intially - fairly standard questions, next step was half day in person interview where you had to present a practice 5 minute lesson plan, and participate in a group discussion observed by interviewers, and then a one on one interview with a teach for america staff member

Interview Question – nothing too difficult or unexpected   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

Interviewed at Teach for America

Interview Details The process has three rounds. Application, Telephone Interview, Group interview. The questions focus on your ability to be a team player and your ability to work with others in various situations.

Interview Question – We were given a scenario that could occur in the school and how you would handle that case   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

TFA Corps Member Interview

TFA Corps Member
Madison, WI (US)

I applied online - interviewed at Teach for America in January 2010.

Interview Details Very interesting interview process. They ask you questions that get down to 1) your leadership qualities and experiences, 2) your organizational skills, and 3) your cultural competency. Each of them is hard to fake while you're in the interview, because it's hard to answer competently unless you can actually own it in real life as well.

Interview Question – The sample teach can be the most challenging part of the interview day for many, and most of the sample lessons I saw were pretty bad.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Really easy. They basically tell you where you're going and you accept or decline.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

TFA Corps Member Interview

TFA Corps Member
Boston, MA (US)

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Teach for America in October 2011.

Interview Details After initially being contacted by an on-campus recruiter, I attended multiple information sessions and several (3-4) sit-down informal conversations with the recruiter. TFA keeps a paper trail on applicants, so therefore, it is to your advantage to keep in contact via email and by attending these sessions. I applied to the earliest deadline and because of my continued contact with my recruiter, I was able to skip the phone interview and move immediately into the online short answer activity. The online activity consisted of several short answer questions regarding TFA's core values - specifically, diversity in the corps and in the classroom and humility in collaborating with other teachers and educators. There was a video question regarding a new teacher in a difficult situation with a veteran educator at school, and corps member responses to this series of questions were brought up during the final interview. I was invited to the final interview for which candidates prepare and deliver a 5-minute lesson. Also, all candidates participate in a series of whole-group and small-group activities that are centered around your online short answer responses.

The 5-minute lesson is clearly the "make it or break it" component of the interview, as most candidates who have made it to this stage of the process are clearly qualified leaders both academically and professionally. Your 5-minute lesson should consist of a clear hook (opener) which quickly moves into your introduction to new material (INM). This should be short and concise, as you are introducing your topic to be mastered to the class. Within your introduction to new material, you should clearly state and write down your learning objective on the white board provided. Your objective is what students (your fellow interview candidates) will be able to master and demonstrate by the end of your lesson. From your introduction to new material, guide your "class" into whole-group practice of your learning objective. Whether this is identifying verbs in a sentence or describing the difference between mammals and insects, students must be able to practice as a whole-group with you, their "instructor, and amongst themselves, their "fellow classmates." Then, move into independent practice where individual corps members demonstrate their knowledge of the topic you have just taught. You absolutely must have an assessment piece at the end of your independent practice, which could be just 1-2 questions the candidates must answer to demonstrate your mastery of the objective. This could be on the worksheet or handout your provide them or given verbally. The size of your interview "class" will be about 12-15 candidates, so this is easily manageable. I highly suggest meeting and practicing with current teachers or using YouTube tutorials to model by yourself.

Interview Question – Your interviewers are almost always former corps members and/or recent TFA alumni, and they will open up the floor to candidate questions. They are very open and forthcoming with answering and detailing their own experiences in the corps. Your questions during this time will demonstrate your commitment to and knowledge of TFA, as well as what type of leader you will be in your classroom and region. Many of the candidates applying for spots in the incoming TFA corps are competitive, with past records of achievement and success in their respective fields. Make sure, therefore, that during open question time you clearly and deftly allow others to speak, demonstrate your own active listening skills, and do not hog the speaking time. This shows what type of corps member you will be, and TFA does not want braggarts who can't work or collaborate with others. This was also clearly the purpose of the whole-group and small-group activities; which corps members will be able to work with and for others while leading through action and example, and which candidates are attempting to control and regulate the situation? By the time you move to your final one-on-one interview, be sure to have several questions prepared and anecdotes about your past experiences as a leader and as a learner. TFA will invest in you only as much as you show you are willing to embrace and overcome obstacles - this is not an easy job, but instead very challenging yet rewarding. TFA wants to see your demonstrated experience at overcoming obstacles by problem solving, collaborating with others, and relentlessly pursuing your own goals. Also, I highly suggest coming in with region-specific questions and references to current corps members you know; they want to know that you are aware of what you're getting in to with TFA!   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – After receiving your acceptance offer to join the corps, you will be given your placement subject and/or region (possible). There is little negotiation with this unless you have a valid concern (upcoming marriage, family illness, etc...). Corps members from that specific region will contact you and answer any questions you may have leading up to you accepting your TFA offer.


Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details Began with the online application and essays, from there moved to a phone interview and then a full day final interview that consisted of a sample lesson teach, group discussion and one on one interview.

Interview Question – What is a policy you did not agree with, but were expected to follow?   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – The location I was matched with was not my first choice.


No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Corp Member Interview

Corp Member
Baltimore, MD (US)

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Teach for America in March 2014.

Interview Details First, an online form is filled out, where you answer questions about you, your experience, etc. You also upload a resume. If you advance, there is a phone interview. If you advance past that, there is a day-long, in-person interview. The interview includes a teaching sample, small group work, and a personal interview.

Interview Question – They ask you to go into great detail of a time when you overcame a problem.   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher
New York, NY (US)

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Teach for America in April 2014.

Interview Details One phone interview, and in called into final interview. Process included 5 minute lesson plan, group activity, and personal interview.

Interview Question – Questions were straight forward   Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details Online application, followed by phone interview. They just asked about items that were on my resume, as well as some behavioral questions. Finally did a group assessment, followed by a one one with role play.

Interview Question – There weren't any surprise question, plus you were given a lot of time to prepare for the role play.   Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher

I applied online - interviewed at Teach for America in March 2014.

Interview Details The hiring process is very extensive because there are 3 aspects when applying for TFA. You should dedicate time (enough time) to finish the application efficiently. The application consist of extended response questions, demographic questions and etc. If accepted to the next step you will be invited to a phone interview, which is like a typical interview. Asking follow up questions and getting to know who you are. The last step is the in-person interview which consist of a teaching portion, group activity and a one on one interview with one of the interviewers.

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Coordinator

 Former Coordinator in New York, NY (US)

Pros: “driven people, talented staff. some of the brightest colleagues I've ever worked with were at TFA. everyone is deeply committed to and passionate about the organization's mission and goals.” Full Review

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