Teach for America
3.8 of 5 342 reviews
www.teachforamerica.org New York, NY 150 to 499 Employees

Teach for America Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 10, 2014
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Interview Experience 

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Interview Difficulty 

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214 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – The interview process is long with a lot of repeated questions. Enthusiasm is everything! They're not expecting you to be an amazing teacher. But they do want people who are passionate and have strong leadership skills. As a teacher, your job is to give multiple presentations a day so part of the interview was a mock lesson. Don't worry about doing something too simple or too complicated. Just make sure you are prepared and give a strong presentation.

Interview Questions

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Teacher Interview

Teacher

Interviewed at Teach for America

Interview Details – The process was relaxed, friendly. The interviewers were very kind and at no time did I feel uncomfortable or unprepared for what would come next. The interviewers did a good job of letting us know from the second we arrived how the schedule for the day would play out. The personal interview was long but enjoyable.

Interview Question – None were difficult; the group-teaching activity was tough though. Practicing with a group of people beforehand vs. individually is a good tactic for not going over time the day of.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

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

Interview Details – Step 1: Application

Step 2: Phone Interview (it is possible to skip straight to step 3)

Step 3: Final Interview
LESSON: During the final interview you will be asked to teach a sample lesson to fellow applicants and Teach for America Staff evaluators. Lesson will be 5 minutes and cover any topic you desire. It is really to show your ability to speak publicly and develop at thoughtfully planned idea.
INTERVIEW: In a one-on-one interview, you will also be asked how you might respond to a given situation in a school setting other and other questions about how your past experiences make you a good candidate for TFA.

Interview Question – Most questions were pretty straight forward, but my situational question was asking about how I might respond when students have a desire to start an initiative in the school and want me to approach administration.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

I applied online and interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – I went through the phone interview and was able to complete a virtual final (due to being out of the country). My virtual interview was group interview as well. Each of the participants did a mock lesson and we had to work together to respond to a scenario. It was a test to see our problem solving abilities as well as our ability to work collaboratively. After that, we had seperate interviews with traditional questions.

Interview Question – My interviewer presented me with a scenario in which she was my principal and I wanted to propose a new program after she had already sd that no new programs cld be implemented in the remainder of the year. She gave me a few minutes to gather my thoughts, then I had to plead my case.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No Negotiation, but I would encourage everyone who applies to teach for america to be sure they are interested in teaching.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

TFA Corps Member Interview

TFA Corps Member
Nashville, TN

I applied through a recruiter - interviewed at Teach for America in December 2009.

Interview Details – Sample lesson, ability test, behavioral interview, phone call

Interview Question – Reflection   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – N/A

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

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

Interview Details – The hiring process is mutli-step and very long and somewhat exhausting, but overall, it is mostly enjoyable and really not too difficult. The application process is tiered and consists of an initial online application, two recommendations and a reference, an "online activity," a phone interview (sometimes), and a final interview. The final interview consists of a sample lesson, a group interview, a speech by the interviewer, and a personal interview. There are also many events such as Webinars, happy hours, etc. throughout the process which are "optional" but may or may not help in the admissions process.

The staff are very clear and up front with what they want to see from you, so it's just up to you to prepare. When they say they want you to demonstrate the seven core values that they purport, they mean that they will ask you about these literally and you best have an answer for them! Organization, leadership, etc. -- They won't try to infer whether you have these qualities; they will directly ask you. So be prepared. That said, while the (final) interview is definitely structured towards seeing your work ethic, your leadership skills, your drive, etc.-- you should also try to work in your "story," your passion, why you want to do TFA. I found the initial online application most helpful in being able to delineate this thoroughly.

And if you don't have the passion -- don't apply. TFA is not an easy thing. You're not going to be able to stick it out for two years in tough conditions with little pay if you don't have the innate excitement/passion for this type of work. The interviewers/TFA Staff are actually very helpful in helping you determine if you would be interested in this kind of experience. Sure, they want to recruit as many people to apply as possible, but they are fairly candid about their experiences as well. It doesn't look good for them to admit someone who will not be a good corps member/will drop out/etc.

Interview Question – Nothing very unexpected. Role play scenario could be a bit tough. Lesson could also cause some stress, but try not to worry about it too much!   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – You are able to indicate preferences for where and what subject you want to teach, and TFA uses an algorithm to sort you into an assignment. Negotiation is next to impossible; reassignment is extremely rare. You must have a compelling personal reason I think and even then it's up in the air. Your best bet is to indicate a "Special Circumstance" that requires you to be placed in your most preferred region during the selection phase.

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

TFA Corps Member Interview

TFA Corps Member

I applied online and interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – numerous rounds. Be prepared for lots of paperwork. They are really into numbers and look for leadership experiences. At the final interview, you have to do a sample lesson plan and they are very strict about the time.

Interview Question – Why TFA?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – Very competitive, lengthy, and interesting. Start with an online application. Then, most times, they follow up with a phone screen. Sometimes they will skip that part and invite you directly to the final round. The final rounds consists of a four to five hour interview with various stages: 5 minute sample lesson, group conversation, individual case, and behavioral interview.

Interview Question – You are trying to convince your principal to fund a field trip. How would you go about doing this?   View Answer

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2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

TFA Corps Member Interview

TFA Corps Member

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

Interview Details – Well I'll be completely honest. TFA is not for everyone. The first step is to fill out an online application. This application is very thorough, long, and is not something that you can do last minute. Make sure your resume focuses on your leadership experiences and your essay questions reflect true passion for their cause. Everything needs to be lined up with their mission and their core values. So, do your research.

Next is the phone interview/online activity. Some people skip the actual phone interview and is invited straight to the final interview. I think it just means that everything they were looking for was given and explained on their application. But, if you're offered a phone interview don't be worried. Just be yourself and be prepared. Be familiar with your resume and leadership experience and be ready to explain specific details. If you say you increased something, know the numbers or percentage and how you did so. Be very specific. The online activity is very long. First there is a watch and respond. You'll watch a video and respond. Then there's a test, there isn't a "correct answer" but they just want to see how and what you would do in certain situations. It's not hard though, just make sure that you think things through.

Lastly, there's a three part final interview. It consists of a five minute lesson plan, a group interview/activity, and then a one-on -one interview. All I can say is be prepared. For the five minute lesson plan--practice, practice, practice. Make sure whatever you choose to teach, you KNOW well and you can be completely confident in. Don't over think the lesson. Make sure that you're engaging the audience, have some sort of interaction, and use your time wisely. The group interview/activity. I cannot say this enough, Teach for America is NOT competitive it's selective. They are not looking for a set number of applicants. They are just looking for people who meet their standards. So try not to be a know it all and a control freak. Make sure you're heard, but also give others a chance to be heard. Review their core values: TEAMWORK. Work together as a team. I HIGHLY advise that you get to know the other interviewees and learn to support and encourage each other. It makes the day SO MUCH better. The one on one interview. Mine was awesome. The interviewer was SO nice and kind. Try not to be alarmed or feel like they're not paying attention to you when they're typing on their computer. They're taking notes on you. This is their way of painting a picture of who you are to the admissions team. So, be yourself, be prepared, and be passionate. I know TFA only accepts 11 % of their applicants but don't let that worry you. If you are truly passionate about something, it will show.

Interview Question – I agreed to keep questions confidential. Just know your responses to your application long responses, your resume, and leadership experiences.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation . When offered to the final interview, you are asked to pick 10 locations: under the categories: highly preferred, preferred, and least preferred. You will also be asked to pick grade level and subject as well under the same categories.

If you are offered a position, based off the need of the locations you picked and what you qualify for is how you will be offered a position. Your only options are to accept it or decline.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

TFA Corps Member Interview

TFA Corps Member
Chapel Hill, NC

I applied online and interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – The application process is fairly easy. Once you get invited back to the phone interview make sure to prepare answers about your organization skills etc. If you get invited back, you will partake in an online activity. After, you may be invited back to the final interview which will be in a group setting and takes a full day. The first part of the day will be dedicated to presenting a 5 minute lesson plan. Make sure you DO NOT go over or under in time and factor in time for questions. The people interviewing with you and interviewers will act as your students and they will get things wrong on purpose. After, there is a group activity where they observe you and want to see how you work in solving a problem in a group activity. Then, after this is your final personal interview.

Interview Question – Why would you quit TFA?   View Answers (2)

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