Teach for America
Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
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2011 Corps Member Interview
I applied online. The process took a day – interviewed at Teach for America in December 2010.
TFA recruits heavily. The first part of the application process is pretty easy; all you need to is write a letter of intent and fill in your academic credentials and extracurriculars. After that you may be offered a phone interview, you might skip right to the final interview, or you may not get any interview (I believe this is rare). I did not have a phone interview. Before the in-person interview you give TFA all of your academic information and you preference locations and subjects and grade levels. The in-person interview takes place in your nearest metropolitan area. It starts with a 5 minute sample teach, then moves on to a group interview process (which was difficult). After the group interview there will be a data-analysis quiz that is done individually. It wasn't challenging for me but I think others found it to be. In the afternoon you have a 30-40 minute one on one interview. A few weeks later you find out if you got accepted, and where you'll go.
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Other Interview Reviews for Teach for America
2011 Corps Member InterviewApplication Details
I applied online. The process took a day – interviewed at Teach for America in December 2010.Interview Details
The interview day was definitely stressful - walking into the interview office, I noticed many prominent college leaders.
We started out with the five-minute lessons, after one applicant volunteered to start. Going last was a bit stressful, but I'd practiced my lesson many times so I thought it went really well. Although the other applicants are supposed to act as a grade-level audience learning from the "teacher," the two interviewers would ask questions to try to throw off our routines, and one of them seemed to be having fun throwing us for a ride - which was not cool.
After that, there was a group discussion segment. I made a few valid points and felt good. One applicant took charge of the conversation, but said nothing of value and didn't seem to be able to interpret anyone's points either. He was not accepted.
There was a quick Q&A session where the interviewers preached the merits of working in the Mississippi Delta region (though neither of them had worked there), and a skills test that was very straight forward. Afterward, we signed up for personal interview slots, and received information on the role play that we'd do during the interview.
I felt really confident during my personal interview, but I think a lot of that had to do with knowing myself and my accomplishments, the organization and its goals, and how I could play a big part in Teach for America's mission. Thinking a lot about that prepared me well, and honestly, the leadership positions that I held on campus gave me a lot to talk about. The role play was a little weird, but there were only 3-4 exchanges so it wasn't a big deal.
During a Teach for America interview day "webinar" I'd attended beforehand, one of the organization's staff members - a TFA alum - said that she looked back on their interview day as it being a fun experience that allowed her to show her excitement about educational reform and what she had to offer. I'm not sure whether I'd say the experience was particularly "fun," but I definitely left feeling great. I know others who left interviews feeling awful and being accepted. Just prepare as best you can, and you'll do fine.Interview QuestionsNegotiation DetailsNo negotiation; I was offered a position in a specific region for a specific grade and subject matter. Since I was offered the grade level and region that were my top choices, I had no complaints.Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview