Teach for America
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Teach for America Corps Member Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 10, 2014
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No Offer

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Easy Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Teach for America in March 2013.

Interview Details – Applied online and received an email to be invited for a phone interview which lasted less than 20 minutes and had generic questions about TFA and mission. I think I did fine on the interview but I guess I’ll just wait and see till the 20th if I’ve been invited for the final interview. My interviewer was very polite and friendly and overall the process has been pleasant.

Interview Question – Why do you want to teach rather than some other medium to help children?   Answer Question

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Corps Member Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
New York, NY

I applied online - interviewed at Teach for America in February 2013.

Interview Details – 1. Complete an online essay and write information about yourself.
2. The next phase is a phone interview, which was a lot behavioral interview questions -- Did you ever miss a deadline? What did you do in leadership roles etc.
3. The final interview involves a five minute presentation which goes by really quickly. There is then a group interview where they give your group a problem to solve and then there is a 1 on 1 interview.

Interview Question – How do you stay organized?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Corp Member Interview

Anonymous Employee

I applied through college or university and interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – The phone interview was all of the basic behavioral questions. One thing that I have not seen anyone else mention is to make sure you really create a connection with your interview. I think this is a good determination if you move forward. My interview was very friendly and reacted to my answers like a normal conversation as opposed to one of my friends who interviewed and she said her interviewer just said ok to all of her answers. This could be different for everyone.

Interview Question – How do you stay organized?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – no

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member
Phoenix, AZ

I applied online and interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – A rather extensive interview process, with online application followed by phone interviews, multiple short online tasks and in person final interview involving the teaching of a 5 minute lesson.

Interview Question – Why do you want to teach?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member
Madison, WI

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Teach for America in November 2009.

Interview Details – After submitting my initial application, I was told I was qualified enough to skip the phone interview and go directly to the in-person interview. At the in-person interview, I was asked to give a 5-minute lesson in any grade level/subject area. The interviewers cut you off once you hit the 5-minute mark. I then took a short quiz (very simple) and then participated in a group assessment, in which we had to problem-solve a school-level issue in 20 minutes. In the afternoon, I had my one-on-one interview with one of the two interviewers, in which I was asked to comment on my problem-solving experiences.

Interview Question – I was asked to address the interviewer as though he was a school principal and request that my high school students gain permission to check-out books from the school library for a research project. The school did not allow students to check out books because they were frequently lost or stolen. The challenge was problem-solving and suggesting solutions on the spot to the problem when the principal consistently refused my request for library privileges.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There is no negotiation with TFA- you are given a regional, grade level, and subject assignment and you can either accept or decline your offer. Salary is based on incoming teacher salary in the region, and negotiation with area principals is expressly forbidden by TFA.

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member
College Station, TX

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Teach for America in October 2012.

Interview Details – You begin with an online application that can be a bit tedious. It involves writing an essay, getting people to fill out reference forms, and lots of information regarding yourself and your academic record. You have to send in copies of personal documents, fill in every collegiate course you have taken corresponding with grades, etc. I was able to bypass the phone interview and go straight to the in-person interview. That interview is exactly what they prep you for. You have a teaching time in the morning where you teach the interviewers along with other prospective Corps Members (who also teach) for a five minute segment. It is much shorter than it seems and is less stressful than it sounds even if you have no teaching experience. Then, you progress to a group case study. Then is a one-on-one interview that asks typical behavioral questions, questions about past experiences, etc.

Interview Question – Most Unexpected: Why did you drop a specific course in college?   View Answer

Reason for Declining – I made a mistake in listing my regional preferences. When I received my offer, it was in a region I could not accept. When I sought reassignment, they told me I could not receive another placement unless both of my parents were sole terminally ill and I was the sole caretaker.

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Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member
Atlanta, GA

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Teach for America in December 2012.

Interview Details – Several steps to interview process beyond the basic interviews (phone/in person interviews) that you have to complete online. Over the course of your application you have to fill out several questionnaires about readings and such that they provide. These will also be referenced in your in person interviews. Other deadlines: selecting cities to work, entering your entire school transcript manually, submitting an official transcript, etc. Occasionally webinars are provided to help your process

Interview Question – What was your vision when you entered ______ leadership position?   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – Research placement options before you add them to your list (see Seattle)

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3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Anonymous Employee
Los Angeles, CA

I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Teach for America in September 2012.

Interview Details – I actually want to write this review because I found an AWESOME resource that I think really helped my application, and I haven't seen anyone on here talk about it yet. A former corps member wrote a book called "Destination Teach For America" that helps people with their applications and interviews. It's on Amazon now, but I first found the book's website a few months ago (www.destinationteachforamerica). If you're set on getting into TFA, I would highly recommend looking at it.

Anyway, I enjoyed the interview process a lot, probably because I really wanted to get in and was excited about doing this for the next 2 years. The application consists of a letter of intent, resume, and a bunch of other questions that you fill out online. It asks a lot about leadership positions that you have had, and it asks for you to explain your positions and achievements with those leadership positions.

I had a phone interview with a current 2nd year corps member who was really nice, although the interview seemed really scripted. She asked me a lot of questions about Teach For America, and also standard interview-y questions. It took about 40 minutes. I thought it went well (and I guess it did because I was invited to the final interview).

The next step was doing an online activity and getting recommendations. I'd already lined up my people to give recommendations, so that was pretty easy. The online activity wasn't too bad either. Some of the data questions were really straight-forward, although a few of the questions seemed a bit confusing.

My final interview group had 11 people. Obviously I was the most nervous about the 5 minute lesson (although this book teaches you how to put together a lesson using a planning template, so I felt really prepared). People literally taught anything and everything, and all of the applicants helped each other out with their lessons. I liked that the 5 minute lesson was first because it helped us bond.

After that, we sat in groups and discussed articles that we had read. The interviewer sat away from our table and just took notes. It was cool getting in that environment, and I feel like that is what a lot of days with TFA corps members will be: talking about education with people who actually care. I liked this part too.

The 1 on 1 interview is pretty straightforward, like many other job interviews, with the exception of the role play situation that other reviewers have talked about. Again, the book I mentioned gave sample dialogue and advice about the role play, so I felt really prepared for that as well.

I know a lot of the information I talked about is already on Glassdoor from other reviewers, but I mainly wanted to sign up to share Destination Teach For America. I'm not saying I wouldn't have gotten in without it, but it was definitely helpful for me. Now that I'm in, I want to share it with you all.

Interview Question – What would make you quit Teach For America?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiations, you are hired by a school in whatever region they send you to.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member
Eugene, OR

I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Teach for America in October 2012.

Interview Details – The application process is very extensive. The first step is to submit an online application, which includes biographical information, resume, and an essay explaining why you wish to join TFA. The next step is a phone interview. If you make it past the phone interview, you are invited to the final interview. At the final interview you prepare a 5 minute lesson (there is a strict time limit), participate in a group discussion, and attend a 30-45 minute one-on-one interview.

Interview Question – The most difficult part of the one-on-one interview was the role-playing scenario. The goal of the scenario is for you to demonstrate your communication abilities and your ability to foresee potential difficulties.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – There is no negotiation about the offer. You submit preferences before hand concerning subject and area placement, but once an offer is made it is very difficult to change.

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member
Los Angeles, CA

Interviewed at Teach for America

Interview Details – People say TFA's application process is "very rigorous", but honestly, it was one of the easiest interview processes I've ever been through. Starts with an online, written application [personal statement (my advice: don't over-analyze the personal statement! say what you mean, mean what you say--if you're speaking from the heart, it's simple. don't get me wrong, you should edit just to make sure there aren't any grammatical errors or misspellings), description of leadership positions (very important to have leadership experience!), and a resume (try to tailor it a bit for TFA by highlighting any leadership positions or education-related experiences)]. Next is either an invite for a phone interview or final interview (I went straight to the final interview, so I'm not really sure what the phone interview entails). Final interview is a day-long process that starts with teaching a 5-minute lesson (my advice: KEEP IT SIMPLE!! Teach something very basic, elementary-level--use simple handouts, make sure to check for understanding by asking questions throughout to "the class" and/or finding some other way to check for understanding), next is a group activity (pretty simple--I'm not positive what they were looking for in this activity, but I'd emphasize being a team player (don't try to overshadow one another), give positive feedback, and keeping in mind TFA's ultimate goal of closing the achievement gap. Last is the 1-on-1 interviews--just be open and honest. Be sure to look at the 7 traits on the "Who We Look For" section of the TFA website and try to convey these traits in your answers. Good luck future TFA applicants :)

Interview Question – How do you stay organized? What's something you could do better as far as staying organized?   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – Love TFA, but I was unable to relocate.

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