Teach for America
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Teach for America Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 14, 2014
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Corps member Interview

Anonymous Employee
Newark, NJ

The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Teach for America in December 2008.

Interview Details – The interview process for Teach for America is fairly long and involved, but it is worth it. There are four rotating deadlines throughout the year. First there is a written application, which involves all of the normal personal information, your school transcripts, a letter of intent, and a short essay. There is a lot of emphasis throughout the interview process on overcoming obstacles and how you deal with obstacles and stress. If you passed the written interview, you will be notified in about a week that you have made it to the phone interview phase. Several articles will be available to read online, and your phone interviewer will ask you to discuss them. My interviewer also asked me how I have worked with others in past situations (including people that I did not get along with) and asked me to discuss another situation in which I was working on a project and faced a challenge. We discussed the reasons that I was applying, my views on the achievement gap, and what I thought the reasons for the gap are. They said to expect the phone interview to be about half an hour, but mine was around 50 minutes. About a week after the phone interview, I was notified that I had made it to the final in-person interview. There were many dates and locations to choose from, and this was all done online. Before the final interview, there was more assigned reading and I also had to rank my choices of the regions throughout the country. On the interview day, the morning consisted of a sample teaching session for 5 minutes (be sure to state what your goals are and interact with the other interviewees, who are your "class") as well as small group activities. Then we did individual interviews in the afternoon. The notification day was not for about 6 weeks after my final interview, so the overall process was about two months from the time that I first applied to the day I received my offer. They will offer you a region and a tentative grade level assignment, and you have to take what you get-- no negotiating!

Interview Question – Describe a time that you were working on a project with a specific goal, and you encountered an obstacle. How did you deal with the situation?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

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Corps member Interview

Anonymous Employee
San Francisco, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Teach for America in March 2008.

Interview Details – The process required quite a bit of preparation, including pre-interview reading materials and preparing a 5 minute presentation. The process of the online application resembled that of an undergraduate school application. This was followed by a 30 minute phone interview and then a 6 hour, all-day, one-on-one interview.

Interview Question – The interviewers create a scenario and the interviewee is expected to take on the role of a teacher who is bargaining with his/her principal for classroom materials.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Potential corps members are able to negotiate placement locations across the country, as well as the general teaching age one would like to be with.

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Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Teach for America in April 2010.

Interview Details – The process begins with an online application that is pretty long. I think they focus on leadership skills, your ability to overcome adversity, and your mindset/rationle behind applying for this program (this is explained in one of the essays you need to write for the application). If you move past the online application, you will be schedule a phone interview (ex question: why do you think some parents aren't involved in their child's education). If selected to move on to the final interview day, you will take part in an all day in person interview that includes a sample lesson plan, testing, group discussions on prior reading, and a 1:1 interview where we had to role play a given situation, in addition to answering regular questions.

Interview Question – Can you give an example of a time when you experienced conflict with a supervisor or co-worker? How did you address this situation?   Answer Question

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Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member
Raleigh, NC

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Teach for America in November 2010.

Interview Details – We had to first complete a lengthy application. It included a cover letter and a resume along with different questions. Then we had to complete an online activity that included reading articles and answering questions dealing with different situations.
The in person interview took about a day and included group activities and discussions as well as a sample lesson.

Interview Question – Why do you want to be in this organization?   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

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Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

I applied through college or university and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Teach for America in December 2010.

Interview Details – The initial interview is a phone interview with a TFA alum that's generally behavioral. It's basically a screening interview to make sure you have an idea of what you're getting into and also that you're passionate about the problems that TFA is trying to address.

The final interview is hard. It consists of a five-minute lesson plan that you must prepare ahead of time and "teach" it to the particular group you're assigned to for this interview round. Next, you'll take part of a group discussion centered around the readings that they ask you to read in preparation beforehand. Then, you'll take a written test that's really easy if you're good with numbers and data. Finally, you'll do a one-on-one interview with one of your interviewers from the previous group interview. They tell you right away that there are no quotas (this is true) so you're not competing against each other for a limited number of spots, but some people still act like they need to take you out in order to do well, especially during the group discussion. Just keep your cool and be assertive but don't stoop to their level.

I think, in the end, while I was really passionate about the issues around education inequality in our country, the experience just wasn't for me. And they saw that. You really need to look before you leap on this one. Do your research, make sure this is something you'd really want, and get lots of second opinions before deciding to go ahead with this.

Interview Question – Given that the kind of environment you would be working in as a teacher would be very challenging, how would you deal with burning out during your two years?   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

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

Interview Details – 3 rounds of interviews across rolling deadlines. 1. Online application, 2. Phone interview, 3. In-person interview and sample lesson.

Interview Question – There was a specific simulation question that was very difficult at the in-person interview day. It likely changes by year, interview location, and interview date. It asks you to solve a problem within the school and then the interviewer reacts as a certain actor in the situation.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – Several steps- online application, phone interview, final interview.

Interview Question – Have you ever missed a deadline?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Anonymous Employee

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

Interview Details – Interview process begins with submitting an online application. The application focuses on leadership and mindsets about the achievement gap. Some applicants are selected for a phone interview, and others are moved straight to an in-person interview. I completed a phone interview, where the interviewer asked questions about my resume and about my basic qualifications for the job. The in-person interview is a day-long process involving a group activity, teaching a short lesson, and a one-on-one session.

Interview Question – TFA loves role-playing activities. Be able to think on your feet, and be sure you're grounded in what you believe about kids, parents, communities, etc. that you're planning to serve.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Managing Director Interview

Managing Director

I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Teach for America in September 2013.

Interview Details – As many have already mentioned, the hiring process for TFA is very structured, but in my opinion it's overdone. According to the hiring manager, I was actually 1 of 2 top candidates for the job, but unfortunately for me the other person was offered the position. The entire process took 4 agonizing months and a call to my supervisor for a reference, only for them to offer the job to my opponent in the end.

My interview process was as follows: I first completed the initial phone interview screening. About 4-5 weeks later I was contacted to do a second phone interview with a member from the team I would be working with and the program assistant. A few days after that I was given a 2-part critical thinking assignment, which had a 1-week deadline. Two weeks after submitting the assignment I was contacted once again to interview with the hiring manager. Following that interview, I spoke with 2 additional team members, and a few days later I had my final interview with a VP based in a different location.

Everyone I spoke to was always extemely polite and seemingly very interested in my ideas, but I did often wonder if they were being genuine. When it was all said and done, I wasn't provided much feedback as to why they decided to go with the other candidate, only that it was a "really tough decision." The hiring manager even went on to say that my references were excellent and how great of a job I'm doing in my present work. Overall, I still believe that TFA is likely a great place to work, but after my long, drawn-out experience I doubt I will ever apply with this organization again.

Interview Question – The questions were pretty straight-forward, and many of them had to do with corporate relationship building and how well you can handle challenges.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

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Teacher Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Columbus, OH

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Teach for America in November 2011.

Interview Details – The interview process was tough. There was a phone interview and then the day long interview. Spent tons of time prepping, because this was the job I was looking for. Sadly, I was not offered a position, but feel the interview experience was overall positive.

Interview Question – Is there any reason you would have for leaving the program early if you were offered a position?   View Answer

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