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Teach for America Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 18, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

76%
10%
7%

Interview Experience  

68%
24%
7%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
427 candidate interviews
in

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

I applied online and interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – Very thorough interview process with very good communication throughout entire process. After submitting my application online, I received an email shortly thereafter indicating I had been selected for a phone interview. The phone interview was about 20 minutes and was comprised of mostly behavioral style interview questions (i.e., Give me an example of a time when you faced adversity...). The phone interview was conducted by a bubbly female who stuck to a pre-determined script. Following the phone interview, I was selected for an on-site interview at a university about 45 minutes from my home. I received a very detailed email including all of the interview expectations and logistics. This interview included one-on-one and group interviews, as well as a 5-minute demonstration lesson taught by each candidate (there were about 10-15 candidates in a board room). Following the on-site interviews, it seemed like forever until "notification day," when we received an email stating whether or not we had been accepted into the Corps and our placement if accepted. I was overjoyed to received my acceptance email after a very thorough interview process. There was a second set of interviews after being accepted into the corps, which took place in our assigned city so that we could be interviewed by local schools in anticipation of our local placement. This was a fun day which involved "round robin" style interviewing with multiple school principals & school administrators. Each interview had a different feel, but the interviewers were all diligent about trying to find the best fit for their staff & school.

Interview Question – Almost all of the questions were behavioral in nature, so be prepared with tons of examples about how you overcame adversity, dealt with a challenge, failed, succeeded, showed leadership, etc. However, one principal asked a really bizarre riddle similar to the Google interview questions and I had no idea how to answer. I did not get hired by that school (lol).   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There are two offer stages -- you get offered by Teach For America, and then you get offered by a local school. These offers don't happen at the same time. You really only have two choices: accept or decline. There was not much room for negotiating salary with the local school. We just received a contract stating we would make about $42000 in the first year, so we all signed.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

TFA Corps Member Interview

TFA Corps Member

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – The interviewing process was very clear and concise. It starts with a phone screening, then the second round was a panel phone interview, and ended with an in-person sample teaching.

Interview Question – It was a scenario on difficulties potentially facing when advocating for student programming and the school has a small budget.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – N/A


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

TFA Corps Member Interview

TFA Corps Member

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5 months - interviewed at Teach for America in March 2012.

Interview Details – I spent 2-3 weeks on the online application as it requires a ton of paper work. There was a lot of lag time since I had to wait on my university to send back documents. The essay also took a lot of time and thought. All of this time paid off because I got promoted directly passed the phone interview and to the in person interview. Since I didn't have a phone interview, I cannot speak much to that. What I do know is that they try to gage your interest/passion for the movement to close the achievement gap.
The interview was behavioral. These are the questions I remember:
How do you keep yourself organized?
The interviewer used highlights from my resume and then asked me to speak about them to specific questions. I ensured that I connected my experience to how that could help me in the classroom. Additionally, to prepare for the interview, I had TFA's core values in mind, and tried to make connections to those core values in an indirect way (without saying the actual word or value). For example, explaining a time of failure or weakness demonstrates humility.
The mock lesson plan was simple if you prepare properly and remain focused in your presentation. The 10-11 other applicants and the 2 interviewers are your mock students. Objective (3 types of nouns), example/direct teaching, do the learning together, then the students try on their own, last you must measure in some way the student's mastery of the objective.
The person who interviewed me had a senior position on TFA staff. She remains one of my favorite people that I met at TFA, and she actually supported me while I was teaching for the 2 years.

Interview Question – Role Play Scenario - You have 15 minutes to read a scenario and prepare your argument. I was a teacher asking to start a student government club at the school. The interviewer played the principle. She was very closed-minded, shutting down my ideas, and forced me to quickly problem solve on my feet.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Ask questions about your placement, potential schools, and ask how you can ensure that you will be with other TFA members at your placement school.


Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Teacher and Coordinator Interview

Teacher and Coordinator
Nashville, TN

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

Interview Details – The questions are not difficult, but the interview process is intensive for most of their positions. The hiring manager was a bit pompous. Most people who conducted the organization seem to come from privileged backgrounds and seemed a bit out of touch

Interview Question – The questions are not difficult, but the interview process is intensive for most of their positions.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – The application process has multiple steps: a written application, a phone interview (these days), and an in person interview. The in person interview includes personal/scenario-type questions as well as a sample lesson. They are particularly interested in how you deal with adversity or difficult situations in the personal interview and be prepared to discuss your strategies for multitasking/organization.

Interview Question – How do you keep organized?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – there is no negotiation. think carefully about your region ranking - if you rank a region of "high need" highly you are very likely to be assigned there if accepted


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

TFA Corps Member Interview

TFA Corps Member

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Teach for America in April 2013.

Interview Details – Incredibly intense interview process. Very detailed. phone interview followed by in person panel and one on one interview. Role play and moch meetings. Be prepared with questions and with good conversation. Teaching the lesson isn't as bad as it seems.

Interview Question – Role play   Answer Question


No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Director of Development Interview

Director of Development
New York, NY

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Teach for America in April 2014.

Interview Details – The recruiter reached out via email after receiving an employee referral. After a general phone conversation, the candidate was invited to formally apply for the position online. The next step in the process was a set of performance tasks which were designed to be completed and submitted by email. There was a prompt response back upon receipt of materials promising to be in touch within a week to discuss next steps and schedule a formal interview for those moving forward. No follow up occurred. Several months later, candidates received an email survey asking them to evaluate the interview experience. At that point, a follow up email generated a quick reply that the organization was moving in a different direction with regard to the spec for the role.

Interview Question – The interviewer requested that applicants complete a lengthy set of exercises to gauge candidate fit for the position.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

Interviewed at Teach for America

Interview Details – Long interview process that begins with a lengthy application. Then it is followed by phone interview and if you make it to the next round it is an in person interview that lasts about 4 hours.

Interview Question – Why Teach For America?   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Manager, Data & Operations Interview

Manager, Data & Operations
New York, NY

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

Interview Details – Very long, indepth interview process. You will be asked many of the same questions regarding organization, strengths, ability to prioritize and overcome challenges. There are multiple phases, first a phone screening by HR, then an interview with your manager most likely, then an interview with your team, and lastly your manager's manager (typically) or dept. head.

Interview Question – If we were to speak to your last manager what would he/she say is an area for growth for you in terms of communication?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiations since it is a non-profit. You either accept or decline. Good benefits, low compensation.


Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

MTLD Interview

MTLD

I applied in-person and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – Phone interview comes first. They will ask questions about situations that challenged you and how you dealt with it. They ask strengths and weaknesses. Also asked for your biggest professional pet peeve.

Interview Question – Everything was pretty predictable.   Answer Question

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