Teach for America
3.8 of 5 302 reviews
www.teachforamerica.org New York, NY 150 to 499 Employees

Teach for America Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 11, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

77%
10%
8%

Interview Experience 

69%
23%
7%

Interview Difficulty 

400 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Teacher Interview

Anonymous Employee

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

Interview Details – The online application is very thorough. I recommend meting with a recruiter to help answer any questions you amy have. Some applicants are required to do a phone interview; others are advanced to the final interview day. Before the final interview day, there are many forms to complete and files to upload. This takes time! You also need to secure two recommenders and one reference. The final interview day includes a sample lesson, group activity, and individual interview.

Interview Question – (I have not yet participated in the final interview)   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – none

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

TFA Corps Member Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Teach for America in December 2013.

Interview Details – The first step is the online application. After this I was invited to a phone interview and had to complete an online assessment. The phone interview was not bad, mostly asked about your leadership experiences. The assessment had you listen to a scenario and write a few responses. It also had a test that had you interpret charts and data. Next step was the in person interview. You had to teach a sample lesson plan in front of the group, then read an article and have a discussion, then you had a personal interview. The interview included a role play which was difficult and the interviewer was aggressive. Asked how it made me feel when I didn't get my way, how far would I push, what info did I wish I had? What would you do if you had an 8th grade class that read at a 3rd grade level, what would be your goal for them? How do you stay organized?

Interview Question – Would you ever quit?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Corps Member Interview

Anonymous Employee
Chicago, IL

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

Interview Details – The application process has multiple steps. Beyond an initial application where you answer a few general questions [why do you want to join Teach For America], you are basically submitting a resume for the first round. Then, if you are moving forward, they will contact you for either a phone interview or to let you know that you are advancing to the final round. They state that getting a phone interview does not mean you are somehow not 'as good' as someone who advances to the final stage, though it does introduce one more opportunity for you to be eliminated from the process. The final interview is an all day commitment. I don't have specific knowledge about the phone interview because I advanced to the final round. In a room with about 10 or so other applicants, you will have to present a 5 minute sample lesson. The key to this portion is your ability to name a specific objective that you will teach and literally achieve that objective such that you can demonstrate student mastery of the objective. The other applicants role play being your students during this portion, in addition to the interviewers who tend to take on 'adversarial' roles. Afterwards there is a group activity. The group has a limited amount of time to read a prompt relating to a school issue, such as expanding a program and seeking out approval from a principal who has every reason to say no. During this time, interviewers are walking around and listening/observing. This is not the time to overtalk/interrupt or 'be the boss', but rather demonstrate that you can work productively with a group of people. Finally, you will have a one on one interview where you are asked to discuss in detail how you manage tasks in high pressure situations.

Interview Question – I was asked what I would do in a situation where I would not meet a deadline for a project.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I was given the choice of my top 5 cities and I got my #1 choice. I was also given choices for subjects to teach and got one of my middle range choices.

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

TFA Corps Member Interview

TFA Corps Member

I applied online and interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – The lesson plan, group project and the interview were very straight forward. They really emphasized how "hard" working for TFA would be and told us that if we thought that the next year as a corps member would be easy, we shouldn't bother showing up to the final interview.

Interview Question – The classic - what's the biggest challenge you've faced?   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

I applied online and interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – online Application, phone interview, final group interview

Interview Question – sworn to confidentiality   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Information Technology Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
New York, NY

I applied through a recruiter and interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – The interview process is extremely long. It should be simplified by either testing one's knowledge specifically and reduce the process to from 3 sessions to 2. The recruiting staff needs to give consistent relevant feedback to a candidate that is not selected rather than stating, I'm sorry.

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

TFA Corps Member Interview

TFA Corps Member

I applied online and interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details – During the process there is a general application, phone interview, and final interview. During the phone interview they ask you questions from your resume and times you have had to manage difficult situations. The people who call are very friendly and do not try to trick you. The more you talk about handing difficult situations=the better.

In the final interview there are about 12 people who also interview with you. You do not have to compete with them (they can offer a position to all of you or none of you). You are asked to do a 5 minute "lesson plan," group problem solving, and a one on one interview.

Interview Question – During the final interview they give you a role playing situation in which you have to convince the "principal" (interviewer) that you should be allowed to take a group of students on a field trip (they give you road blocks as to why the trip couldn't be allowed).   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – None.

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Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Teacher Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Madison, WI

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Teach for America in February 2014.

Interview Details – Rigorous process. Includes online application with essay questions, phone interview, online activity, and comprehensive in-person interview.

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

Interviewed at Teach for America

Interview Details – First you submit your application, which is pretty straight forward. Then you have the phone interview and a test online. The phone interview is rather basic, they just ask you typical interview questions. Basically explaining your resume to them. The "test" is just a few logic questions. The last step is the 5 minute lesson plan, group activity, and the in person interview. For the 5 minute lesson, just practice and pick something you are familiar with. Most importantly, MAKE IT FOLLOW THE FORMAT OF AN ACTUAL LESSON, and MAKE IT CREATIVE! You really need to display that you know the format of a lesson plan. For the group activity, be assertive but not too aggressive. Make valid points, don't talk for the sake of talking. And the final interview only took me about 25 minutes, they ask how you would ask the principal for field trip funding, etc. I walked away convinced I didn't get the job because the interview was so standardized I couldn't tell what he thought of me.

Interview Question – How would you convince a principal for funding for a field trip?   View Answer

Reason for Declining – TFA couldn't guarantee me placement in a SPED classroom, so I decided to go the traditional route of becoming a teacher.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Anonymous Employee
Claremont, CA

I applied through other source and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Teach for America in February 2013.

Interview Details – TFA is very transparent. Prior to my phone and in-person interview, I studied their website and mission diligently (TFA recommends doing this.) I also went online and looked for suggestions as to how best to prepare for the phone and in-person interview. I would highly recommend preparing several (maybe 3 to 4) vignettes that highlight your leadership abilities. It may even be good to detail a time when you struggled or even failed to accomplish a goal. However, if you choose to include a vignette of this type, be sure to make clear the lessons/principles you took away from that experience and how it may have helped you to approach similar situations.

Interview Question – TFA is pretty transparent about their interview process. Though, little information is given regarding the actual questions they might ask, they do provide several suggestions in follow-up e-mails about how to tackle and prepare for the interview.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – At first I was placed in a region far from home, but I was able to get a regional transfer. Keep in mind, that my situation is not typical. TFA states that their offers are usually final. The placement team works to place you in one of your preferred regions, but they necessarily have to do so within the contexts of regional/employer needs i.e. if you lack significant coursework in the science or math, it will be difficult for them to place you in the Bay Area , as this region is in need of teachers competent in that subject.

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