Teach for America Interview Questions

Updated Aug 25, 2015
553 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)  

    2010 Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America in February 2010.

    Interview

    I applied January 8th (3rd application deadline). The time from application to offer spanned 2 months to the day (3rd deadline applicants were notified of their status on March 8). On January 14th, I was notified that I would be skipping the phone interview process and would move directly to the final interview. There was a small window to sign up for in person interviews that were held the week of February 8th. Unfortunately, this did necessitate getting overnight accommodations at a local hotel the night prior because the interview day started at 8:00AM and their interviews are often held on college campus' throughout the US - the closest of such being in Albany, NY as I live in a rural part of Northern NY. The interview day began promptly at 8:00 AM and each person's end time varied based upon the time of their 1:1 interview. There will be about 9-12 people at your interview, and at mine, thankfully, people were kind enough to ask around to see who had the furthest drive - offering the earliest 1:1 interview times to those people with the furthest commutes. I believe the latest time may have been from 5:00PM to 6:00PM. The day starts with giving your 5 minute classroom presentation. I will say, though, the time goes by so quickly. Practice your presentation. Time it. It was evident the people who were not prepared - they didn't provide enough copies of their handout despite the numerous times it was mentioned to come with 14 copies of your handout (12 for applicant, 2 for interviewers). Don't be that person. Next, you break into groups to discuss the articles they asked you to read. The interviewers sit close to you to hear your discussion, but they do not participate. This was the least stressful part of the interview. Read the articles so you have something to say, but don't dominate the conversation. There's a break in there somewhere to use the bathroom, but it isn't long. You will take a test. I found this to be the most stressful part of the interview because it was timed. From what I can recall, there were several multiple choice questions requiring your analysis of data tables. For example, there'd be a chart showing 10 students, 10 grades, and 3 methods of study/ instruction. The question would be "Based upon the table, which method of instruction should Mr. Jones eliminate?" It's basic math / critical thinking and appears to be the sort of thing you would need to do in your own class. There was also an essay on this test . I cannot remember what exactly you had to write about, but you had somewhere around 25 minutes to write. You have to write a second essay as well, although it is not part of the test. The question was something relating to your reaction or feeling about the group component of the interview. There were no right or wrong answers. Somewhere in there we heard a brief story about one member's experience int he Corps. They also gave a spiel about the Delta and Louisiana, and said that you could change your preferences but to only either of those locations for 48 hours after the interview. They also mentioned that a change had "no bearing" on your admissions decision, but I find that extremely hard to believe. The day wraps up with the scheduling of your 1:1 interview. I was the first interview of the day of my subgroup. They asked us to be to the interview time 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time. I was annoyed because the interviewers ate lunch during my session, and I was starving. Yes, I did eat before I arrived, but it was going on several hours at that point, and I did NOT have time to eat lunch before my interview. During the 1:1, it's pretty typical of other interviews that I have been on with the exception of a role play. The interviewer played the history department head and I played a teacher asking for permission to take the kids on a field trip. It did get a little intense, because she didn't just play nice with me, which the interviewer apologized for at the end. Your placement offer may or may not be related to the lesson you taught. I did pre-K and my placement is secondary English.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    There is absolutely no negotiation. They present you with an offer of a region, grade level, and subject - you can either accept it or reject it.

  2. Helpful (2)  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • 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
  3.  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Raleigh, NC
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America (Raleigh, NC) in November 2010.

    Interview

    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 Questions

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  5.  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America.

    Interview

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

    Interview Questions

    • 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
  6.  

    Teacher Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Teach for America in October 2010.

    Interview

    Skills test, then phone interview, then had an all day 1:1 interview.

    Interview Questions

  7. Helpful (1)  

    Teacher Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America in March 2011.

    Interview

    Long process. The interviews were fun and exciting, but definitely require stamina to remain engaged.

    Interview Questions

  8. Helpful (2)  

    Teacher Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America (Washington, DC) in November 2010.

    Interview

    Teach for America is a seemingly great program. They offer college graduates an excellent forum to put off the real world, while adding a goldmine to their resume. With that said, TFA is not respected amongst the teaching community, and they are more interested in adding people with rockstar resumes, than people who might actually be a good teacher (hence, education majors cannot apply). The program is backwards. TFA is famous for stringing people along. They receive more applicants than just about any job, so it is difficult to make each step of the process. It consists of an initial application with essay, a short question/answer online "test", a phone interview, and an intensive all day interview with a practice lesson. While this may sound easy, candidates at each stage are cut for not apparent reason. It is an extremely difficult process for a college senior who is likely going through his first application, and is largely unfair. I would avoid the TFA headache, because even if accepted into the program, be ready for a 2 year nightmare which a high percentage of participants soon hate.

    Interview Questions

    • What would lead you to quitting TFA?   1 Answer
  9. Helpful (1)  

    Teacher Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America in March 2011.

    Interview

    TFA is very clear about their interview process. All the rules, requirements, etc. are noted. They even provide online seminars for potential interviewees for help. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about my TFA interview experience.

    Interview Questions

    Reasons for Declining

    I did not end up getting the city I desired, and I chose to decline my offer noting that I would potentially apply again in the future.

  10.  

    Teacher Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Teach for America in March 2012.

    Interview

    I had an enjoyable interview process, and let me tell you people aren't kidding around when they say it is a competitive process. Everyone was very polite and personable, and I felt like I did great on my interview. Although I did not get an offer, I have nothing but positive things to say about the whole process. Other than the fatigue that sets in from waiting for the entire interview process to conclude (its easy to start getting nervous with anticipation), the staff and the recruiters did their very best to make the experience as informative and adventurous as possible.

    Interview Questions

    • What, if anything, would cause you to quit the program?   Answer Question
  11.  

    Teacher Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America (Seattle, WA) in March 2009.

    Interview

    Wrote essays for first round, phone interview for second round, and group interview for last round of interviews.

    Interview Questions

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