Teach for America

  www.teachforamerica.org
  www.teachforamerica.org

Teach for America TFA Corps Member Interview Questions

Updated Dec 12, 2014
Updated Dec 12, 2014
50 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

70%
16%
13%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

75%
16%
7%

Interview Difficulty

3.6
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy

50 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all interviews

Sort: Popular Date Difficulty

1 person found this helpful  

TFA Corps Member Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Anonymous Interview Candidate
Application Details

I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Teach for America in November 2013.

Interview Details

I applied online on their website and filled out an application. There are certain deadlines that will end the application pool. Once the application pool closes, there will be a day where TFA will notify you if you have been selected for a phone interview. Once you set up the appointment for a phone interview, be sure to be ON TIME, as they are very punctual.

Interview Questions
  • Can you tell me a time you failed and what you did?
    What attracted you the most about Teach For America?
    Why Teach for America and not someplace else?
     
    Answer Question
No Offer
Average Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Teach for America

  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    TFA Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Teach for America in October 2013.

    Interview Details

    Well I'll be completely honest. TFA is not for everyone. The first step is to fill out an online application. This application is very thorough, long, and is not something that you can do last minute. Make sure your resume focuses on your leadership experiences and your essay questions reflect true passion for their cause. Everything needs to be lined up with their mission and their core values. So, do your research.

    Next is the phone interview/online activity. Some people skip the actual phone interview and is invited straight to the final interview. I think it just means that everything they were looking for was given and explained on their application. But, if you're offered a phone interview don't be worried. Just be yourself and be prepared. Be familiar with your resume and leadership experience and be ready to explain specific details. If you say you increased something, know the numbers or percentage and how you did so. Be very specific. The online activity is very long. First there is a watch and respond. You'll watch a video and respond. Then there's a test, there isn't a "correct answer" but they just want to see how and what you would do in certain situations. It's not hard though, just make sure that you think things through.

    Lastly, there's a three part final interview. It consists of a five minute lesson plan, a group interview/activity, and then a one-on -one interview. All I can say is be prepared. For the five minute lesson plan--practice, practice, practice. Make sure whatever you choose to teach, you KNOW well and you can be completely confident in. Don't over think the lesson. Make sure that you're engaging the audience, have some sort of interaction, and use your time wisely. The group interview/activity. I cannot say this enough, Teach for America is NOT competitive it's selective. They are not looking for a set number of applicants. They are just looking for people who meet their standards. So try not to be a know it all and a control freak. Make sure you're heard, but also give others a chance to be heard. Review their core values: TEAMWORK. Work together as a team. I HIGHLY advise that you get to know the other interviewees and learn to support and encourage each other. It makes the day SO MUCH better. The one on one interview. Mine was awesome. The interviewer was SO nice and kind. Try not to be alarmed or feel like they're not paying attention to you when they're typing on their computer. They're taking notes on you. This is their way of painting a picture of who you are to the admissions team. So, be yourself, be prepared, and be passionate. I know TFA only accepts 11 % of their applicants but don't let that worry you. If you are truly passionate about something, it will show.

    Interview Questions
    • I agreed to keep questions confidential. Just know your responses to your application long responses, your resume, and leadership experiences.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation . When offered to the final interview, you are asked to pick 10 locations: under the categories: highly preferred, preferred, and least preferred. You will also be asked to pick grade level and subject as well under the same categories.

    If you are offered a position, based off the need of the locations you picked and what you qualify for is how you will be offered a position. Your only options are to accept it or decline.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    TFA Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Teach for America.

    Interview Details

    You fill out an online application. After a couple weeks, you find out if you've been invited to a phone interview. After the phone interview, you find out if you're invited to a final interview where you have to present a 5 minute lesson plan, a group activity, and then schedule an individual interview.
    The in-person interview is basically the same thing as the phone interview. It was a very tedious process with a lot of waiting. They focus mostly on accomplishments you have received. Prepare for the teaching lesson by practicing beforehand. It'll help a lot! When they say you only get a certain amount of time, they mean it!

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    TFA Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Teach for America.

    Interview Details

    I applied online, then got through to the in-person interview without the phone call interview. I did a 5-minute lesson plan presentation, discussed some pre-interview readings, and then chatted with two people in person about why I wanted to do TFA. Overall was a very positive and enjoyable interview process.

    Interview Questions
    Reasons for Declining

    My work situation was still very much up in the air and I would have had to commit hundreds of dollars in training before knowing whether my work situation was secure.

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5.  

    TFA Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Teach for America.

    Interview Details

    After submitting the online application, there is a phone interview that you may or may not have to complete. I skipped to the final interview which was in person. There was a 5 minute presentation that each interviewee had to deliver to display creativity and speaking skills. There was also a group conversation and a one-on-one interview.

    Interview Questions
    • The questions were not very difficult, however the role play was unexpected.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
  6.  

    TFA Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed 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 Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    TFA Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Angeles, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Angeles, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Teach for America in January 2013.

    Interview Details

    i applied right before the fourth deadline, and received an email a couple of days after inviting me for a phone interview. i completed the phone interview last sunday and i'm waiting to hear back, so hopefully it's good news.

    Interview Questions
    • they will ask you A LOT about your leadership experience, so be sure to have some answers!   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    TFA Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Teach for America in December 2012.

    Interview Details

    I actually felt cheated with my interview considering how much time and effort I put into preparing. My interviewer spent the first 5 minutes talking about how tired and exhausted she was and yawned throughout the interview stating she was tired. Overall very disappointing and turned me off from reapplying.

    Interview Questions
    • It was pretty straightforward. Be prepared to answer many questions from your application.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  9. 16 people found this helpful  

    TFA Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Angeles, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Angeles, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Teach for America in March 2012.

    Interview Details

    It is an extensive process. TFA is selective, NOT competitive. There isn't an "x" number of people they choose for the corps every year, they choose everyone who is qualified (that is because some districts are so understaffed that they literally take as many corps members as TFA can give them). Thus, you are evaluated based on TFA's "bar", NOT compared to your peers. The selection rate (of around 11%) has gotten lower in recent years is because the number of applicants increased more than the number of qualified applicants.

    The first step of the application is online (form, resume, essay), which is a primary screening to see a few things:

    1) Do you have leadership experience? Do you have numbers to quantify its significance to an extent? (ex: how many people you managed/led, how big of a budget you dealt with, etc)

    2) Do you understand TFA's mission? Are you really on board? Are you just looking for a place to boost your resume?

    3) Are you a passionate person? Can you handle the work? Have you been through challenges?

    If you come across as someone with these traits, you will move to the next stage in the process. I interned at recruitment the summer before I applied, so I learned a lot about what they were looking for. If you are especially strong in showing these on the initial application, you can even skip the next stage in the process and go straight to the final interview!

    The second step is a phone interview. From what I've heard, they mainly try to get you to elaborate/flesh out the 3 things above based on what you submitted for the first step. Their website actually lists 7 "things", but some of the others don't become as important until the final stage of the interview process. Their list of 7 is below (taken from their website under the page "Who We Look For"):

    -A deep belief in the potential of all kids and a commitment to do whatever it takes to expand opportunities for students
    -Demonstrated leadership ability and superior interpersonal skills to motivate others
    -Strong achievement in academic, professional, extracurricular, and/or volunteer settings
    -Perseverance in the face of challenges, ability to adapt to changing environments, and a strong desire to do whatever it takes to improve and develop
    -Excellent critical thinking skills, including the ability to accurately link cause and effect and to generate relevant solutions to problems
    -Superior organizational ability, including planning well and managing responsibilities effectively
    -Respect for individuals’ diverse experiences and the ability to work effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds

    If you move forward to the final interview stage, the rumors are that they usually take about 50% of the remaining candidates and actually accept them into the corps. However, that number could change drastically from year to year based on how they choose candidates (read first paragraph to review this).

    The final interview is intense. Beforehand, they will have you complete an online activity. They force you to sign a confidentiality agreement not to discuss the specifics of that, so I will honor that here. If you focus and take it seriously, you shouldn't have any problems.

    The final interview is in-person and is a full day. In the beginning, they have you in an interview group of a max of 10. Each candidate teaches a 5 minute lesson to their "class", which is the rest of the interview group. The time limit is very strict (they will stop you if you're not finished). The purpose is not to impress them with the complex data you can communicate, or to prove you're already a teacher, but to show that you know how to communicate to a class in the teaching environment.

    After the lessons are finished, there is a group discussion activity. They want to see that you can make valuable contributions to the discussion while not dominating and make sure that an outcome is compiled by the end of the time limit.

    After that, you sign up for a one-on-one interview slot and have an interview for about 30 minutes (some are shorter, but not usually longer than that). During the one-on-one, they ask a lot of questions about your resume, why you want to be in TFA, and if you think you can handle the demanding environment. They also do a scenario of some sort than involves talking with a school administrator about implementing a new program.

    Then, you're done!

    They are implementing a new program this year in which you can apply as a college junior to start working after your senior year. If you do not get accepted, they will give you some sort of feedback and let you apply for the fall of your senior year so that you can have another chance to still work in the same corps and apply twice. I'm not sure of the other details of that program, but I would highly recommend it if you are a college junior that feels like TFA could be the right fit for you!

    Interview Questions
    • Most unexpected: Have you ever missed a deadline?   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    There isn't much negotiation. You submit your preferences when you apply, so they know what you want.

    Your offer comes with the content you will be teaching, your grade level range (elem, middle, or high school), and the region (most are cities, some are geographically larger, see their website for details). There are cases where they will make changes for you, but they try all they can not to switch you. If you tell them you will not do the program unless you are switched and they are able to feasibly make the switch, the history I've seen is that they will. It is still very difficult to do, though. Also, none of it is guaranteed and it could switch. This is the case because your placement depends on the district and their needs, which change often. Teach for America does everything they can to get you where your original offer is, but since it is ultimately out of their control, that doesn't always happen. At the end of the day, if you're there to make an impact for kids, it doesn't matter where you are or what you teach. If you are a "professional" (meaning not just out of college), and you have a mortgage or a family to care for or a spouse with a job that limits your regional options they WILL do all they can to honor that. They honestly don't care where your boyfriend/girlfriend is unless you are engaged.

    Also, on the form for your regional preferences, you can place regions into categories of highly preferred, preferred, and least preferred. You only need to put 10 regions, so if you have a specific desire for a region, only put 10 regions and only put the ones you really want in the "highly preferred" column. I say this because if they decide to make you an offer, they decide that before they consider the region. They want you to accept your offer, so if they choose you don't be afraid to make it clear which region you want to be in. I did this and was a later applicant and was surprised that I got my 2nd choice, which was a very popular choice (Los Angeles).
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10.  

    TFA Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Denver, CO
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Denver, CO
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Teach for America in April 2012.

    Interview Details

    The interview process was extensive. It began with an online application. Then a phone interview, a group interview and finally a 1:1 interview. Be sure that you read the materials provided by Teach for America and reference them during your group/1:1 interview to show that you have knowledge of the organization's mission. Don't stress out about the lesson plan. It does not have to be a huge show.

    Interview Questions
    Reasons for Declining

    I applied for the final deadline (poor choice) and was, thus, only offered one option. I could not make the option work.

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

See What Teach for America Employees Are Saying

 Current Corps Member in Atlanta, GA

Pros: “Lots of personal growth and professional development. Eye-opening experience and one of the most important things I have ever done!” Full Review

Work at Teach for America? Share Your Experiences

Teach for America

 
Click to Rate
or

The difficulty rating is the average interview difficulty rating across all interview candidates.

The interview experience is the percentage of all interview candidates that said their interview experience was positive, neutral, or negative.

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.