Teach for America
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www.teachforamerica.org New York, NY 150 to 499 Employees

Teach for America Teacher Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 10, 2014
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Interview Experience 

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Interview Difficulty 

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher
Los Angeles, CA

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Teach for America in April 2008.

Interview Details – The final all day interview was the most difficult part. It requires you to give a 5 minute lesson, group interview, and 1:1, all in one day. During the group interview you have to speak up. The 1:1 gives you a chance to reflect on the morning events.

Interview Questions

  • What has been the most difficult time or experience you have had to work through?   Answer Question
  • What do you think are the factors contributing to the educational achievement gap?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I was given a position and could either reject or accept it. While I was trying to decide a number of teach for america representatives called to give me more information. They even made is possible for me to visit a number of schools before I made my decision.

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Teach for America in September 2008.

Interview Details – Teach for America (TFA) has four deadlines. I applied for the first deadline. The process comes in three steps: first, there is an extensive online application requiring essays, resume, references, and recommendation. If accepted to move on, you are then scheduled for a phone interview several weeks later or you can be selected to bypass the phone interview and proceed to the day-long final interview. TFA gives extensively detailed instructions on how to complete each stage and staff members are quick to answer any question, no matter how minute, at any stage of the process. It is only before the final interview that you can rank regions where you want to teach and grade/subject matter. You highly increase your chances if you are flexible with regional placement and are willing to teach special education. There is additional preparation work for the final interview: one must read some background literature on an issue debated in the education world. Additionally, one must come prepared to the final interview with a two minute "sample lesson." This sample lesson can be in any grade or subject. Everyone, myself included, used visual aids of some kind such as maps or handouts. TFA stresses the importance of rehearsing this sample lesson beforehand and expect you to do it without index cards. Being polished and prepared is a huge part of what they are looking for. After everyone in your interview group (all finalists interview on the same day) teaches their lesson, there is a basic skills assessment, a mock school meeting that interviewees participate in as a group, and a question and answer session for your benefit, and then a one-on-one interview. The entire final interview is is conducted by staffers who are former corp. members. They are extremely personable and try hard to put you at ease. Interviewees should come prepared to talk about obstacles they may have faced and how they overcame them, any good group experience with solving problems, and a good answer for why you are interested in TFA. The culture of TFA is very group oriented and very much focuses on solving problems and overcoming challenges. It is drilled into your head that the two years may be the hardest of your life until that point but the consensus is that it's a rewarding experience.

Interview Questions

  • How will you address your principal when you are in disagreement about an important situation   View Answer
  • What makes you sure you can keep the two year commitment to TFA   View Answer

Negotiation Details – You can rank your region and your subject/grade but there is no negotiation when you are given an offer. Choose your regions widely and ask yourself how flexible you are willing to be. Keep in mind some of the most needy regions they are looking to fill requires the use of a car.

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher
New York, NY

I applied in-person and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Teach for America in March 2009.

Interview Details – I first learned about Teach For America as a sophomore in college. The organization does alot of recruiting at the top undergraduate institutions in the US and looks for students who are highly motivated and able to work towards making a change in the education gap in the United States.

Interview Question – Describe a time that you overcame challenge.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – I was offered a job in my field of choice (marketing.)

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher

The process took 2 days - interviewed at Teach for America in February 2010.

Interview Details – The phone interview gauged if I was a leader and what experience I had at leading people. They asked questions about my past work and education experience. The final round interview was a group interview. There were about a dozen other candidates with me in the room. We all had to present our prepared teaching plan to our peers and the two assessors. Then there was a group activity which guaged how you participate in a group discussion. Then there was a logic test, which centered on fixing problems with a school or education system. Finally there was a one on one interview that was very intense. Asked detailed questions about leadership experience, racism, etc.

Interview Question – Can you think of a reason why you would leave Teach for America before your two years were up.   View Answer

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher

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

Interview Details – The interview process begins with a phone interview in which you are asked basic questions. After the phone interview you may be invited to a final interview. In this round you must present a five-minute lesson plan on a subject of your choosing, take a skills test, participate in a group problem solving with 8-12 other interviewees, do a role play activity and do a one-on-one interview. The process is quite intimidating and a bit overdone. During my interview all of the other interviewees were very supportive and cordial. Most people were most nervous about the five minute lesson plan, but it seemed like the interviewers cared more about the other parts. I was not offered a position and received little feedback as to why.

Interview Questions

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Teach for America in March 2011.

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

Interview Question – Explain your view on the achievement gap.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Teach for America in November 2010.

Interview Details – 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 Question – What would lead you to quitting TFA?   View Answer

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher

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

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

Interview Questions

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher

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

Interview Details – 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 Question – What, if anything, would cause you to quit the program?   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher

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

Interview Details – 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 Question – How do you stay organized?   Answer Question

Reason 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.

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