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Teach for America Teacher Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 10, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

73%
12%
11%

Interview Experience  

61%
28%
9%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
162 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher
San Francisco, CA

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Teach for America in November 2011.

Interview Details – The process was clearly defined and handled rather promptly. I had a phone interview and then progressed to an in-person interview. The in-person interview consisted of a mini-lesson, a group discussion, and a one-on-one interview. They worked hard to be personable and put us all at ease. The group discussion felt a little forced was a relatively minor part of the process, whereas the one-on-one interview appeared to be the most important part of the day.

Interview Question – The mini-lesson itself was difficult to devise, as it was a challenge to incorporate a full lesson within such a short time period.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher

I applied online and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Teach for America in December 2012.

Interview Details – Submitted a long and detailed online application, which included references, transcripts, answers to questions, work and educational history and personal questions. I was then put straight through to the final interview. (Sometimes there is a phone interview after submission of the online application). The final interview is all day long. First you are to present a 5 minute lesson plan on a topic of your choice. It is really anything you want to teach, at any grade level. If other participants don't ask questions the interviewers will. Often they will answer a question posed incorrectly to see how you respond. After this you break into smaller groups and participate in a group activity reading and analyzing problems that may arise in a hypothetical conversation and how you would handle it. After that it is lunch and you sign up for your time to complete a 1 on 1 interview which lasts about 30 minutes. Here there is a role play scenario, a lot of background information, and a generally pretty laid back interview. When it is over you leave and will get a decision in a few weeks.

Interview Question – no real difficult questions just be ready to explain why you want to teach, and how you will handle problems if they arise. The hypothetical story in the 1 on 1 interview doesn't really have a solution, it is a problem you will not be able to solve so just learn when to give up and allow the interviewer (who plays a principal of a school) to keep his/her ruling.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Teacher Interview

Teacher

Interviewed at Teach for America

Interview Details – Skipped phone interview. Taught a lesson on public speaking then interviewed about answers to a case study involving a principal who didn't want to implement some program.

Interview Question – Not difficult but be prepared to answer in a lot of detail how you keep organized   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – The college where I was supposed to get license was wayyyyyy to expensive and I read a lot I mean a lot of bad reviews of teach for america that soured my acceptance. Even school board meetings where teachers shunned TFA.


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher
Cleveland, OH

I applied online - interviewed at Teach for America in January 2013.

Interview Details – Long process, order your transcripts early because they want details of every class you took in undergrad and grad school. All of the people are very friendly and committed to the cause. They had a record number of applicants this year, so the competition is tough.

Interview Question – The questions were pretty typical, nothing unexpected.   Answer Question


Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher

I applied through college or university - interviewed at Teach for America in August 2011.

Interview Details – Got recruited through my university's job database. TFA recruiter was extremely dedicated to TFA's cause, informative, and thorough.

After I submitted my application, which was a long application, TFA invited to a phone interview. Phone interview was short and easy.

Interview Question – No difficult questions.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – I did not want to move from my current location. The job also requires a commitment to getting the job no matter what, which is reasonable; however, you need to be prepared to teach every day in challenging classrooms.


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher

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

Interview Details – There are 3 interviews overall. Getting past the first two rounds isn't very hard; it's the final round that is the most difficult. The final interview you teach a lesson, have a group discussion, and then you have a one-on-one interview. Make sure you follow their STAR advice online because a lot of their questions come from that method. I would also read articles about the education in the places where they teach so you can be more informed for the group discussion. In the interview you are asked questions on your personal perseverance. They also ask a lot of questions about your organizational skills so be sure to have specific examples about that.

Interview Question – Tell me more about your organizational skills. How do you stay organized and keep track of all your appointments?   Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at Teach for America in November 2012.

Interview Details – The entire process is pretty straightforward. TFA doesn't have a set quota because there is such a lack of teachers so they will hire anyone that meets what they're looking for. You must respond to questions with TFA's values in mind. In the final interview, you have to teach a very short lesson, discuss a scenario with your group, and have a one-on-one interview with one of the interviewers (there were two). Everyone was very honest and friendly.

Interview Question – One of the interviewers asked me a content-based question during my lesson that I found a bit tough to answer.   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher
Spokane, WA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Teach for America in September 2011.

Interview Details – The hiring process is long and extensive. After filling out all the online requirements, which include the basics and a statement, you proceed to the phone interview. The phone interview is short and tedious, but none of the questions are out of left field. The most difficult thing was the short amount of time given to get your points across.

Interview Question – They asked me about what my biggest flaw was. This is always a tricky question and I'd recommend giving it some serious thought and research before the interview so you're prepared with a concise and confident answer.   Answer Question


Declined Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher
Boston, MA

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

Interview Details – Online application, followed by a phone interview, some applicants are directly moved to the day-long final interview.
Final interview: 15 interviewees present, 2 interviewers.
Each applicant teaches a five minute lesson
Then there is an observed group activity.
Finally a 30 min. individual interview.

Interview Question – Have you ever missed a deadline?   View Answer


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher
Boston, MA

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

Interview Details – I applied for the early deadline in August because luckily I knew that I definitely wanted to do this for the next two years. This consisted of submitting a resume, answering a few questions and submitting a 300-500 word personal statement. Overall, it was pretty simple.

Before that, one of the recruiters reached out to me since I was referred as a student leader on campus. She was absolutely amazing and supportive. She just finished her 2 years teaching and was incredibly passionate. This made me more excited.

I found out that I made it to the Final Interview in less than a week! Basically, they allowed me to skip the second round phone interview either because my app was very informative or because they thought they had enough info to skip straight to the interview process.

Since I found out so early and my interview was a month and a half away, I definitely procrastinated big time! I was recruiting for other jobs and dealing with school so the final interview just snuck up on me. In retrospect I wish I started preparing earlier.

The final interview is almost a full business day long. You immediately do a mock 5 minute lesson plan amongst a group of other candidates. It literally is 5 minutes so preparation is key! I was not as prepared for this part at all. I made it through my lesson but I didn't address all of my objectives which worried me a bit. I would have rated myself as a 6.

The second part of the interview is a group case where we work together to identify problems within a given situation at school. I am a social sciences major so I was very comfortable with outlining the issues in urban schools. Here I would have rated myself as a 9.5

Finally you have the one on one interview and my interviewer did a great job of concealing her expressions and opinion of me. Normally, I could gauge the rapport I have with someone, but this was more nebulous. I thought I was a little verbose in my explanations and thrown off by a few questions. I would personally have rated myself as a 7.

*In the downtime of the final interview day, you get to meet so many wonderful applicants! Get to know them! Many of them are sweet and genuine people who you can learn a lot from. I made so many new friends over lunch and I really loved hearing their stories.*

My advice:

1) The process was very simple. I would stress that you have a well thought out reason as to why you want to apply. Teaching is very personal and your application should be. I read a lot of applications through my campus job in admissions and if you could imagine how much generic apps come in, you would avoid doing that at all costs. Really SHOW who you are and why your experiences are relevant to the job.

2) Apply early! Particularly if you have a location preference or if you really know you want it, don't wait. Early applicants get priority, bottom line. It also gives you more time to prepare and evaluate other options

3) Connect with a recruiter. This person could be your advocate and can answer a lot of questions without being judgmental.

4) Don't be like me and prep hard for the teaching portion. I spent 2 weeks agonizing over my acceptance because I was not confident about this part of the process. On the other hand, I didn't panic! That's probably the worse thing you can do. I was still energetic, I made a few jokes and came off as very relatable.

5) If you are not from a low-income/minority area, you better show that you are compassionate and that your experiences are relatable. A lot of teachers panic because they do not know how to deal with the students in their class. I think TFA fears that these students will drop out so you need to convince them through your experiences that you are relatable and perseverant.

Cons: I personally cannot think of anything that annoyed me. If you don't like writing personal statements, it could be challenging, but other then that, nothing comes to mind.

Interview Question – Describe a time when you didn't complete a project   View Answer

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