Teach for America Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Teach for America Interview Questions

Updated Sep 19, 2018
869 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Binghamton, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Teach for America (Binghamton, NY) in April 2008.

    Interview

    You phone interview first. Then you may make it to the day-long interview. The day long interview consists of some team working projects, analytical tests, a sample teaching, role-playing and a one on one interview. In the team working projects, make sure to be inclusive of all people, be respectful and open minded, listen well, and share your own ideas. In the sample teaching, the most important piece is the reflection afterwards. Be sure your lesson has a beginning, middle, and assessment at the end. The people were very professional. The work culture is tenacious and no-nonsense. Everyone is focused towards "continuually increasing effectiveness," so constructive criticism is valued, solicited, and responded to promptly. This is one of the most fluid, effective, and efficient organizations in the United States. The reason is that everyone leaves their personal pride behind to work towards the collective mission of closing the achievement gap. This is the type of person that they are looking for. If you get the job with TFA, do not accept unless you are willing to put your students first, above yourself, and to work 80+ hour weeks, especially in your first year as a corps member. This being said, as a corps member you will experience unimaginable personal growth.

    Interview Questions

    • What would you do if a principal forced you to cut science from your elementary curriculum because the state only tested English and Math?   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    There are no negotiations, except maybe on where of the 28 TFA regions you will be placed in. If there are extenuating family circumstances or health issues, you get to choose more directly.


  2. Helpful (5)  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Teach for America (New York, NY) in November 2008.

    Interview

    I was attracted to Teach for America for many reasons--a chance to make an immediate difference, the challenge, chance to move across the country, free masters degree, alumni network, grad school applications--and recruited by Teach For America to be a recruiter myself. Thus, I had already worked as a Campus Campaign Coordinator at the University of Southern California for almost 4 months before applying.

    Essentially, make sure that you do research on education inequity, the progress that Teach For America has made, and that you're joining the movement for the right reasons. The application process is becoming more competitive, and it boils down to qualified people are turned away because they don't have the knowledge about or drive to fix education.

    Draft responses to address the following issues: a difficulty you have overcome, a success story despite obstacles, your understanding of public education. Avoid generalizations and statements about education that you cannot quantify or speak for personally.

    Also, make sure you do at least one test-run of your lesson plan with someone who has taught. They will offer excellent advice of how to clarify your instruction.

    Interview Questions

    • I had to role-play a situation where my principal would not allow my students to take home library materials in order to finish research for their term papers (4th grade... I was being ambitious. ;-)

      My goal was to convince her to let them have more access to the materials.   1 Answer
  3. Helpful (9)  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at Teach for America (San Francisco, CA) in March 2008.

    Interview

    The process required quite a bit of preparation, including pre-interview reading materials and preparing a 5 minute presentation. The process of the online application resembled that of an undergraduate school application. This was followed by a 30 minute phone interview and then a 6 hour, all-day, one-on-one interview.

    Interview Questions

    • The interviewers create a scenario and the interviewee is expected to take on the role of a teacher who is bargaining with his/her principal for classroom materials.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    Potential corps members are able to negotiate placement locations across the country, as well as the general teaching age one would like to be with.


  4. Helpful (4)  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Newark, NJ
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Teach for America (Newark, NJ) in December 2008.

    Interview

    The interview process for Teach for America is fairly long and involved, but it is worth it. There are four rotating deadlines throughout the year. First there is a written application, which involves all of the normal personal information, your school transcripts, a letter of intent, and a short essay. There is a lot of emphasis throughout the interview process on overcoming obstacles and how you deal with obstacles and stress. If you passed the written interview, you will be notified in about a week that you have made it to the phone interview phase. Several articles will be available to read online, and your phone interviewer will ask you to discuss them. My interviewer also asked me how I have worked with others in past situations (including people that I did not get along with) and asked me to discuss another situation in which I was working on a project and faced a challenge. We discussed the reasons that I was applying, my views on the achievement gap, and what I thought the reasons for the gap are. They said to expect the phone interview to be about half an hour, but mine was around 50 minutes. About a week after the phone interview, I was notified that I had made it to the final in-person interview. There were many dates and locations to choose from, and this was all done online. Before the final interview, there was more assigned reading and I also had to rank my choices of the regions throughout the country. On the interview day, the morning consisted of a sample teaching session for 5 minutes (be sure to state what your goals are and interact with the other interviewees, who are your "class") as well as small group activities. Then we did individual interviews in the afternoon. The notification day was not for about 6 weeks after my final interview, so the overall process was about two months from the time that I first applied to the day I received my offer. They will offer you a region and a tentative grade level assignment, and you have to take what you get-- no negotiating!

    Interview Questions

    • Describe a time that you were working on a project with a specific goal, and you encountered an obstacle. How did you deal with the situation?   Answer Question

  5. Helpful (2)  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America in April 2009.

    Interview

    The interview process was intense. After an initial application read-through, you are invited to a phone interview or straight through to the final interview. The final interview is a day-long session consisting of a 5 minute classroom presentation, a group discussion, 1-1, writing sample, and basic skills test. Interviewers are very friendly and make you feel comfortable, despite the nervewracking experience.

    Interview Questions

    • How do you keep yourself organized?   2 Answers

  6.  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Berkeley, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Teach for America (Berkeley, CA) in November 2009.

    Interview

    I had a phone interview that consisted on several case questions. The interview lasted about 30 minutes. To get the phone interview I had to apply online and write an essay, submit my resume, and have several references. The online interview process was easy, but the phone interview was intimidating.

    Interview Questions


  7.  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Angeles, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Teach for America (Los Angeles, CA) in September 2009.

    Interview

    The interview process is quite strenuous, but it seems like if you read over the common interview questions posted on this website, you should be able to get through the phone interview pretty easily. On the phone interview, they will go over your experience, some challenges you have faced and how well organized you are

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America (San Jose, CA) in February 2010.

    Interview

    First applied online and had to write an application essay stating why I wanted to join TFA. Next I participated in a phone interview where I was asked questions about my organization skills, professional background etc. I was invited to participate in the final in person interview which includes presenting a 5 minute sample lesson plan, participating in some group activities, taking a small skill/data analysis quiz, and finally a one on one interview. The sample lesson plan was pretty straight forward. Remember to engage your "students" and find a way to check students for understanding. 5 minutes passes really quickly, so don't try to teach more than the time allots. The group activity and individual quiz are pretty straight forward, just be sure to participate and present your idea clearly in both. The individual interview was really comfortable and conversation flowed nicely. Expect typical interview questions - the type you can pull off of any interview prep website, also expect teaching related questions (since this is for a teaching position). Everything is really quite straight forward as long as you take time to think about typical interview questions. Keep in mind, they want to invite everyone who qualifies to become a corps member, so you're not competing with the other interviewers, everyone wants you to succeed.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    There were no negotiations since salary is paid by the school district you are hired with, not TFA.


  9.  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Jacksonville, FL
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America (Jacksonville, FL) in November 2008.

    Interview

    First I was contacted by a recruiter. After several emails and meetings I decided to apply. After applying I was moved on to the phone interview. The phone interview was 30 minutes long, and asked questions about how many difficult situations I had been in, and how I handled them. Then I was moved to the final all-day interview. The all day interview consisted of teaching a lesson, a written part, a group situation part, and finally a one on one interview.

    Interview Questions

    • Have you ever had to work with a boss you didn't get a long with?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    None


  10. Helpful (2)  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Teach for America (New York, NY) in March 2010.

    Interview

    The TFA interview process is extremely extensive and taxing. Be sure you definitely want to do TFA; otherwise, it is extremely easy for the recruiting team to weed you out. You first apply online to qualify for a phone interview. If you get past the phone interview, you are invited to a final interview day.

    The final interview day lasts from 9AM - AT LEAST 2PM. The afternoon is spent in one-on-one interviews, and so you have to wait until your turn. I was assigned to a 3:35 meeting, but this was delayed until 4PM. I think this is generally the case on final interview day.

    Interview Questions


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