Teach for America Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Teach for America Interview Questions

Updated Feb 21, 2017
315 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Teacher Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Teach for America.

    Interview

    Was reached out to a recruiter but did not get accepted. This process seems like a scam. It takes a few months to go through entire process. For application, then group interview with teaching a lesson plan.

    Interview Questions

  2.  

    TFA Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Teach for America.

    Interview

    Extensive interview. Online application is the easiest part, but they require candidates to complete pre work before the final interview such as short answer responses to questions that require a lot of thought and time. Make sure to be prepared for the five-minute demo, include an evaluation of the students and make sure to know how to respond to wrong answers.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about a project (they also ask class) you had a challenge with?
      They ask follow-up questions about it, when did you realize it was going to be challenging? What was the end result?  
      Answer Question
  3.  

    Teacher Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Houston, TX
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Teach for America (Houston, TX).

    Interview

    Online application, then you are notified if you have been selected for an interview...after this you have to upload transcripts, and enter all your credits and classes manually for all semesters online, and prepare for a 5 minute teaching lesson. The lesson can be any subject grades k-12....also you need to read some online material that will be used during a group activity in which the interviewers don't participate in, but just watch to see who is talking, or referencing the online material. The group has to act like school board members and have to make a ruling on a problem. There is no right or wrong answer to the ruling. Then you have a lunch break, sign up for your personal interview time slot, and wait. The personal interview is about an hour long. A week later they emailed us if we got the position or not. No reason is given if you are not hired.

    Interview Questions

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  5.  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    online application, in-person interview. began in a group of 10 with 5 minute lesson plan demos. Very important to practice these and be very comfortable with presenting the lesson as well as answering possible questions by "students" who may have a tough time with the lesson. Then group activity discussing options concerning local school funding policies followed by a 1 on 1 interview.

    Interview Questions

  6.  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chapel Hill, NC
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America (Chapel Hill, NC) in January 2017.

    Interview

    After the initial online application, I met with a recruiter in person. I was invited to an in-person interview. Then there is a long written component to the application, involving multiple essay questions, called a "pre-interview activity", as well as several readings to complete. The in-person interview consisted of five-minute sample lesson plans, a group activity (you have to come to a consensus in a roleplaying scenario: closing failing schools vs. firing teachers. The answer they want is closing the schools), and then finally the one-on-one interview. I found this to be very impersonal; the interviewer takes extensive notes on their laptop while you explain your answers to questions that are basically a reiteration of the pre-interview essays. There's little to no eye contact, just the constant clicking of their typing. Yikes!

    This entire process took about 2.5 months. Progress is drawn-out, and you have to jump through so many hoops (including finding references who are willing to write very detailed recommendation surveys, as well as manually typing out all of the courses on your college transcript). After all of this, I did not receive an offer, and was rejected with an impersonal form letter.

    Part of me wonders if I did not get the job because there is a question on the financial aid part of the application asking if you own a car. I explained that I do not currently have a car, but that I will obtain one before I graduate. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing why I was not accepted, because TFA refuses to provide feedback regarding admissions decisions. This, combined with their claim to provide a "holistic" assessment of your qualifications, makes it impossible to know whether one is being discriminated against. Since their application process is so rigorous and drawn-out, it seems the least they can do is provide feedback upon request. I feel as though I wasted so much time and energy on this process, and I am crushed that I did not get in; I really do believe in their mission. But overall, my experience was not positive. It was cold and impersonal.

    Interview Questions

    • Name a time when you had a disagreement with a superior   Answer Question
  7. Helpful (1)  

    Manager, Pre Corps Experience Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Teach for America in December 2016.

    Interview

    It was very smooth and detailed. The interviewer was very nice and made you feel comfortable. The interview was about an hour and we covered everything from TFA core values, job description, and how my current job allows me to be qualified.

    Interview Questions

    • To come up with a placement project plan for incoming corps members   1 Answer
    • Which core value do you feel best fits you   1 Answer
  8.  

    Associate, Program Operations Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    Long. I heard back from TFA about three weeks after applying, had an hour long phone interview in the fourth week following submission of the application. I was then told, about three days after the phone interview that I would hear back from TFA to set-up an in-person interview following Thanksgiving (on December 9). The in-person would take place the week of December 12, and I could theoretically then start in the new year. Way too long of a process, so I withdrew my application.

    Interview Questions

    • What interests you about this position?   Answer Question
    • Describe a time you were asked to take over the responsibility for a position that was already in progress.   Answer Question
    • Describe feedback you received from a supervisor that you disagreed with.   Answer Question
  9.  

    TFA Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chicago, IL
    No Offer
    Negative Experience

    Application

    The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America (Chicago, IL).

    Interview

    My interviewer shamed me for exiting an abusive situation. One of the questions she asked is when I left a commitment and I told her about when I was being physically abused on the job and had to end my contract early. This was apparently a mistake, because she would not stop mentioning it afterwards. She kept saying that they didn't know if I would be able to commit to TFA because I broke that contract previously. Let me just say that if a company is going to make people feel ashamed for leaving an abusive situation instead of trying to address the abuse, itself, that is a huge issue. In addition, there were several unprofessional aspects of the interview. Another applicant showed up almost an hour late, and they still let him interview! This was disrespectful to those of us who had actually been on time. Also, the interviewers kept forgetting to start their timers for the lesson plan portion of the interview, leading to some of the applicants to have a longer time than the others. I ended up withdrawing my application.

    Interview Questions

  10. Helpful (5)  

    Teacher Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Tuscaloosa, AL
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Teach for America (Tuscaloosa, AL) in October 2016.

    Interview

    The first step is filling out a pretty in-depth questionnaire. It included pretty basic things like your GPA and why you would want to be a part of TFA. After applying, you find out a week or two later if you have been selected for an interview. After the in person interview, you find out if you have been selected to be a part of TFA.

    Interview Questions

  11. Helpful (2)  

    Teach for America Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America (New York, NY) in October 2016.

    Interview

    The hiring process was one that was long, and clearly geared to elite current or recent college graduates, or elite graduates of good schools with a few years of work experience. During the interview process my own elite education got me to the "final interview" phase, where my nightmarish journey commenced. For grown-ups with say, 20 to 30 years of work or life experience TFA had you jump through hoops. My Carter administration transcripts in 2016! Really not reflective of much. There were short answers which were timed, but not correctly timed. So, set your phone to the 20 minute mark to make sure you get your answers in on time. The questions were about your experience in underserved communities and commitment to education inequities. But, really they want to know if you have big plans to work for TFA and then leverage that into something like an elite law school, medical school or business school which you would not be successful in getting into without the resume builder. There was very, very, very little emphasis on actual teaching, except for a ridiculous 5 minute lesson you are to give in front of your colleagues or should I say college students who in my case were mute and non-responsive to most others instead of interacting. The 5 minute lesson must be perfect. Bring posters, plan an interactive group activity keeping everyone busy. Make sure to state your objective and make sure you meet this objective. I got nervous, went off my well-rehearsed script and choked, which was the cloak of doom in an already doomed "ageism" or "person who worked full-time in the home" elitist scripted interview day. Now, mind you I have degrees from Yale, NYU and such with honors and years of experience, have tried many jury trials and want to return to work after family obligations are no longer such that I cannot work outside of the home. I want to teach and work in underserved schools. I have a recently minted degree with honors up the wazoo that would train me to be great in the classroom, but not necessarily in a five minute lesson where it is artificially limited and you are cut off at exactly five minutes. Kids don't have expiration dates, so while classes have time limits and there are lesson plans, it makes no sense to have a full day of interviews with most of the day pushing the "we create masters of the universe" who teach maybe for the two year commitment and then go on to great things and send our name throughout the world, instead of a full day of teaching related tasks. Instead, you will have an insane and inane policy question which as a group you will have to answer, which is the kiss of death for anyone who actually knows about education policy, because the TFA push is to talk about community and outreach and ... getting to see a pattern here, anything but actually supporting teachers in the classroom who might stay and teach after they have some experience doing so. So, be prepared to spend the day with people, who in my case, did not speak with each other during the breaks, showed themselves to be perfectly prepared with perfect five minute lessons, but no people skills, no ability to empathize. They will get offers.

    Interview Questions

    • Insanely focussed on my calendar method, instead of going off script and asking about my organizational skills related to the many complex jobs I have done in my legal and other career. It was clear that I had already been doomed and my interviewer at this point was just saying "yes" to any question I posed, such as "are you familiar with the old school Franklin planner" question to answer his question about my calendar. When he said "yes" and then asked follow-up questions, it was clear he had no idea about what a Franklin Planner or Day Timer was, or he would not have asked these questions.

      Instead of focussing on my many experiences with kids or teaching or in communities with racial, educational and health care inequities, he stuck to his script which often began with "in your employment or school in the last four years", despite knowing that I had taken time away from paid employment to do things, like focus on personal and family issues (raising kids is not, in TFA land a full-time experience that might be perceived as helpful to teaching ummmmmm......... kids, nor would the experience of dealing with cancer or other issues of disability which might take one away from Masters of the Universe work, but would be directly related to one's ability to understand and inform others about facing hardships and working through them, but I digress). There will be a detailed "In the past four years, what experiences have you had in communities which were challenging and how did you handle them. If you have a skillful interviewer they will work from your resume and their script, if not, you will have a reading of the TFA mantra in artfully interjected, or not so artfully interjected into your life story. Be prepared to talk about your stamina, your flexibility and your promise to stick with it when you find yourself with only one week of classroom training before you are trained for an hour or so a day but in a class of real students depending on your teaching to learn for the rest of the school day during the five week summer program, and then plopped into a real school with real, needy and complex and culturally different students, too many at a time, with no formal instruction on the art of teaching that education programs would give you..... In other words, don't talk like I am writing about TFA, even if you understand that TFA these days is about perpetuating TFA more than hiring the best and the brightest to actually stay in the classrooms instead of the board or court rooms.

      Learn the TFA Mantra over and over. Community building, raising kids up through positive reinforcement methods, and showing off the kids who leave the community to go to the elite ... oops there I go again.  
      3 Answers
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