Teach for America Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Teach for America Interview Questions

Updated Mar 21, 2017
739 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    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

  2. 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

  3.  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    Very thorough interview process with 3 separate rounds. First round is pretty easy with answering questions and submitting your resume. If you make it to the next round, that is a phone interview. The final round is an in-person and group interview.

    Interview Questions

    • The final interview is a group-teach interview and then an in-person one-on-one interview. For the teaching assignment, you are given 5 minutes to teach a mini-lesson to the other applicants in the room. This interview ends with a role-play scenario that you are given the day of the interview and then a one-on-one.   1 Answer
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5. 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
  6. Helpful (1)  

    Teacher Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America (Atlanta, GA) in October 2016.

    Interview

    Pretty straightforward as you went in for a group teaching interview and then an individual one after. The interviewers were super kind and they gave us a couple of breaks throughout the group interview section. I thought the teaching section would be more difficult than it really was. You only needed to teach for five minutes and the time just flew by!

    Interview Questions

    • What is one accomplishment that you are most proud of?   Answer Question
  7.  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chicago, IL
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Teach for America (Chicago, IL) in October 2016.

    Interview

    The initial essay is very short and simple, but if you are moved to the next round they hit you with 6 more essays and a few more tasks, all with deadlines at different times in the following week. The interview is not at all hard hitting. They focused on parts of my resume that I did not feel were most relevant to the position, but I think they were trying to hear more about my leadership positions. The teaching lesson is also simple. You can do it on anything at all, like how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    Teacher Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New Haven, CT
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Teach for America (New Haven, CT) in October 2016.

    Interview

    First there was a resume drop which was literally just submitting your resume. Then I was offered an in person interview which consisted of a 5 minute sample lesson, a group activity and then a personal interview. The personal interview was mostly behavior and took about an hour. Overall it was a friendly and comfortable process. I was also in contact with a recruiter during the entire process.

    Interview Questions

  9.  

    Teacher Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Spokane, WA
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Teach for America (Spokane, WA) in October 2016.

    Interview

    Long, explain what people do after their two year commitment. I know that people would be happier if they explained every possibility when taching for two years, like MBA programs or gradschool, or networking events for after your commitment

    Interview Questions

  10.  

    Corps Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Teach for America (Atlanta, GA).

    Interview

    My interview was a full-day commitment that involved teaching a sample lesson, having a group discussion, and ended with a 1-on-1. This was with a group of 10-15 people, so part of the end of the day was spent waiting to have the 1-on-1. You were absolutely expected to show up on time and be prepared, and you only had about 5 minutes to "teach" your sample lesson, which meant picking an extremely simple task and breaking it down into extremely simple steps. I made sure I knew what my objective was and stuck to it!

    Interview Questions

    • How do you organize your time?   1 Answer
  11.  

    Teacher Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Interview

    Pretty long. There was the online application, then phone call, then online activity, then in-person interview. The 5 minute lesson was pretty nerve-wracking, but they are super super strict on the 5 minute length. They will give you a one minute warning, so by then you should be wrapping up.

    Interview Questions

    • What are some of the challenges you have faced, and how did you approach them?   Answer Question

See What Teach for America Employees Are Saying

Corps Member

Star Star Star Star Star     Former Anonymous Employee

Pros: “Great professional development and experiences that open doors”“Great professional development and experiences that open doors” – Full Review

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