Teach for America
Teach for America Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
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TFA Corps Member Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5 months - interviewed at Teach for America in March 2012.
Interview Details I spent 2-3 weeks on the online application as it requires a ton of paper work. There was a lot of lag time since I had to wait on my university to send back documents. The essay also took a lot of time and thought. All of this time paid off because I got promoted directly passed the phone interview and to the in person interview. Since I didn't have a phone interview, I cannot speak much to that. What I do know is that they try to gage your interest/passion for the movement to close the achievement gap.
The interview was behavioral. These are the questions I remember:
How do you keep yourself organized?
The interviewer used highlights from my resume and then asked me to speak about them to specific questions. I ensured that I connected my experience to how that could help me in the classroom. Additionally, to prepare for the interview, I had TFA's core values in mind, and tried to make connections to those core values in an indirect way (without saying the actual word or value). For example, explaining a time of failure or weakness demonstrates humility.
The mock lesson plan was simple if you prepare properly and remain focused in your presentation. The 10-11 other applicants and the 2 interviewers are your mock students. Objective (3 types of nouns), example/direct teaching, do the learning together, then the students try on their own, last you must measure in some way the student's mastery of the objective.
The person who interviewed me had a senior position on TFA staff. She remains one of my favorite people that I met at TFA, and she actually supported me while I was teaching for the 2 years.
Interview Question – Role Play Scenario - You have 15 minutes to read a scenario and prepare your argument. I was a teacher asking to start a student government club at the school. The interviewer played the principle. She was very closed-minded, shutting down my ideas, and forced me to quickly problem solve on my feet. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Ask questions about your placement, potential schools, and ask how you can ensure that you will be with other TFA members at your placement school.
Teacher and Coordinator Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Teach for America.
Interview Details The questions are not difficult, but the interview process is intensive for most of their positions. The hiring manager was a bit pompous. Most people who conducted the organization seem to come from privileged backgrounds and seemed a bit out of touch
Interview Question – The questions are not difficult, but the interview process is intensive for most of their positions. Answer Question
Corps Member Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Teach for America.
Interview Details The application process has multiple steps: a written application, a phone interview (these days), and an in person interview. The in person interview includes personal/scenario-type questions as well as a sample lesson. They are particularly interested in how you deal with adversity or difficult situations in the personal interview and be prepared to discuss your strategies for multitasking/organization.
Interview Question – How do you keep organized? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – there is no negotiation. think carefully about your region ranking - if you rank a region of "high need" highly you are very likely to be assigned there if accepted
TFA Corps Member Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Teach for America in April 2013.
Interview Details Incredibly intense interview process. Very detailed. phone interview followed by in person panel and one on one interview. Role play and moch meetings. Be prepared with questions and with good conversation. Teaching the lesson isn't as bad as it seems.
Interview Question – Role play Answer Question
Director of Development Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Teach for America in April 2014.
Interview Details The recruiter reached out via email after receiving an employee referral. After a general phone conversation, the candidate was invited to formally apply for the position online. The next step in the process was a set of performance tasks which were designed to be completed and submitted by email. There was a prompt response back upon receipt of materials promising to be in touch within a week to discuss next steps and schedule a formal interview for those moving forward. No follow up occurred. Several months later, candidates received an email survey asking them to evaluate the interview experience. At that point, a follow up email generated a quick reply that the organization was moving in a different direction with regard to the spec for the role.
Interview Question – The interviewer requested that applicants complete a lengthy set of exercises to gauge candidate fit for the position. Answer Question
Corps Member Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at Teach for America
Interview Details Long interview process that begins with a lengthy application. Then it is followed by phone interview and if you make it to the next round it is an in person interview that lasts about 4 hours.
Interview Question – Why Teach For America? Answer Question
Manager, Data & Operations Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Teach for America.
Interview Details Very long, indepth interview process. You will be asked many of the same questions regarding organization, strengths, ability to prioritize and overcome challenges. There are multiple phases, first a phone screening by HR, then an interview with your manager most likely, then an interview with your team, and lastly your manager's manager (typically) or dept. head.
Interview Question – If we were to speak to your last manager what would he/she say is an area for growth for you in terms of communication? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiations since it is a non-profit. You either accept or decline. Good benefits, low compensation.
MTLD Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied in-person and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Teach for America.
Interview Details Phone interview comes first. They will ask questions about situations that challenged you and how you dealt with it. They ask strengths and weaknesses. Also asked for your biggest professional pet peeve.
Interview Question – Everything was pretty predictable. Answer Question
Teacher Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Teach for America in March 2013.
Interview Details Process is long. Be prepared to write compelling answers to the questions in the application. Make sure you are informative about any activities you were involved with during undergrad. Show your leadership skills.
Interview Question – Why teaching? How will you handle backlash from an administrator? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Took about 3 months
Manager Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through another source and the process took 5+ weeks - interviewed at Teach for America.
Interview Details Interview was very thorough. They do not really do a good job of getting to know the new employer. It is clear there is a right answer and if you dont say the right answer, with respect to their corp values, they wont seek to understand why you disagree. Very difficult to get accepted but if you talk about you lack of priviledge...ie if you are of any minority than it is A LOT easier to get in.
Interview Question – How do you feel about profound additional impact within the classroom? Answer Question
Interviews for Top Jobs at Teach for America