Teach for America

  www.teachforamerica.org
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Teach for America Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 18, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

76%
10%
7%

Interview Experience  

68%
24%
7%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
427 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member
Chicago, IL (US)

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

Interview Details The application process has multiple steps. Beyond an initial application where you answer a few general questions [why do you want to join Teach For America], you are basically submitting a resume for the first round. Then, if you are moving forward, they will contact you for either a phone interview or to let you know that you are advancing to the final round. They state that getting a phone interview does not mean you are somehow not 'as good' as someone who advances to the final stage, though it does introduce one more opportunity for you to be eliminated from the process. The final interview is an all day commitment. I don't have specific knowledge about the phone interview because I advanced to the final round. In a room with about 10 or so other applicants, you will have to present a 5 minute sample lesson. The key to this portion is your ability to name a specific objective that you will teach and literally achieve that objective such that you can demonstrate student mastery of the objective. The other applicants role play being your students during this portion, in addition to the interviewers who tend to take on 'adversarial' roles. Afterwards there is a group activity. The group has a limited amount of time to read a prompt relating to a school issue, such as expanding a program and seeking out approval from a principal who has every reason to say no. During this time, interviewers are walking around and listening/observing. This is not the time to overtalk/interrupt or 'be the boss', but rather demonstrate that you can work productively with a group of people. Finally, you will have a one on one interview where you are asked to discuss in detail how you manage tasks in high pressure situations.

Interview Question – I was asked what I would do in a situation where I would not meet a deadline for a project.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I was given the choice of my top 5 cities and I got my #1 choice. I was also given choices for subjects to teach and got one of my middle range choices.


Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

TFA Corps Member Interview

TFA Corps Member

I applied online and interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details The lesson plan, group project and the interview were very straight forward. They really emphasized how "hard" working for TFA would be and told us that if we thought that the next year as a corps member would be easy, we shouldn't bother showing up to the final interview.

Interview Question – The classic - what's the biggest challenge you've faced?   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

I applied online and interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details online Application, phone interview, final group interview

Interview Question – sworn to confidentiality   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Information Technology Interview

Information Technology
New York, NY (US)

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

Interview Details The interview process is extremely long. It should be simplified by either testing one's knowledge specifically and reduce the process to from 3 sessions to 2. The recruiting staff needs to give consistent relevant feedback to a candidate that is not selected rather than stating, I'm sorry.


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

TFA Corps Member Interview

TFA Corps Member

I applied online and interviewed at Teach for America.

Interview Details During the process there is a general application, phone interview, and final interview. During the phone interview they ask you questions from your resume and times you have had to manage difficult situations. The people who call are very friendly and do not try to trick you. The more you talk about handing difficult situations=the better.

In the final interview there are about 12 people who also interview with you. You do not have to compete with them (they can offer a position to all of you or none of you). You are asked to do a 5 minute "lesson plan," group problem solving, and a one on one interview.

Interview Question – During the final interview they give you a role playing situation in which you have to convince the "principal" (interviewer) that you should be allowed to take a group of students on a field trip (they give you road blocks as to why the trip couldn't be allowed).   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – None.


Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Teacher Interview

Teacher
Madison, WI (US)

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Teach for America in February 2014.

Interview Details Rigorous process. Includes online application with essay questions, phone interview, online activity, and comprehensive in-person interview.


Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

Interviewed at Teach for America

Interview Details First you submit your application, which is pretty straight forward. Then you have the phone interview and a test online. The phone interview is rather basic, they just ask you typical interview questions. Basically explaining your resume to them. The "test" is just a few logic questions. The last step is the 5 minute lesson plan, group activity, and the in person interview. For the 5 minute lesson, just practice and pick something you are familiar with. Most importantly, MAKE IT FOLLOW THE FORMAT OF AN ACTUAL LESSON, and MAKE IT CREATIVE! You really need to display that you know the format of a lesson plan. For the group activity, be assertive but not too aggressive. Make valid points, don't talk for the sake of talking. And the final interview only took me about 25 minutes, they ask how you would ask the principal for field trip funding, etc. I walked away convinced I didn't get the job because the interview was so standardized I couldn't tell what he thought of me.

Interview Question – How would you convince a principal for funding for a field trip?   View Answer

Reason for Declining – TFA couldn't guarantee me placement in a SPED classroom, so I decided to go the traditional route of becoming a teacher.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member
Claremont, CA (US)

I applied through another source and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Teach for America in February 2013.

Interview Details TFA is very transparent. Prior to my phone and in-person interview, I studied their website and mission diligently (TFA recommends doing this.) I also went online and looked for suggestions as to how best to prepare for the phone and in-person interview. I would highly recommend preparing several (maybe 3 to 4) vignettes that highlight your leadership abilities. It may even be good to detail a time when you struggled or even failed to accomplish a goal. However, if you choose to include a vignette of this type, be sure to make clear the lessons/principles you took away from that experience and how it may have helped you to approach similar situations.

Interview Question – TFA is pretty transparent about their interview process. Though, little information is given regarding the actual questions they might ask, they do provide several suggestions in follow-up e-mails about how to tackle and prepare for the interview.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – At first I was placed in a region far from home, but I was able to get a regional transfer. Keep in mind, that my situation is not typical. TFA states that their offers are usually final. The placement team works to place you in one of your preferred regions, but they necessarily have to do so within the contexts of regional/employer needs i.e. if you lack significant coursework in the science or math, it will be difficult for them to place you in the Bay Area , as this region is in need of teachers competent in that subject.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Corps Member Interview

Corps Member

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

Interview Details The interviews are wonderful experience to see what the Teach For America culture is like. It is an intense process, much like the job will be if you are chosen. The phone interviews can seem a bit awkward, but that only makes the unperson interview seem much more natural. Preparing a mock lesson can seem intimidating at first, but the key is confidence and interaction.

Interview Question – During the phone interview I was asked what the most difficult class I've taken in college was and how I handled it.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – You do not get to negotiate with TFA


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

TFA Corps Member Interview

TFA Corps Member

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

Interview Details Three stage interview process:

1) Personal statement of intent and several short answer questions

2) Phone interview, timed online activity, and 3 references

3) In person interview and 5 minute lesson presentation

Overall, the interview experience was a long, but positive one--if you are set on joining. I had a few buddies work tirelessly through the first two steps, only to get rejected in the final round because they did not convince the interviewers they were committed to the cause. Only worth going through the trouble if you really want it.

Interview Question – Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a coworker and how you worked past it.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiations. Two weeks to decide, no extensions.

See What Teach for America Employees Are Saying

 Former Director

Pros: “Important note: be sure to distinguish between "staff" and "corps member/CM/Teacher" in these reviews since CM's are not staff members and their experience is far different (and far more…” Full Review

Worked for Teach for America? Contribute to the Community!

The difficulty rating is the average interview difficulty rating across all interview candidates.

The interview experience is the percentage of all interview candidates who said that their interview experience was positive, neutral or negative.

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.