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Getting ready for any interview can be daunting. That’s why we put these interview resources together – a guide to help you through the most important aspects of the TFA interview process – from tips to interview questions to the lesson plan and more – so you can put your best foot forward, every step of the way. We can’t wait to meet you!

Prefer to watch this guide as a short video? Check out our brief video overview.

1. Where does my TFA interview take place?

All interviews are held virtually and conducted over Zoom. After you sign up for an interview time, you’ll receive a calendar invite with a link to the Zoom meeting. 

2. Who will I interview with?

Your interviewer may or may not have been in the corps. Either way, they're eager to share their passion for equity with you!

Every Teach For America staff member – whether they work in recruitment, admissions, regions, marketing, finance, technology, or any other sector – steps away from their normal work during our interview weeks to engage meaningfully with a handful of applicants. 

We do our best to match you with an interviewer based on your responses and regional selections from your application, and they review your materials with care and consideration. You will hear from your interviewer via email soon after getting invited to an interview. They’ll introduce themselves and share a bit more about their own experience with TFA. 

3. How do I sign up for an interview? 

If you’re invited to interview, you’ll receive notification via email and in the applicant center. You’ll be able to sign up directly on your interviewer’s calendar for a time that works for you. You can reschedule if something urgent comes up, but we ask that you please be mindful of rescheduling, especially on short notice. Your interviewer will be holding this time and thoughtfully preparing for your interview. Rescheduling, particularly toward the end of the interview window, may impact your ability to interview with Teach For America.

4. How is the TFA interview different from other interview processes? 

This isn’t your typical interview. We’re not merely checking off a list of ideal skills. We want to understand what motivates you and makes you uniquely qualified to address inequity, particularly in the classroom. Our interview process is designed to bring out your authentic self.

Our interview process is designed to bring out your passion because we're seeking dedicated individuals to invest in our children during and after their two years of service. So, take your time to thoroughly review and prepare for each part of the process. Be yourself at every stage of the interview. 

5. How long does it take to prepare and how long is the interview? 

Previous applicants have shared that it takes them about 2 - 3 hours to prepare for the interview, including contacting references and preparing for the sample teach and case study. The interview itself is a 90-minute calendar hold. It may take that full time, or a little less. After the interview, you ask that you enter your coursework, select the subjects you’d like to teach and the regions you’d most like to teach in. This takes upwards of 60 minutes for many.

Something unique about our process is though the interview is intensive, there is only one. For opportunities elsewhere, you may be interviewing with multiple people over several weeks. 

6. What is due before my TFA interview?

  • At least one submitted recommendation from a reference (your role in this is to provide contact information for two references)
  • Your college transcript
  • Preparation for your case activity and sample teach 

7. How do I get recommendations?

You’ll provide TFA with contact information for two references. We’ll send them a unique web link to complete an online recommendation form. Choose people who can speak to different aspects of what you’ve done or accomplished. It could be a professor, advisor, coach, supervisor, current or former manager, etc. We do not recommend you choose friends, family members, family friends, and colleagues/peers as recommenders.

Check out more tips on choosing a reference, whether you’re a college student or professional. 

8. How do I find my official transcript? (And what if I can’t) 

All applicants invited to a TFA interview are required to upload official transcripts. If you do not have access to your official transcripts before your interview, we ask that you submit an up-to-date unofficial transcript in its place. Any applicants that receive an offer to join the corps must provide an official transcript after their interview. You should be able to get a transcript by contacting your college registrar’s office. 

Here is some further guidance on required documentation for your interview. 

9. What is expected in the sample teach? How do I prepare a sample lesson for TFA if I’m not currently a teacher? 

During your interview, you will have the opportunity to imagine yourself as a corps member by delivering a five-minute sample teaching lesson. Sample lessons must be for a specific grade (K-12), a specific subject area (math, science, English, art, etc.), and have a clear objective.

A five-minute lesson may seem like a daunting task, but the truth is that it's nothing to worry about. Pick a subject you like, and have fun with it. We recommend teaching something you enjoy, even if it’s not academic. We’ve seen people teach music, physics, tying your shoelace, and more–the possibilities are endless. On the day of, your interviewer will guide you through timing and expectations.

For more tips, check out how to prepare for the sample teaching lesson during our interview

10. What is the case activity and how do I prepare? 

If you receive an invitation to interview, you will be provided with a data set to review. You will be asked to prepare a proposal using that data set to share with your interviewer during your time together. This is the case study activity. You can present your proposal verbally or have a visual to share, it’s up to you! Think about preparing for the proposal in the same way you’d prepare to answer any other interview question.

Keep in mind there is not one “right” way to respond or a specific idea that our selection committee is looking for you to surface. Instead, we want you to focus on thinking critically about the scenario and present a proposal that reflects your approach to problem-solving.

For a more in-depth look at preparing for the case activity, check out preparing for the case activity in your TFA interview.

11. Do you have any other TFA interview tips? I’m nervous (and excited).

It’s absolutely normal to feel a mix of nerves and excitement before our interview! 

Remember, regardless of the outcome, we want you to examine how your values and experiences advocate for children beyond this moment. We work hard to create the atmosphere where you can bring your best self to the table. 

Have more questions?

If you have logistical questions about what to expect the day of…