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5 Ways to Prepare for Your Interview

Here are five ways you can properly prepare for the interview so you can put your best foot forward.

By The TFA Editorial Team

January 18, 2017

Here are five ways you can properly prepare for the interview so you can put your best foot forward.

Congratulations! You’ve made it this far through Teach For America’s application process.

Now comes the most distinctive part of all: the interview, which occurs in hundreds of locations across the nation.

Whether you signed up for an in-person or virtual interview, it’s easy to have some apprehensions heading into it.

How can you feel at ease? Here are five ways you can properly prepare for the interview so you can put your best foot forward.

1. Take care of what you can control outside the interview itself. 

In other words, make sure you’re well-rested and eat a good breakfast so you can better maintain your focus. Dress professionally. Make arrangements to arrive at your interview site or log into your virtual interview on time.

2. Determine what to teach for your Sample Teaching Lesson.

Choose any age-appropriate subject or objective from Pre-K-12; it won’t impact your eventual assignment. Your “class” will be made up of the interviewers and your fellow interviewees. Remember this should be a full lesson with a clear beginning, middle, and end (even though it’s only 5 minutes).

Once you’ve figured out those details, get the supplies you need, namely any materials you may need for your lesson—such as handouts or posters. Be sure to practice your lesson in advance, and pay close attention to your timing as you will have one minute for prep and five minutes for the actual lesson.

If you have a virtual interview, it will be evaluated with the same guidelines. You will be able to share your screen, files, and applications with the group. Check out our Application & Interview Tips page for more information.

3. Do the pre-work. 

The resources you’ll engage with in the pre-work will give you a better sense of TFA’s mission and the work corps members do.

Read through the What We Do, Who We Are, and the How to Join TFA sections of our website for more information.

4. Plan for the Personal Interview. 

The final part of the day involves an hour-long, one-on-one interview when we’ll explore your background, qualifications, and interest in TFA.

To help you prepare, you may want to practice using the STAR Method, which involves discussing the specific situation that you were in or needed to accomplish, the task you were working toward, the action you took to address the situation, and the result—specifically what you accomplished and learned. 

5. Be yourself and remember why you’re here! 

Refer to the What We Do, Who We Are, Life in the Corps, and Life as an Alum sections of our website to get a more vivid picture of our organization, alumni, and current corps members.

Are you ready to be part of a diverse force of leaders shaping the future of our country? If so, we can’t wait to learn more about you during your interview. Good luck!