Have you applied for Teach for America? If so, the next step
in your application process is the mysterious phone interview. If you rely on
your flawless presentation for in-person interviews, the phone interview may
seem intimidating. However, if you follow these tips from career counselor
Jacquie Gist, you’ll see you can still use that winning look and attitude to
nail your phone interview.
Part One: Prepare, prepare, prepare!
- Teach for America sent you a list of questions
that may be used during the phone interview. USE THEM! Go ahead and formulate
full responses to all these questions, making sure you include background
information, the action you took, and the results of your action
- Go to the TFA website and look over the “Who We
Look For” page. Match skills and experiences on your resume to the
characteristics that TFA is looking for. The more you are familiar with their
requirements and questions and how they relate to YOUR experiences, the more
poised and professional you’ll sound on the phone.
- Prepare questions for your interviewer. All
interviewers are former TFA teachers, so don’t be afraid to ask them personal
questions about their experience!
Part Two: The Day Of
- Dress for the job you want – no, seriously. Even
though the interviewer can’t see you, you are more likely to sound and behave
professional on the phone if you are wearing professional attire.
- Make sure that you are in a location with
excellent cell phone service that is also quiet and free of any interruptions
(i.e. don’t take the call in the Student Union).
- Gather all of your materials, including your
application, your responses to the TFA questions, and the articles sent to you,
and have those readily available during the interview
Part Three: The Interview
- Avoid using exclusionary phrases like “those
types of children” or “parents like that” when talking about the population
you’ll be serving
- You don’t need to be a teacher in your future
life! TFA is looking for individuals from all career fields, and this can be a
unique way in which you stand out against other applicants.
down your interviewer’s name (with correct spelling!!) and their email address. You’ll need this to send a thank you email
several hours later! You can also use this opportunity to sneakily include any
information you forgot to give them during the interview.
Part Four: Life after the Interview
- If you aren’t selected for an in-person
interview, it’s not the end of the world! TFA’s decision to accept or not
accept you is NOT a reflection of you as an individual.
- There are many other opportunities like TFA out
there, including many different teaching corps across the country who serve
- Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. It is
a great way to end up disappointed and unemployed post-graduation. If you need assistance
in your job search, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with any of the
career counselors here at UCS.
Best of luck!!