I had a few readers of my blog (wait, did I say readers of my blog? Holy Crap! I didn't think people would actually be READING this thing...) ask how the phone interview with Teach for America went, and what it entailed. Here's a brief summary and my thoughts:
My call lasted about 45-50 minutes, so quite a bit longer than the estimated 30min -- not sure that's meaningful one way or the other. The woman (and I almost want to say 'girl', as I got the feeling that she was fairly young, but more about that in a bit) seemed fairly competent, and was pleasant -- which is a good start. I've done plenty of interviews where the person was awful and stupid to boot.
First we spent a few minutes on Teach for America itself: why I wanted to join, what I thought the goal or mission of TFA was, and what I thought about it. I still find it a little creepy the extent to which they talk about their mission. It has a very, I dunno, religious tone to it. So, we talked about (said robotically) "CLOSING -- THE -- ACHIEVEMENT -- GAP." Just make sure you've read all of their BS literature on their website, and feel comfortable talking about the material, and you should be fine here.
Next, we spent some time going over my resume. She peppered me with some fairly boilerplate resume/job interview questions. They were the sorts of questions one might have trouble answering right out of school, with no job experience. But, really, anyone with even a few years working should have no problem batting these around. Things like:
- At work, how do you determine success?
- Have you ever come across a challenge at work, and how did you overcome it?
- Have you ever had a conflict with someone at work, and how did you deal with it?
- Did you ever miss a deadline at work, and how did you deal with it?
The only part of the interview which I thought was interesting was her questions about ORGANIZATION. How do I organize things at work? How do I keep track of what needs to get done and their priorities -- but really specific questions. Do you keep it on paper? In a calender? In Outlook? Pretty interesting.
We spoke about the 3 articles (listed in a previous post) briefly. That was basically a -- Can you comprehend what you read -- sort of question.
And that's about it.
Anyone who's been on job interviews before shouldn't have any problems. It should end up being more of a relaxed conversation. I think it helps when the person interviewing you is (quite likely) a bit YOUNGER than you. 8)
I don't want to jinx myself, but I think I rocked the box on the interview. Though, really, who the hell knows exactly what they're looking for. I very well may have answered something in such a way as to flag me as a bad pick.