If you are invited to a phone interview, the first thing you will need to do is sign up for one. Just log on to the Applicant Center and click the "sign up for your phone interview" link on the Status page. While this process is pretty clear and intuitive, there is one step that could get tricky: your time zone! Make sure you select your time zone and mark the date and time carefully in your calendar – you don’t want to be an hour off! Another thing that sometimes throws people for a loop is a.m. vs. p.m. We offer interviews as late as 11:30 p.m. ET (8:30 p.m. PT) for our West Coast applicants and night owls. That 11:30 p.m. has been known to trip people up. It’s no fun to think no one called you for your 11:30 a.m, interview, and then feel a little foolish when you realize it’s actually scheduled for 11:30 p.m. Fortunately, if you do make a mistake when signing up for an interview, or if an emergency arises making you unavailable during your scheduled interview time, you are welcome to reschedule your phone interview on the Applicant Center.
Ok, so I’ve signed up. Now what?
Well, now you can start to prepare yourself, mentally and physically. Yes, these tips are already on the Applicant Center, but they’re worth repeating:
- Review your resume and letter of intent. Your interviewer is going to be interested in getting to know you and why you want to join Teach For America.
- Familiarize yourself with who we're looking for.
- Find a quiet, comfortable place. If you’re in a place where there’s a lot of background noise, it’s going to be difficult to have a conversation.
- Another reason to find a comfortable place? So that you can relax. Take a deep breath and go to your Zen place. Trust me; I understand that it’s easy to feel anxious. Interviews can do that to people. However, it’s important to remember that your interviewer is on the phone with you because they are genuinely interested in you, and what brought you to Teach For America. Sometimes it helps to know that the person on the other end of the line wants you to succeed. I promise; we don’t bite.
Good. Now I’m prepared, but what IS a phone interview? What is it going to be like?
It’s actually not that scary. On the day and time you signed up for, you will be contacted by an interviewer who will be a Teach For America alumnus or staff member. The interview should begin at the time you scheduled so make sure you are ready to start on time. Phone interviews typically take around 30 minutes, though they can run over. You should set aside an hour just to be safe. Sometimes life happens, and your interviewer may call a few minutes late. Don’t worry; you will still have 30 minutes for your interview. While I can’t provide you with the specific questions you’ll be asked, I can tell you that your interviewer is primarily concerned with getting to know you and hearing more about your experiences.
It is true that phone interviews can be awkward at times. You may find the conversation going very quickly, or your interviewer may stop you because s/he has already gotten the information they need, or there may be pauses while your interviewer catches up on taking notes of your conversation. This is just the nature of phone interviews. Don't worry about it! We want to make sure you are able to answer all of our questions, and it is important to us that we respect your time.
Good luck to everyone on their interviews and don't forget you'll be notified if you've been invited to continue in the process on January 16!