Thursday, February 27, 2014

Teach For India - Round II

Based on my online application I was shortlisted for the telephonic interview which was the next step in the selection process. I received an email on the 18th of February from TFI confirming my candidature to the next stage which was a telephonic interview. And to my surprise the interviewer was himself a Fellow (2012-14) who was teaching, in a school in Yerwada, Pune. My telephonic interview was scheduled on 20th of February. I had butterflies in stomach but I knew all I could do the best was to be myself and it would be just fine.
I was to get the call between 9:00PM - 10:00PM IST. My work timings are 12:00PM - 9:00PM IST so I rushed back home as soon as my shift was over. I opened my laptop and kept the TFI website open; my TFI application file was open and a bottle of water beside me. I played an episode of FRIENDS and waited calmly for the call, munching on to a snicker bar (Intake of sugar is always good to keep one energized and calm). To my surprise, the interviewer did not call till 10:00PM. I was a little tensed then, but I calmly opened my Gmail account and sent my interviewer a mail that I did not receive any call in the time slot allotted. And then I just served myself some food and sat down for dinner; just then I got a call from an unknown number. I find unplanned telephonic interviews extremely crucial, but then I just took a deep breath and answered the call. First, he very politely introduced himself, and then apologized for the delay for the call, narrated a bit about the whole Teach for India movement. Also he informed me that he will be typing down every answer of mine and thus, to spare him few moments after every answer.
During the interview, I firstly listened to every question asked carefully and then took a moment or two to collect my thoughts and then answered confidently. I got quite some time since he also took a few moments to type down whatever I said.

The questions he asked were pretty obvious. To mention a few of them;
1) Why do you want to be a Teach for India Fellow?
2) Why Teach For India and not anything else?
3) Narrate an incident where you displayed your leadership qualities.
4) What qualities are you looking forward to develop within you at TFI?
5) What goals would you want to achieve in the two year of the fellowship?
6) How would you like to manage your classroom differently than the others?
7) What qualities or values would you like to bring within the kids at your school?
8) What will be your short and long term goals are TFI?
9) Narrate a situation where you managed some problem or any situation by yourself and also mention if you succeeded at doing so and how you felt about it?

And few more, I don’t exactly remember. The interview went on for about 45minutes. At the end, he asked me if I had any questions to which I inquired as to how many applicants have been invited to the second round and how many final fellowship offers does TFI intend to make this year. He told me that TFI has no specific number as to how many offers would be made or so, TFI strictly goes for quality. Also, he told that there were approximately 35-40,000 applicants this year and about 7-10% is offered fellowship.

My interviewer also informed me that I would be getting my results in a fortnight’s time and roughly after a week, I got this message from TFI confirming my progress to the next round - Assessment Centre.

The message:
Dear Neha,
Congratulations! We are delighted to invite you to the final stage of our selection process for the 2014 Fellowship – the Assessment Center! Our process is highly selective and this year less than 30% of all Applicants have reached this final stage. We were impressed by your leadership, achievement and commitment to this movement.
The Assessment Center is an opportunity for us to meet you in person and to find out more about your experiences and interest in Teach For India. It is also a great opportunity for you to meet us and other like-minded Applicants.

I badly want to be a part of TFI and when I got the mail confirming my admit I was screamed so loud, my roommates almost freaked out! The last round to go now, this will be happening around mid-March. Fingers crossed!! :)


  1. All the Best!! :) Indeed u have choosen a noble profession :)

    1. Thanks a ton sweetie! Hope I get the opportunity to work for them soon :)