15 Top Tutor Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Posted on April, 2022

Whether you want to work for a school, a tuition centre, or a private educational institution, you will always need to answer a series of tutor interview questions to get the position. Questions that evaluate everything from your aptitude for tutoring to any previous experience you have.

Answering tutor interview questions can be tough if you don’t know what questions are coming. To help with this, we have created a blog about the types of questions you are likely to be asked and how to answer them.

Hopefully by reading this post you will have everything you need to ace your next interview, as knowing what questions you may encounter will help you better prepare for tutor interviews.

For clarity, we’ve broken the 15 top tutor interview questions down into three unique categories: 

  • General Questions
  • Background and Experience Questions
  • In-Depth Questions

Let’s start by looking at the general questions you’ll be asked in tutor interviews.

General Questions

General questions are used to get a better idea of you as a person to understand your personality, interests, and goals.

Many of these questions are just a formality and shouldn’t prove too difficult to answer. A question on your availability, for example, is something you should be able to answer with ease.

Can you tell us something about yourself?

Can you tell us something about yourself is likely to be one of the first questions you’re asked in an interview. This is a personality-oriented question to find out a little more about you.

The answers you provide set the tone for the rest of the interview, so try to provide answers that are relevant to the job you’ve applied for. Talking about the number of years you’ve been tutoring is a great option, if you are a veteran tutor. If you are new to tuition, then your answer will obviously be different.

If you’re applying for a language tutor job, then it might be a good idea to bring up any overseas tutoring experience you might have. Alternatively, you could talk about any relevant trips abroad and how you navigated any potential language barriers.

Woman tutor smiling against a whiteboard

Why do you want to work as a tutor?

This question can leave a lot of applicants stumped. Our advice would be to be as honest as you possibly can.

Everyone will have their own reasons for wanting to become a tutor, so speak your truth. Unsure how to answer why you want to work as a tutor? Here’s some inspiration:

  • You enjoy tutoring, generally
  • You’re looking for a new challenge
  • Helping people is something you enjoy
  • Tutoring is flexible and aligns with other commitments

What is your availability?

Your availability refers to how soon you can start tutoring should you be offered a position. The answer you give will depend on a number of factors.

For example, you might already be employed and the role you’ve applied for crosses over with your current hours. In which case you will need to outline how long your notice period is if you intend to leave the position.

Have you tutored students online before?

Schools and tuition centres now offer online learning as standard. So, you should expect to be asked at least one question on this subject.

Have you tutored students online before is a very general question, but it is one you could be asked in a tutor interview. You’ll need to provide a yes or no answer and then talk about your experience in tutoring online in a lot more detail.

Tutoring online comes with a range of additional obstacles to overcome. So, try to provide examples where you’ve overcome these challenges and how it will help you in this new position.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

This is a classic question, one that isn’t exclusive to tutor-based interviews. It’s a difficult question to answer if you haven’t thought about it, or see it as too broad a question.

Interviewers ask this question for a few different reasons. The most obvious being, they want to know that your professional goals align with the job you’re applying for. If the job you’re interviewing for doesn’t align with your overarching goals, then this could affect your chances of being hired.

There are multiple ways to answer this question, but we’d recommend being as general as possible – unless you have a detailed plan in mind already.

To be general is to talk more about the skills you hope to pick up and the experiences you hope to have on your path, instead of saying you want to be in x position and make x amount of money.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

You’ll almost always need to talk about your strengths and weaknesses in a tutor interview, as is the case with most job interviews regardless of sector.

What strengths you outline should highlight your best qualities in line with the position you’ve applied for. If you’ve applied to be an English tutor, your strengths could be in how you communicate and your attention to detail.

No one wants to look like they can’t handle the requirements of a tutoring job, which is what makes questions on your weaknesses so difficult to answer.

As tutors ourselves at Redbridge Tuition, we would advise you to be as honest as possible. Find a true weakness of yours and tell the interviewer about it. But follow-up your answer by explaining what you’re going to do about it.

This shows initiative, and that you care about developing your career. It shows institutions that they can trust in you, knowing that what’s a weakness today could become a strength tomorrow.

Man taking notes ahead of an interview

Background and Experience Questions

These questions are aimed more towards your education, any previous tutoring experience you might have, not to mention any other relevant experience that could come in handy.

Unlike the general questions shown above, these questions we’re about to cover are a lot more tutor-focused. So get some paper and a pen ready, as you’ll probably want to take notes for this part.

How long have you been tutoring for?

This tutor interview question typically applies to candidates who hold prior experience tutoring. You see, not every candidate will need tutoring experience.

Some institutions will be willing to take a chance on someone who shows they have the drive, the determination, and the awareness needed to become a tutor.

What degrees do you have?

You’ll be asked this question in a lot of tutor interviews, and with good reason. You see, to be a tutor you will usually need to have a degree in a relevant field, whether it is a bachelor’s degree, or even a masters, depending on where you’re applying.

When asked what degrees you have, try to use the opportunity to talk about what you learned along the way to get those qualifications.

Sure, having a degree from a respected university is great to have. But there are ways to amplify its effectiveness in an interview. By providing context, you give institutions more of a reason to hire you based on what you’ve already experienced!

The degree is there to show that you have in-depth knowledge of the subject, however it is as important that you are able to relate to children and their learning journey.

Can you explain your teaching style?

It’s your tutoring style that determines the ways students learn, how you manage the classroom, and how you view your students, generally. Your style is incredibly important as it tells institutions whether or not you’re a good fit for their students.

To answer this question, you’ll need to describe your teaching style, which you can do so using some of the following terms, for inspiration:

  • Creative
  • Enthusiastic
  • Honest
  • Imaginative
  • Assertive

We’d recommend including an example of a lesson plan or activity to accompany any adjective you use. Doing so will provide context to what you’re saying so that the interviewer understands your methods fully.

How do you measure student progress?

There are various ways to monitor and measure student progress. If you’re asked this question in a tutor interview, you’ll be expected to go into the finer details in order to outline your methods. This will involve you understanding different assessment types.

Providing students with tests is a very simple way of measuring progress. As is informal observation, where you reflect on the progress they’re making by seeing how they perform throughout the day. Making note of any strengths or improvements as you go. This is but one way to measure student progress.

Above all else, what methods you mention need to be adaptable to meet the needs and requirements of every student. Remember that when answering this question in an interview.

What other experience do you have that could apply to tutoring?

It goes without saying, but any answer you provide to this question needs to be relevant. Instead of looking at job titles, look at the skills you’ve developed from other positions, and ask yourself: would they benefit a tutor?

General punctuality and time management skills most certainly will, as tutors will be expected to carry themselves a certain way, and be able to stick to a set schedule.

You don’t have to look at previous job experience to answer this question either. Volunteer experience, for example, could be mentioned to showcase your multitasking abilities. Again, you can talk about anything, as long as it’s relevant.

A blue question mark on a pink background

In-Depth Questions

In-depth questions are arguably the most difficult to answer, requiring candidates to describe their problem-solving skills and how they’d act in certain scenarios. Interviewers ask these questions to confirm whether or not you’re right for the job.

These questions could be asked in response to the answers you’ve given to other tutor interview questions. So it’s important that you plan ahead for this, to not be surprised should they challenge you.

How would you reward a student doing well in your class?

Rewarding students is part of their development. It’s used to champion growth and achievement, giving students something to work towards as they continue to learn. This question is a common follow-up to the ‘how do you measure student progress’ question mentioned above.

Some prospective tutors will talk about rewards in some way in their answer to that question, meaning it’s quite natural for an interviewer to ask how you reward students – unless you outlined the rewards in your previous response.

So, how would you reward a student doing well in your class?

What rewards you distribute will depend on the age of your students and what they deem rewarding as a result. Healthy snacks, for example, are great rewards for younger students while older might not consider this as much of a reward.

The rewards you hand out don’t have to be so tangible either. For example, praising students verbally could be a reward. As long as you’re being specific with the praise you’re giving them.

How would you react if a student becomes disinterested in a lesson?

This question is almost the opposite of the previous example we mentioned. Rewards are for students that excel, whereas this question is focused more towards students who aren’t nearly as engaged.

To respond to this question, prospective tutors should implement something known as the STAR method. STAR stands for:

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Actions
  • Results

This method starts by explaining a situation you experienced, the task you needed to complete, the actions you took, and the overall results of your efforts. Let’s use an example of how this might play out:

Let’s say you had a young learner who said that they didn’t understand the topics covered in one of your lessons. So, to help them understand, you sat with them for an additional 15 minutes after class, and as a result, they then went on to pass a test on this subject.

Demonstrating this highlights your awareness skills, not to mention your ability to assess and communicate with people to help them better understand certain things.

Could you explain a time where you’ve had to accommodate students with learning challenges?

As a tutor, you’ll need to show that you can accommodate students from all walks of life, regardless of creed or any other notable considerations, such as learning disabilities.

To answer this question, candidates could talk about inclusive practice, what it means to them, and an example of how they’ve implemented the approach in a real-world setting.

Inclusive practice is a teaching approach that recognises the differences between students, and uses this to ensure that every individual can access educational content and participate in the same way as everyone else.

We at Redbridge Tuition look for candidates that take this sort of consideration into account, as does every other notable institution. So, if you are asked about how you approach accommodating various different students, you now know what to talk about.

Let’s say a student is being difficult, throwing things around the classroom and screaming. How would you react?

Scenario-based tutor interview questions like this give candidates the opportunity to contextualise a lot of what they’ve already spoken about. Try to explain what you’d do in a very calm and clear manner.

For this particular scenario, you could say something like:

“I’d first diffuse the situation and ask the student to talk to me outside of the classroom. There I’d ask them to talk about what their issue is in an attempt to get to the bottom of it. If I know why, I can develop strategies for this student so that it doesn’t happen again. If it does, I’ll then get parents involved so that we can solve this issue together.”

This is a very broad response, but it shows that you’re assertive and quick to problem solve to help that particular student. How you choose to respond could differ, just make sure you answer the question that’s been asked, as some candidates tend to go off on a tangent, thus forgetting the original question.

15 Top Tutor Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

By this point you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect in your next tutor interview, or so we hope?

Do keep in mind that not all of the tutor interview questions mentioned will be asked to you. Some will (i.e. what are your strengths and weaknesses), whereas others won’t (i.e. how long have you been tutoring for).

The questions you’re asked will depend entirely on the position you’re applying for. For example, you might be asked subject specific questions to test your knowledge of that particular area.

Not to worry though. If you’ve done enough research, and prepared accordingly, you should be able to handle any tutor interview question that’s thrown your way!

At Redbridge Tuition, we’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates over the years. The tutors we’ve hired have all been able to answer the questions we’re about to cover with complete confidence. Which is another piece of advice for anyone interested in becoming a tutor: be confident.

Interested in becoming a tutor, but don’t know where to find the latest job opportunities? Head over to our careers page for the latest job opportunities at Redbridge Tuition.

We are always on the lookout for talented and passionate people to work with. If you don’t see a job position for you, get in touch and we’ll see if we can find a position for you.

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