An In-Home Tutors Interview So Simple Even Your Kids Can Do It
With all the tutors out there nowadays, and with the wide range in their hourly rates, it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin on the search for “the best” when interviewing in-home tutors.
And how can you even tell if they are the “right one” at all? What makes a “good” tutor? Are you feeling like she is right now?
Then be sure to ask your interviewee in-home tutors these questions, to see how good of a fit they might be with your family and your kiddo.
1. How many students do they tutor?
Having many students likely means they are successful and probably a very good candidate. However, if you are a family that has constant schedule changes and needs a high level of flexibility, you might not get it from a tutor who is fully booked. On the other hand, a tutor will a full schedule might be overworked or nearing burnout if they don’t have a structure to maintain such a workload.
A tutor with less clients might simply be new to the business, or maintaining low numbers to keep her flexibility.
2. How long have they been tutoring?
The more years they have under their belt, probably means that they will be more flexible and creative in their teaching techniques, since they have likely had students with many different learning needs.
More years teaching means more opportunities to come up with useful metaphors and examples to better explain difficult concepts.
3. How long have they been tutoring the specific subject you need help with?
Although many years of teaching experience will make them more flexible in teaching styles, nothing can bridge the gap between a long career doing essay proofreading and tutoring geometry.
4. What did they study/are they a student?
Ideally, this will be something related to the subject your student needs help in, but doesn’t have to be. The younger your child is, the less important the tutor’s college major is, since your kiddo’s academics haven’t become too specialized yet.
Children with special learning or behavioral needs, or specialized curriculum like Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccaleaureate (IB) classes will likely require a tutor with a unique skill set, such as behavioral training or experience with that unique curriculum. Opting for a tutor with a lower hourly rate might end up being more costly in terms of frustration and time wasted!Children with special learning or behavioral needs, or specialized curriculum like AP or IB classes will likely require a tutor with a unique skill set, such as behavioral training or experience with the curriculum. Click To Tweet
And college students needing help in their specialized field might need Albert Einstein himself!
Keep in mind that a tutor with more advanced education will likely be charging more per hour.
5. What age range do they normally tutor?
It goes without saying that 5 year olds learn very differently than high schoolers.
You wouldn’t want a home tutor who has always taught teenagers suddenly teaching your toddler. On the other hand, someone who has only tutored little ones might have a hard time shifting gears to teach someone closer to their own age.
And let’s not even go into adult learning theory! If you’re looking for lessons for yourself and your kiddo, you might be better off with two separate instructors!
6. What do they do for fun?
Although most parents don’t place too much focus on this question, ideally the tutor will enjoy some of the same activities as your kiddo so they can have some basis to bond on. Sharing interests and bonding with the tutor will ensure that your kiddo enjoys the lessons more and sees the tutor as someone they can relate to and look up to.
7. What is their tutoring philosophy?
Do they start off difficult to gauge your child’s learning? Or do they start off easy to build confidence and skills from the ground up?
Are they more into immersive teaching, or are they nurturing and supportive?
If they have a background in learning theories they might say something like “errorless learning”.
8. What 3 words would you choose to describe yourself?
Depending your kid’s personality, you might prefer a calmer, patient tutor, or an energetic and fast-paced one. Every child’s needs are different, and your goals for your child will surely change across time as well, be sure to find a tutor that fits those goals!Every child's needs are different, and your goals for your child will surely change across time as well, be sure to find a tutor that fits those goals! Click To Tweet
Do you want to interview calm in-home tutors to make your shy child feel comfortable? Or do you want an outgoing tutor instead, to help bring him out of his shell?
Do you want a firm tutor for your energetic teenager, or an active one for your kiddo to bond with?
9. Do they have any references?
If they haven’t been doing it very long, they might not have anyone they can ask for a reference. However, someone wishing to make tutoring a more permanent job will surely be building up their list of testimonials.
If they don’t have testimonials, perhaps they have a portfolio. They might have learning games they’ve developed, or an educational blog you can check out.
10. How do they accept payments?
Hopefully you aren’t trying to pay them with a jar of coins, but flexibility is key in this arena!
Do they offer bundles or discounts for multi-hour sessions? Or discounts for referrals? Do they only accept cash, or do they have other means of accepting payment?
This might not seem so important today, but on the day when you’re running late, low on caffeine and still have to stop to get the kids a snack, chances are you’ll be grateful for other payment methods! Anything would be better than squeezing in a stop at a nearby ATM for cash.
Interviewing in-home tutors to find the right fit for your kiddo can feel like an impossible task! Hopefully this list of questions was helpful in your journey to finding an educator for your kiddo. If you’re on the search for in-home tutors for your child, be sure to reach out here, and feel free to ask me any and all of these questions! You can also check out my blog post on my ideal lesson, to get a feel for how I like to structure lessons with my students.
Do you have any other questions you like to ask tutors before hiring them?
With all my support,
Author: Stephanie Ortega
Stephanie is a behavior analyst and tutor with over a decade of experience in helping children. She creates planners and worksheets for the organizer within us all, maintains a blog, and runs two start-ups. She’s also a doodler and puppy and cat mom who enjoys travel and learning new things.