Tutors can be a highly effective means of improving your learning or understanding of a subject. Whether basic or complex concepts, accessing the expert knowledge a tutor can offer is often beneficial to pupils of any age.
It would be best to ask the exact right questions when you interview a prospective tutor for your child or yourself. After all, if you are looking to hire a tutor, it is only natural to have various queries you’d like answered. For example, you may be interested in the different types of tutoring available or how much a tutor may cost.
Below, we list some of the most common and important questions you should ask a tutor at the interview stage of your hiring process.
Questions to Ask a Prospective Tutor
How Much Do You Charge?
You may already know the answer to this question before you even get to a potential tutor’s interview. But, if you don’t, now is the time to ask it. Once you know how much the tutor charges, even if you think it is expensive, you can use the rest of the interview to decide whether you believe they can bring value to your situation.
Additionally, on a practical level, it also offers a way of broaching the subject of discounts. Some tutors may provide lower prices for repeat, regular work or deals for prepayment of several sessions.
What Are Your Qualifications?
A tutor’s qualifications can determine if you are hiring a subject matter expert who can teach effectively. Knowing their capabilities and, consequently, what type of tutor they are can also help you understand why they charge as much (or as little) as they do.
For example, a student tutor may charge less than a fully trained teacher, as they have not completed the necessary qualifications. However, their level of knowledge may be sufficient for your needs. On the other hand, it could be that you need a well-qualified expert in a particular subject, and you need to guarantee they have the relevant credentials. Understanding a candidate’s experience can lead you in the right direction.
How Do You Know a Pupil Is Learning at Their Best Ability?
All people learn differently, and an excellent tutor will quickly intuit the best way to teach their students, modifying their style so everyone can learn to the best of their abilities. Asking how a tutor takes this nuanced approach helps confirm that you are hiring a great tutor instead of just a good one. It also verifies if they can work with you or your child when learning difficulties are present.
What Do You Do If a Pupil Finds a Particular Concept Hard?
Learning difficulties or not, there will always be concepts that a student finds hard to understand. So, it is crucial to determine how a tutor deals with such complexities. You hire a tutor so the student can get a good grasp of an idea, so you need to be sure that your tutor can break down a complex subject into smaller bite-sized chunks and approach challenging concepts in different ways to help support effective learning.
What Subjects or Topics Are Your Weakest?
Knowing what topics a tutor considers their weakest is a good idea for two reasons. It alerts you whether they have the relevant skills to teach specific subjects, and it allows you to see how they deal with their weaknesses.
A tutor candidate may highlight that they do not consider an essential subject for you as a strength, but they may offer a highly proactive and constructive way of addressing that weakness. As a result, you get to see how they problem-solve and determine if their deficiency will affect your learning in practice. Be sure you fully understand how teaching their weakest subjects will not negatively impact you before going this route.
What Is Your Availability?
Availability may sound like an obvious consideration, but it is still crucial to ask questions about it. After all, you or your child may have preferred times of day to learn. Some people want to learn in the morning, fresh from a good night’s sleep. Others are night owls, liking to learn much later in the evening. If your prospective tutor does not have availability when you would like, it may be worth considering another person altogether.
What Challenges Have You Faced, and How Have You Overcome Them?
It is always good to know how a prospective employee, tutor or not, has overcome challenges in the past. It helps you see what they have difficulty with and how they solve problems. Critical thinking is a core ability for a tutor. They need to intuitively adapt to their students’ learning styles in the most effective way possible, which is how you get the best value for your money from hiring a tutor.
Interviewing a Tutor: Final Thoughts
Interviewing a tutor is the best way to confirm that the person you hire is the best for the job. Find someone whose personality and expertise align with your needs. Taking time to ask the right questions increases your chances of hiring someone that helps your learning instead of hurting it, propelling you toward your educational goals!