How Do We Vet Your Student’s Tutor?

When a parent hires a Signet tutor, they’re trusting us to find the perfect match for their student’s needs.

They want someone who can help their student tackle difficult material and navigate academics—and enjoy the process along the way! Signet knows that our most important responsibility is pairing students with great mentors, and that starts with a strong and selective interview process.

In a tutor interview, we see candidates in action and evaluate their skills to make sure they meet our high standards. Are they as enthusiastic and engaging as they claim to be? Truly steeped in patience? In practice, are they committed to letting a student lead a session instead of driving the agenda? Our interview team is prepared to find out.

When we invite a new tutor to interview with Signet, we look at their background and determine the subject we would like to see them work in. We might try biology, SAT prep, poetry, or economics. Our students have a wide range of needs, so we see and interview a diverse and wide range of tutors.

During the interview, a candidate meets with a mock student and works with them in a practice session. Just as if they were meeting a true Signet student, we expect our applicants to come to their session confident and prepared.

In the mock session itself, a top Signet tutor plays the “student” role. These folks have spent hundreds of hours tutoring students and have worked with many, many families. They know what it’s like to be in the room, and they channel that experience to play an honest character for applicants!

An experienced tutor has truly seen it all—anxious students, overconfident students, uninterested students, students who are way behind in the material, and more. They’ve got experience with just about any challenge you can think of, which makes them the perfect people to test our applicants. When the lesson begins, they can play any of these roles, or even a combination, to test a candidate’s skills and adaptability.

We’re looking for a few key things in that initial mock session. A stellar tutor will be able to:

    • Create clear structure for the session
    • Adapt to the student’s personality and style
    • Communicate and deliver information with ease
    • Build a great relationship and rapport with the student

…among many other criteria!

A tutor interviewer is also mindful of “warning signs” that may indicate the applicant is not a great fit for our team:

    • Are they getting frustrated by a student who can’t grasp a simple concept?
    • Bulldozing over a student who isn’t saying much?
    • Acquiescing to a bossy student who is leading the lesson down unrelated tangents?

While we onboard all our new tutors with plenty of development and continuing education, they need to join the team with a certain amount of empathy, patience, leadership, and self-possession.

Working with a skilled, experienced tutor is tremendously beneficial to our students. A tutor who naturally has all of these qualities shines in their mock session and will pass the interview process with flying colors. When they sit down with a Signet student for the first time, you can be sure that they’re worthy of your trust!

Picture of Andrea W.

Andrea W.

Andrea is Signet's Director of Operations and one of our top academic coaches. In her administrative role, Andrea makes sure Signet always runs smoothly and is a fun and productive place for all of our employees. When she works as a coach, she takes a student-driven approach to encourage introspection and reflection.

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