Some great qualities of a leader are:
- Being someone who people naturally want to follow
- Exceptional interpersonal skills
- Strong relationship building skills
- Taking ownership for the team's errors and mistakes
- Excelling at motivating others
- Providing kudos to your team
- Knowing how to select and hire the right people to join the team
- Having a vision for the future
These are just a few to get started! Which qualities do you most identify with?
Varsity Tutors Interview Questions
What leadership qualities do you possess?
Some great qualities of a leader are:
"I possess great leadership qualities that include diligence, tenacity, and open communication. I look forward to taking these skills to work for you!"
Do you think honesty is always the best policy?
Is honesty always the best policy? Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on honesty in the workplace.
"Sometimes full disclosure can damage someone's self esteem, and reality isn't always best expressed in full and can be self-indulgent based on the person's intention. In those instances, honesty isn't always the best policy."
"Honesty is always the best policy. Often times, it is just a matter of how you communicate and deliver your message so managing this with each situation is critical to building honest and trustworthy relationships."
How do you like to encourage ideas in others?
Encouragement to others is a great skill to possess. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to encourage creative ideas in your team members.
"I like to encourage other people to be creative in their thinking and present ideas to their classrooms, no matter how off the wall they may seem. Some of our most successful teachers are ones who are confident in their ability to bring forward their unique ideas. I encourage participation through an open door policy and strong praise for those who show initiative."
"I encourage people to tap into the best parts of themselves. It helps to ask probing questions to get them to generate ideas on their own. If you paint a long term vision for where you want to go towards, you will be surprised at the creative solutions your team will come up with to get you there."
At Varsity Tutors we put a strong emphasis on continued education. We believe that there is always more to learn. How do you feel about continued education?
Of course education is important when you are working in the education industry! Assure the interviewer that you are not resistant to continued education. Perhaps there is a course, program, or workshop that you are personally interested in? Discuss with the interviewer your passion for education.
"I wholeheartedly agree that education is incredibly important. We can always learn more! Personally, I like to take a short course or workshop 3-4 times per year. These courses have included additional computer, leadership, and mentorship related training."
"Continued education is imperative to my growth as an education professional. I feel strongly about continuing to grow my knowledge in this industry. Could you give me some examples of the ways that Varsity Tutors LLC emphasizes continued education in its employees?"
If you could start your career over again, what direction would you take?
A hiring manager will be able to tell a lot about your personality by learning about your other career interests. If you could do anything over, what would you do, and why?
"I certainly do not regret the direction I have taken my career; however, if I had to completely start over in a new direction I would likely pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering and become an Engineer. Both of my parents were Engineers and they seemed to have a very fulfilling career. I enjoy analytics and research which I tend to do a lot of in my role as an educator."
"I am very satisfied with the direction my career has taken. If I could change anything I would perhaps have furthered my education to include a Masters' degree."
When have you had to adapt to change?
Being able to adapt to change in the workplace is a very important skill to possess. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have had to adjust to changes on the job. How did you handle the change? Was it a positive reaction?
"I feel that educators adapt to change on a daily basis! The vibe in the classroom is different every day, student moods and efforts vary as well. I am well accustomed to working in a changing environment."
"After being a dedicated mathematics teacher for the past 10 years, I was asked to take on a new focus this coming year. I am currently prepping myself to teach chemistry as well. It's been a challenge but I am actually really excited for the change."
If you could be a subject matter expert in any subject of your choice, which would you choose?
Talk to the interviewer about the topics that pique your interest the most. If you could immerse yourself in a particular subject, what would it be and why? You can make your answer a bit lighthearted and personal if you wish.
"Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated with mechanics and design. I would build models of airplanes and cars in my room for hours at a time. I still have a very keen interest in design so I would say that if I could be a subject matter expert on any topic - I would choose mechanical engineering."
"That's a great question! In my spare time I do a lot of reading on socioeconomic related matters. I would love to be seen as a subject matter expert in how the effects of race and social standing directly impact career choice variables. It's all very fascinating to me."
In our industry, your day may not be a typical 8AM - 4PM. Are you willing to work overtime and participate in extra-curricular activities?
The education industry is often in demand, even outside of typical school hours and activities. If you have restrictions in your schedule, this is a great time to address those restrictions.
If you have an open schedule: "I am available to work most of the time, with some notice on overtime if possible."
"I am available to work most of the time, with some notice on overtime if possible."
"If you have scheduling restrictions: "I do take an evening course every Thursday so I would not be available for additional hours those days. Other than that, I am happy to make myself available as often as possible."
Tell me about a teacher, leader, or mentor who affected your life in a positive way.
When you work in the Education industry it is important to understand the difference that a strong leader and mentor can make in the life of a student. Talk to the interviewer briefly about someone who may have helped you along the way. Does anyone influential come to mind?
"In my elementary years I had some trouble with reading. My grade 2 teacher was a very patient and kind person who went above her duties by giving me additional resources. Because she was generous with her time and efforts, I was exceeding grade level expectations in no time. In addition to catching up academically, I was able to gain a lot of personal confidence."
"I believe that every teacher and leader that I have had has played their own part in positively affecting my life. From a young age I have been lucky enough to have excellent mentors who wanted to invest in my future. It's a large part of why I wanted to work in the field of education, myself."
In this position you may be working with individuals who are underage and/or vulnerable. We do full background checks on all of our employees. Are you willing to comply?
This is where you must disclose to the interviewer if you do not have a clean criminal background. Discuss with the interviewer your willingness to comply and be sure to disclose any pain points ahead of time. It is better they find any marks on your record directly from you!
If you have a clean criminal background: "Yes, I am happy to comply with any criminal, financial, and educational related background checks that you require. My record is clean."
"Yes, I am happy to comply with any criminal, financial, and educational related background checks that you require. My record is clean."
"If you do not have a clean criminal background: "I am happy to comply with any criminal, financial, and educational related background check that you require. The majority will come back clean; however, I should disclose to you that I have a DUI charge from 7 years ago that may come up. I have been cleared of charges now and my drivers' license has been reinstated."
Take a few minutes to walk me through your post-secondary education.
Your post-secondary education is likely listed on your resume; however, this is an opportunity to talk to the interviewer about your overall experience. Discuss any accolades and special recognition you may have received. You can also discuss a class or a project that impacted you the most during that time.
"I graduated with a Bachelor's of Outdoor Leadership and Education from Toccoa Falls College in 2006. My experience in that program was great! Even though I worked part time, I was still able to make the Dean's list, received a partial scholarship and graduated top of my class."
"In 2009 I completed my Bachelor's of Education and immediately followed that with a Masters' Degree in English. I am very proud of my educational background and am happy with the opportunities that this level of education has allowed me. I would love to continue this education down the road to include a Doctorate."
At Varsity Tutors, we seek to hire the most compassionate individuals. Do you consider yourself compassionate?
The best way to answer a question like this is to give a clear and concise example of how you consistently show your compassionate character. Do you help students in your free time? Perhaps you volunteer? Have you received recognition for your efforts from a previous employer? Brainstorm some examples that show off your great character!
"I was raised to be a compassionate person and do consider myself to possess this quality. One way that I show this is by volunteering my time as an after-school tutor for kids who are struggling in school and who lack the resources at home. I have been committed to this volunteer work for the past 2 years."
"I believe compassion is a must-have trait for anyone wishing to succeed in the field of education. When I think of compassion, I think of the quote from Arthur Schopenhauer that says, "Compassion is the basis of morality." I truly believe in this and try to practice it every day."
At Varsity Tutors we seek to hire those who are passionate about education. How would you describe your teaching/mentorship style?
If you have ever heard of an "Elevator Pitch" - this type of interview question is a great reason to have one! Why do you love what you do? What makes you the best, and most engaged, potential hire for Varsity Tutors LLC? Briefly discuss your teaching and mentorship style and close by giving an example of a time when you were recognized for your teaching or leadership methods.
"Here are some keys to effective mentorship that you can draw on, for your response:
- Willing to pass on knowledge
- Ability to give constructive feedback
- Continued learner
What are your thoughts on public vs. private education?
The topic of public vs. private education is a hot one! When you are asked to discuss a controversial topic in an interview it is best to avoid any offending statements or pushing any buttons. Give a rather cooled opinion on both sides and leave it at that.
"I can understand why some people would want their children in private school as much as I understand the draw of public school. Not everyone can afford the luxury of private school but I am thankful that our public school system offers a great education with such little cost associated. In my opinion, as long as our kids are receiving a valuable education then who am I to say whether one is better than the other."
"I primarily stand behind public education because it is affordable for everyone, and it provides educational access to anyone regardless of their social standing. Many times, the classrooms will be more manageable in size, and these classrooms are more likely to offer a more diverse range of students. With that said, I do understand why some parents prefer private education for their children. Perhaps its a family tradition or they prefer the coursework and other opportunities that come along with a private facility."
Do you prefer working with a student one-on-one or with a larger class of students?
Discuss you preference with the interviewer and be sure to highlight your overall experience; whether that be with larger classes of students or one-on-one. You can keep your answer brief and be sure to avoid talking yourself out of a job. (IE: if this is a tutoring company, avoid discussing how you do not enjoy one-on-one student interaction.)
"As an educator for the past 4 years I feel that I have developed a strong ability to adapt to nearly every teaching situation. I do not lean strongly to group settings versus individual settings; however, I always enjoy seeing how students interact with each other when a challenge is at hand."
"I tend to enjoy teaching larger groups at a time simply because of the energy a class full of students can offer. Also, the insightful questions that can come from a solid group session are pretty surprising at times. With that said, at times it is easier to make a direct impact when you teach one-on-one. I am satisfied with either method."
Private and franchised adult learning institutions have greatly increased in popularity over the years. Do you see value in these institutions? Why or why not?
Tell me about an organization or group outside of work that you contributed to.
Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.
Why do you want this job with Varsity Tutors?
When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors.
How do you believe you will complement our department, if you were hired?
Give an example of when you used your listening skills to solve a problem.
Do you always double check or proofread your work?
List the top 3 skills that you have acquired in your last role.
How do you define success?
What are your salary expectations?
How do you handle stress on the job?
Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn't know from reading your resume.
What questions do you have for me?