Varsity Tutors Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Instructor Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Varsity Tutors in October 2013.
Interview Details – Basically 3 step process:
1) enter your info on the website
2) they call you and do a phone screening interview
3) you install some videoconferencing software (easy), then they do a more detailed interview using this, which could last up to 1 hour. The last interview seems to be basically intended to confirm that you are qualified in the subjects you claim to be able to tutor, so they are specific academic questions. For example if you want to tutor algebra, they will ask you algebra questions, etc. They might also ask you about experience etc., but in my case that aspect was mostly covered in the phone interview.
You are also supposed to be prepared to teach a short lesson on some topic. I expected to be able to choose the topic, so I prepared a chemistry lesson, but in the actual interview the interviewer chose the topic and I had to extemporaneously come up with a lesson, so be prepared for this. The topic she chose was physics (wave equation) which is not one of my stronger subjects, but fortunately I did OK. It is probably good to be conservative in the topics that you list as being able to tutor because if you list ones where you are not 100% confident, they might ask you to teach a topic you don't know well and then you will not be able to pass the interview. On the other hand, the more subjects you can teach, presumably the more assignments you will get. I recommend explaining the answers to the questions as you work them, as if you were with a student, because this is the main skill you are trying to demonstrate - i.e. not only state what the answer is but try to explain clearly why it is correct and what is the logical process used to find the answer. (you might run into time limitations though)
Another thing, make sure you have a gmail account and it is working. Because they might send you questions with google docs and if you have trouble logging in to gmail for any reason, this might cause a glitch. In my case I had not previously logged in to my google account from that IP address so google went through the security check thing, and the security code it wanted to send was to my previous cell phone which was in another country!
For math it would also be a very good idea to have a graphing calculator ready to go, I felt the need for one during the interview, though in the end I passed it without one.
- I was quite embarrassed to miss a calculus question - it was something like, for the function y = x^2 + p, what is the value of p such that y = 3x will be a tangent line. View Answer
- In isosceles triangle RST, if angle RST=40 degrees, then what is the sum of the two identical angles in the triangle: is it greater than 120, less than 120, equal to 120 or cannot be determined? View Answer
Negotiation Details – Did not attempt to negotiate comp (though I should probably get more given very high experience level), because I am new in town and need the work.
Tutor Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Varsity Tutors in March 2014.
Interview Details – I applied online and I was contacted within 1 day by text message and e-mail notification to schedule a phone interview. I'm not sure why but the connection was very poor and I could barely understand my interviewer. I was really nervous so I didn't mention it - you absolutely should if this happens to you because it might make the difference in your case. The entire phone interview was under 15 minutes.
She asked basic questions, first about my availability, salary expectation, then she went through the subjects I requested and gave me specific questions (posted below). Finally she asked what subjects I'd prefer to tutor and what age groups. We scheduled an online interview and I was e-mailed the information.
The online interview lasted almost a full hour. I applied to teach many subjects and during the online interview I was emailed a document with questions for each of those major subject areas. I was asked to answer most of those questions. Some were strictly subject matter, multiple choice questions while others asked about the specifics of the standardized test such as time for each section and the way it is graded.
After we went through the documents, my interviewer said that she would submit her comments to the city director who makes the final hiring decision based on need.
- Algebra question: What is the equation for the slope of a straight line? View Answer
- Trigonometry question: What are the 3 functions that define the ratio of a right triangle? View Answer
- Physics question: You have one ball traveling with a momentum of mv that collides with another of momentum mv. What is the total momentum after the collision? View Answer
- Biology question: what are the 4 nucleotide bases that make up DNA? View Answer
- Chemistry question: When the volume of a volume of an ideal gas increases, what happens to it's pressure? View Answer
Academic Tutor Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Varsity Tutors in November 2013.
Interview Details – I applied online through the website. I was contact to set up an initial phone interview, which I scheduled for the following day. This interview was more of a formality, they asked my preferences, hours, and expectations in terms of a salary and quoted me what they could offer. She asked me to schedule the next interview which was done through video conference similar to skype. Received an email about 4-5 days later saying my services are not required at this time.
Interview Question – Questions were specific to the areas you want to tutor in. Most questions were appropriate, some easy and some hard. A few however were very specific questions that were not conceptual at all. Answer Question
Recruiter Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Varsity Tutors.
Interview Details – Interview was done via Skype, which I find to be creepy
Certified Tutor Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Varsity Tutors in February 2014.
Interview Details – The first interview is a phone interview that lasted about 20 minutes. I was asked some basic questions such as salary expectations and then I was subsequently invited for an online interview. The online interview lasted about an hour and consisted most of the recruiter testing me on all the subjects I applied to tutor for.
Interview Question – I was tested on all the subjects I applied to tutor for. Since I checked about 15 subjects, I spent a lot of time answering the test questions. Answer Question
Tutor Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Varsity Tutors.
Interview Details – The interview was literally like 5 minutes. They asked just simple questions like what my education experience was, how far I'm willing to travel, verifying subjects I want to teach, which age level I prefer, etc. There weren't any of the more open-ended questions for getting to know someone. It seems kind of random if they want you or not even if you have good experience.
Interview Question – Do you need to review certain topics? Answer Question
Math Tutor Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Varsity Tutors.
Interview Details – The initial interview was over the phone. There was another nervier through a Skype-like call feature, where I spoke with someone face to face. They asked me specific math questions, and emailed them to me as well. There was a lot of paperwork, and then a welcome call.
Interview Question – One of the questions involving algebra, was wrong. I think I stumped the interviewer, because the question was not worded properly. It was a ridiculous question. Don't be afraid to stand by your answer, even if you think it doesn't make sense. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I took what I was given.
City Wide Director Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Varsity Tutors.
Interview Details – submitted application through company's site. was contacted within a few days for a 10 minute phone conversation with a recruiter - was very general and quick. then was contacted by head of recruitment to have another short phone conversation - went well and was told to call the company's founder/owner next week for a longer phone interview. had what seemed to be a strong interview and a good conversation with owner, who told me i was a good fit and didn't see any problems with me moving forward in the interview process, that they were interviewing many other candidates that week but that all candidates would be contacted by the following with a status update...i followed up with owner and recruiter, but never heard back from anyone at the company. i realize that sadly this is "normal" in the current job search situation and economy...but when a company promises (specially when it comes directly from the CEO), they should uphold their promises if not for anything else but at least to keep up a positive reputation in the community, since this company is very community and word of mouth based.
Interview Question – nothing out of the ordinary, the usual management questions. Answer Question
Academic Tutor Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Varsity Tutors in October 2013.
Interview Details – The interview was conducted online, suing Zoom, which worked much better than I anticipated. It had the feel of a real interview. My interviewer was punctual and personable, and really listed to my answers.
Interview Question – I was asked to sketch out an essay answer in response to an SAT style writing prompt, which had an odd feeling, since the interview was entirely oral. The interviewer, however, gave me plenty of time to work out a potential approach to the question. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – There is no negotiation. Salary seems to be based on experience level.
Tutor Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Varsity Tutors in July 2013.
Interview Details – At first, there was a phone interview. That was relatively easy, as they just wanted to see if you actually knew your material. Then there was the Skype interview with a regional director where I planned a lesson and fielded multiple questions that they asked. Afterwards, they sent me the relevant documents and background check.
Interview Question – Nothing really, tell me about yourself and what's the most difficult situation you ever dealt with. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – They asked me how much I wanted in terms of salary. They told me that 25 is their starting rate, but I should've negotiated for higher.
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