There are quite a few great answers here, but I’d like to add a few key things to look for to speed up the process and make finding a tutor as smooth as possible.
You want a tutor who is confident, experienced, flexible, and, above all, works well with your student. As a client, you should consider how your child works and what your goals are for tutoring.
A few things to look out for before you interview someone:
- Did the tutor respond to your inquiry promptly? An unresponsive tutor may be too busy to take on a new student.
- Are they willing to speak with you on the phone or meet in person before booking you? Tutors should always want to introduce themselves before working with you and your child.
- Can they give you a list of skills and/or subjects they tutor? Tutors should know what they are and are not able to tutor. They should be confident when speaking with you.
A few questions to ask:
- I’d say that your potential tutor should be asking you questions as well as answering yours. I've worked as a tutor for eight years and, when taking on new clients, I make a point to ask them what they are looking for, if there is anything about the way their child works they'd like me to know, and what their goals are. A potential tutor should care what their client wants and make an effort to find out.
- Would they be willing to set up a one-time session as a trial? Ultimately, the tutor and student relationship is most important in knowing whether or not to hire a tutor. I always set up a one-time session to meet the student and then speak with the parents afterward to give them my thoughts.
- What is their experience tutoring? They should be able to give you some background.
- Ask their rate and availability. You don’t want to be surprised when it comes time to pay them or find out they can’t work with your schedule.
Usually, a short phone call will give you enough idea whether or not this person is right for your student. From there, set up one session and see if it feels right. It's a big commitment to hire a tutor so it should be right for everyone involved.