You’re probably here because you’re interested in training to become a tutor with us. You may have already applied and are looking for some top tips for how to ace your tutor interview. If you’ve got the passion to make a real difference to the lives of young people who need it the most, and can prove that you are committed, then we want you to succeed.

We’re letting you in on one of our secrets with this article . . . If your application is successful and we invite you for a tutor interview, we’ll ask you to prepare and deliver a five-minute role-play where you become the tutor in one of the subjects you’ve applied to tutor in.

Research into tuition shows that the tutor / tutee relationship is key to maximising the impact of tuition, so building rapport is important.

We’ll give you all the information you need to prepare for this part of the interview.

You’ll need to plan a lesson on a subject and deliver this to our two interviewers, who will get into character, as primary or secondary school pupils. This task is a great way to test your skills, passion, creativity, and ability to manage any unexpected situations that arise. Don’t worry if it doesn’t go perfectly; we don’t expect perfection! And we don’t expect you to explain a whole concept in five minutes(!), we want to see how you will deliver a lesson and engage your tutees and to see your drive to start transforming lives through tutoring.

When you’re successful at interview, we’ll give you full training and support with your resources and delivery. So, ahead of that, here’s our advice on how to prepare and deliver your role-play, so you can feel at ease, and ready to impress your interviewers.

1. Prepare engaging resources as if you were planning a real session

Although your role-play will only last five minutes, we want you to plan for it as if you are delivering a snippet of a full, hour-long tuition session. We expect all our tutoring sessions to be interactive, engaging, and informative, so your resources should reflect this.

When you’ve got your resources together, think about how you would structure the learning. Some of our tutors organise their lessons by creating a presentation on software such as Microsoft Powerpoint, but you may prefer to do this another way. Whatever method you find better, be prepared to share your resources when you deliver your role-play. You can do this by sharing your screen, or however else you choose. If you find that you’re having tech difficulties on the day, while you’re going through your virtual interview checklist, let us know and email us your materials so all your hard work is still recognised the same way.

2. Focus the session and check progress throughout

All learning should have an objective, with all activities leading up to achieving that. Think about writing a learning objective and consider how you’re going to focus the learning so your tutees can achieve it by the end of that session. Remember, learning objectives should be easy to understand and specific to the knowledge you want them to be acquired. It’s in the title, but your learning objective needs to define the learning that will be done during that session, not the amount of work you’re expecting your pupils to complete.

During the session, it’s important to check on the progress of your tutees. Test their understanding regularly through questioning and engaging activities, and always be prepared to explain more complex concepts in more detail or through alternative ways to ensure that both individuals understand.

3. Treat your interviewers as you would your tutees

We want the role-play task to be the closest thing to a real-life tutoring session, so your two interviewers will get into character as either primary or secondary school tutees. You should treat them as you would your tutees in a real session, addressing them by name, and engaging both individuals equally.

4. Praise the behaviour you want to see more of

Give positive affirmation to students who meet the expectations before addressing those who don’t. And if your tutees are overenthusiastic, i.e., very keen to answer all questions, wanting to start conversations that aren’t directly relevant to the learning, or hesitant to stay in one spot, this isn’t always a bad thing.  Show us what you’d do if that situation happened for real.

You should aim to channel positive energy towards completing the task at hand. Use lots of praise and thank tutees for sharing their suggestions, but always link it back to learning whenever possible. Whenever there is a potential digression, for example, if a tutee asks if you went to university, consider talking about it at the end of the session if you cannot link it to the task. This question especially, is also an opportunity to develop your tutees’ aspirations for life after school, so don’t dismiss it. Avoid shutting down ideas all together and being too strict on your tutees as this could harm the relationship you’re building with them, but it’s still important to be firm.

5. You don’t have to cram an hour’s tuition session into five minutes!

The role-play task is an excellent chance for you to give us a taste of your passion, creativity, and drive, and as it’s a taster, we ask that you deliver just five minutes of your session. Because of this, we wouldn’t expect you to finish before time is up, nor would we ask that you cram everything you’ve got into the allocated time.

If time runs out and you’ve still got materials to share with us, please do, and tell us where you were going to go with the lesson, had it been a full session.

6. Practise!

The saying is that ‘practice makes perfect’, but we’re not looking for perfection, as we’ll give you full training and support with resources later down the line. However, having a practice run of your session in advance will give you the confidence in what you’re doing, a rough idea of what you can reasonably deliver in the allocated time, and an indication if you need to improve any areas of what you have planned.


Now we’re at the end of our guide to succeed in the role-play part of our tutor interview, we hope you’re ready to prepare your session and have the tools you need to impress your interviewers!

If you have any questions about our interview process, or would like some further support, please get in touch with us at [email protected].