LSAT instructor interview help
July 13, 2011 3:52 PM   Subscribe

I have a phone interview tomorrow for an LSAT instructor position with a big testprep company. I am kind of worried about it and would appreciate any tips or help you can give me.

I have tutored elementary school kids and other students struggling with their studies, but I don't have teaching experience with the type of students who would be taking an LSAT course, nor did I take a prep course when I took the LSAT. Do I have a shot at getting the job? How can I best represent myself in this phone interview? What are these types of companies looking for?
posted by kingfishers catch fire to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: As far as I know they merely want people who have done really well on the test. If you have, then they'll give you a whole programmed curriculum to follow.
posted by mareli at 4:06 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A number of my friends were instructors for one or the other of the bigtestprep companies over the years, and none had any meaningful experience teaching students of any kind prior to those gigs, nor were/are any of them actual lawyers, master's degree holders, law students or grad students. They were all classic semi-overachieving (but not sure what they wanted to DO with their lives) recent college graduates with liberal arts degrees.

I think they'd all say that the companies that hired them just needed to see they were self-assured, smart, willing to follow a protocol, trustworthy (including prompt, responsible, self-disciplined, etc.), well-rounded, and engaging/charismatic/energetic enough to hold the attention of a group of recent grads for an hour each week without anyone killing each other. Ability to improvise, such as coming up with metaphors off the cuff, seemed valuable in the job, fwiw.

As a side note, it didn't seem like anyone saw this job as teaching per se, including the companies that hired them.

So, short version: you have NOTHING to worry about, knock 'em dead!
posted by mauvest at 4:09 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I taught LSAT prep for years. Don't worry. Be confident. They'll give you a script to teach from.
posted by k8t at 4:14 PM on July 13, 2011

Best answer: Selectivity depends somewhat on what company you're applying to, and what their situation is. In many markets, Kaplan will basically take anyone that can string together a few intelligible sentences. I think it's similar with Princeton Review but I'm not really sure. The "boutique" companies that hold classes in hotels or rent rooms on college campuses instead of permanent centers like Kaplan/PR usually are more selective. They also generally pay a lot, lot more ($50-100/hr to start). I only know of one major company (Manhattan LSAT) that explicitly requires prior teaching experience. Your previous tutoring experience will probably be good enough for most companies.

But I'm not sure that would make much difference now, if you've got an interview they've presumably decided your credentials and experience are adequate. The interview is to get to know what you'd be like as a employee/instructor. You just want to come off as confident, likeable, articulate, positive. If you can fake all that, you're golden!
posted by skewed at 4:58 PM on July 13, 2011

Best answer: 2ding skewed's "confident, likeable, articulate, positive"!

I'd never taught before, but scored high on the LSAT, so Kaplan offered me the job. They were less interested in my experience teaching as they were in my public speaking abilities. As I recall, the phone interview was forgettable, but the next interview involved presenting an instructional, preferably demonstrative, 3-5 minute speech...on the subject of your choice. Because hey! The job involved presenting their instructional scripts, though occasionally, I would drop some additional helpful logic: introduce a few more common fallacies, review necessary versus sufficient, etc.

(Kaplan talked me into teaching other courses, like the SAT and GRE, and I stuck entirely to script on the math lessons,praying no-one would ask questions because I knew absolutely nothing about what I was teaching since I never took the SAT myself and many years had past since I wept in frustration over a word problem.)

You'll be fine. Speak clearly. :)
Good luck!
posted by Jezebella at 5:42 PM on July 13, 2011

Best answer: I currently teach the LSAT for a large test-prep company.
The phone interview is NOT a big deal. Don't be nervous.
Prior teaching experience is not required because you will participate in a class that will teach you how to teach their curriculum.
As far as the public speaking bit goes, I think they're generally looking for high energy and engaging. You have to stand in front of college seniors for three hours at a time and keep them focused on logic games and reading comprehension. Don't worry about the content, though - that's all provided, almost verbatim - but you need to provide the energy.

So, be happy and affable. The rest is gravy.
posted by Acton at 6:56 AM on July 14, 2011

« Older I want to understand what constitutes a positive...   |   Book of nighttime skylines please? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.