In many cities of the world, bike is the fastest means of transport. Traffic jam? You simply jump on the pedestrian path and pass the waiting cars, whistling and waiving to the angry drivers. One way road, or a necessity to make a large detour to reach your next location for delivery, because of some construction work on the road? On a bike, you simply cross a patch of grass and shorten your distance by tenfold…
Bikes are faster in the cities, ecological, and also much more cheaper to buy and maintain when compared with cars. No wonder that many courier companies started to hire more people for a job of a bike courier (or bike messenger), and less people for a job of a delivery driver. Electric bikes will only help the trend…
Let’s have a look at 12 questions you may face while interviewing for this interesting position.
What is your experience with riding a bicycle?
You do not need to be a former Tour de France participant to have a chance to work as a bike courier. But you should have some experience with riding the bike, either in the cities or in the mountains, and ideally some mileage in your legs each month.
Explain how long you’ve been riding bike, and how many miles (or kilometers) in average you cover each month. Count in everything–your rides to work, school, garden. Each mile counts, each gives a bit of experience.
What’s more, ensure the interviewers that you enjoy riding bike, and mention any other physical activities you do in your free time. Some bike couriers cycle up to 90 miles day in work. You need to be in some shape to handle that…
How well do you know the city?
You do not need to be an expert, and you can always use a GPS. But it helps if you know the city center, the streets, and some shortcuts. It will help you to deliver the parcels in a shorter time, which means that you will earn more money.
If you know the city, do net hesitate to explain how you came to know it. Maybe you distributed leaflets before, or you simply love to walk in the streets, and observe the world around you.
And if you have no experience, ensure the interviewers that you can work with a GPS device, and will use it anytime you are not sure about the most optimal road to take. What’s more, you won’t just blindly look into your device. You will try to learn the roads by heart, so after some time in work you won’t need the GPS anymore, and will be able to save some time.
What is your definition of a great customer service?
Calling the recipient in advance, ensuring that they are at home (or in work), telling them how much money they should prepare, and whether a card payment is an option.
Being courteous, always delivering your parcels to the door, keeping an eye contact and trying to deliver each parcel in a shortest possible time.
Ensure the hiring managers that you understand an importance of an excellent customer service, and want to deliver such each day in work.
How do you feel about delivering parcels on a rainy, cold day?
There’s nothing like good or bad weather for a cyclist. You just have to choose the right clothes... You can refer to this way of thinking in your interview.
Surely, riding a bike is more enjoyable when the sun shines, and the rain isn’t pouring like crazy, making you wet from head to toes. But you can use a mud-guard, and water-proof clothes. As long as you keep cycling and maintain good body temperature, you should not get cold.
Ensure the interviewers that you won’t stay in bad when rain is drumming on your window. Parcels have to be delivered each day, and you are aware of your responsibility. Whether it is -10 or +35 degrees Celsius. When it’s cold and rainy you will protect yourself with waterproof clothes and gloves, and when it’s hot you’ll simply take more water with you.
What will you do when you get a puncture?
The best answer is that you will repair it. What’s more, you will immediately contact the dispatcher to announce them the delay, so they can make any necessary changes, for example assigning some parcels to other bike couriers.
Can’t fix a puncture? Then you should say that you want to learn how to do it. Tens of thousands of people repair a puncture each day, all around the world, and it isn’t anything difficult. You will learn how to do it, because you want to fix your bike quickly and continue on your route. You cannot afford wasting time looking for a bike mechanic, and waiting until they find time to fix your bike…
How many miles can you cover in a day?
In average, a skilled bike courier will cover between 50 and 90 miles a day. I know it sounds like a lot, and your legs ache when you just imagine it, but biking is no different to any other skill–the more you practice it, the easier it becomes.
Ensure the hiring managers that you are ready to cycle 50 miles a day, and that you are sure you’ll manage even more as soon as you get into the groove, and your body gets used to the heavy load.
Of course if you covered longer distances before, whether in work or just riding for fun, you should mention it. You can also emphasize the importance of eating well and drinking plenty of water while doing long distance rides, to ensure that you suddenly won’t find yourself depleted of energy and unable to cycle even a single extra mile.
Other questions you may face in your bike courier job interview
- This job is tiring physically, and can also be very tiring mentally. How do you want to stay motivated in a long run?
- What is your availability, and how long do you want to work as a bike courier?
- What do you do to ensure the packages won’t get damaged while you transport them?
- Imagine that you get involved in a traffic accident. Your bike isn’t damaged, but you feel a bit dizzy after the crash. Will you continue delivering the packages? What will you do?
- What are your expectations on dispatchers and other people you’ll cooperate with in this work?
- What are your salary expectations?
Conclusion, next steps
Interview for a job of a bike courier belongs to interviews with average difficulty. Bike courier is not a popular job, and you won’t compete with many other applicants. In many cases you can actually be the only job candidate, which makes your situation easier.
On the other hand, you need to be physically fit, and demonstrate the right attitude to work, and to different situations and problems you can experience as a bike courier. To such problems belong: bad weather, getting a puncture, inability to find an address, dealing with angry customer, getting superbly tired, etc.
Try to prepare for the questions, and do not forget to check also the articles below. I wish you good luck!
- How to overcome interview nerves – Feeling anxious before the start of your interview? You do not have to.
- 15 most common interview questions and answers – What are your strengths? What motivates you? How would you describe an ideal boss? Learn how to answer these and other common interview questions.