A sad moment will arrive, one day in a future. A moment when we will be mere passengers in the self-driving cars, looking at the scenery around us (if there will be any scenery, or any people to look at), or, more likely, we will stare on the screen of our smartphone–just like most people do almost all the time. Until that sad day arrives, however, most young people will want to learn to drive. And each student needs an instructor in the car, someone to guide them, praise them & scold them, and basically lead them on their path towards a new driving license.
Interview for a job of a driving instructor does not belong to difficult interviews. This is neither a fancy job title nor one with amazing monthly payout, and you typically won’t compete with dozens of candidates for the job. The owner of the driving school (or the manager) will inquire about your driving skills, motivation, and attitude to various situations that may happen in your work with students. Let’s have a look at the questions.
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Why do you want to work as a driving instructor?
What really motivates you to apply for the job and what you should talk about in an interview are typically two different things. Driving instructor is a relatively comfy job. You drive around in an air-conditioned vehicle, sitting next to some young man or woman, and give orders. Not really the most difficult job in the world, to be honest…
But you should talk about something different in your answer. Say that you believe to be an excellent driver and a great teacher. This is a unique job in which you can benefit from both skills at the same time. What’s more, you like being around young people, and generally get along well with them. Everything considered, it seems like a perfect choice for you.
Tell us more about your driving skills and experience.
I suggest you to use some numbers, to give your words more credibility. For example: “I’ve been driving actively for 12 years, and have covered over 300,000 miles. In the city center, in rural areas, summer, winter, I’ve experienced all sorts of conditions, and believe to be ready to pass my knowledge to the student in the car.”
You can also say that you have never had an accident (they may ask a separate question about accidents), or that you paid just two or three fines in your life. Show confidence in your driving skills. Unless they see that you are confident about your driving skills–in all sorts of weather conditions and areas, they won’t entrust you with one of their cars.
Have you ever had an accident?
You either had one, or you didn’t, but in both cases you can make the right impression with your answer. If you did not have an accident, explain that you are aware that though you drive responsibly, never touch your smartphone when driving, and keep your eyes open, watching vehicles behind you, in front of you, and everything else around, you were also lucky.
Each driver has an accident once in a while–often without making any mistake. You were lucky so far to not have one, and will try your best to keep luck on your side–driving as responsibly as you’ve been up to this point.
If you had an accident, you should admit it. Ensure the interviewers that you learned your lesson. The accident was an eye-opener for you. Perhaps you neglected something before, not really paying attention to this or that, or maybe texted someone while you were on an empty highway, not a soul around. However, after the crash you changed your habits completely, and focus now on driving only. You certainly do not want to risk your life or life of anybody else, and hence you drive accordingly.
Imagine that a student is very nervous in one of their first lessons. What will you say to them?
Some driving instructors will just ignore it, but you should show a different attitude in the interviews. You will try your best to calm the student down. It’s their first lesson, you sit next to them, the car is insured, and they have nothing to worry about. If anything goes wrong, you can always hit the brakes, and stop the car.
Everyone is nervous during their first lessons, and you have full understanding for what they experience. And you know that they may make some mistakes, fail to respect some traffic signs, but that’s exactly why they go to driving school and why you sit next to them–to tell them, to make them a better driver over time…
Something like this will certainly help most students calm down. And if this doesn’t help, you may suggest taking the wheel and drive a few minutes to some area with low traffic, and let them drive there, at least during the first lessons. It will be definitely less stressful, and help them gain confidence to go into real traffic.
Imagine that one of the female students, an attractive one, flirts with you during the lessons. What will you do?
That’s a dream of each instructor, isn’t it? Well, in 95% of cases she just wants to have it easier during the driving lessons, or ensure you’ll give her a helping hand during the exam, and you won’t get anywhere close to having something with her…
Regardless of what could have happened, might have happened, should have happened, I suggest you to ensure the hiring manager that you won’t respond positively to any flirting. You will simply ignore it, continue doing your job, treating the student as fairly as you want to treat all other students.
And if she went over the line with the flirting, giving you little touches and what not, you’ll warn her that if she doesn’t stop, you will have to report her and she will have to start her driving course somewhere else.
Of course, this is what you should say in an interview. What you do in reality, if the situation really happens in one of your lessons, is your thing, and your responsibility. In an interview you should simply show the right attitude to this tricky but not necessarily unpleasant situation…
In your opinion, should a driving instructor treat their students as customers, or as pupils at school?
A lot has changed in the world in the last fifteen years. Each prospect checks online reviews, and if a driving school gets several bad reviews in a row, nobody will enroll in one of their courses. That’s why you should say that you plan to treat each student as a customer, and deliver the best possible customer service.
Now, it doesn’t mean that you won’t say them when they do something wrong, or will praise their driving skills even when they drive terribly. It simply means to be courteous and friendly, to avoid getting angry or nervous in a car (something many instructors struggle with). Regardless of how bad they drive, and how unpleasant it is to be with them in a car (if that’s the case), you should not treat them as a piece of garbage…
Other questions you may face in your driving instructor job interview
- What motivates you the most in this kind of work?
- Describe the steps you would take if one of the students had an accident during the lesson.
- How do you feel about teaching on weekends?
- How do you want to communicate with your students during the driving lessons?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What do you know about our driving school, and why did you decide to apply with us, and not with one of our competitors?
Conclusion, next steps
Driving schools are here to stay, for many years to come. And while a job of a driving instructor isn’t the most exciting job in the world, and you may be the only job candidate on the day, they won’t hire you if you remain silent after you hear their questions. Go through my list once again, and think about a short answer to each of the questions.
You should also spend enough time researching about the driving school, reading online reviews, and basically try to learn as much as you can about them. It will help you to connect with your interviewers, and to come up with good answers to some of the questions. I hope you will succeed, and wish you good luck!
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