What would we do without truck drivers? The entire global economy would collapse. Just in the Unites States, more than three million professional truck drivers move on the roads, and the number will only grow until self-driving (autonomous) cars replace the current vehicles–which won’t happen in the next fifteen years, especially not in the truck industry.
So, I have good news for you. Your profession is in high demand, and you won’t face a tough competition in an interview. Unless you silently sit in the room or give really bad interview answers or fail the drug test, they will hire you. You may not even have the truck driving license yet–often it is a part of the compensation package that they pay for the CDL.
In such a case you will have to stay with the employer for certain time period (typically two years), or you’ll have to repay back the expenses for the CDL. Let’s have a look at the questions you will face in your interview.
Why do you want to work as a truck driver?
Truck drivers earn good money while traveling the world, and the job is fun for people who love to live on the road. You can mention these reasons in your answer, but you should primarily focus on your skills and abilities that make from you a great driver.
To such skills belong: Clean driving record, excellent driving skills, responsibility, ability to work on your own, alertness, attention to detail. You can also say that you enjoy driving truck (or any other vehicle), and that it will be great to earn money for doing something you enjoy doing…
Tell us something about your (truck) driving experience
First and foremost, you should speak with enthusiasm. Talk about the countries you’ve been to, vehicles you’ve driven, goods you’ve carried, companies you’ve worked for. It is also good to mention the hours you’ve driven, long trips you’ve made (if any), and basically describe your experience in a positive way.
If you’ve never driven truck before, you can talk about your car driving experience, and especially about situations that emulate the life of a truck driver (long journeys on your own, driving through the night, etc).
Have you ever had an accident? Any other problems on the road?
When you drive a truck (or a car) seven days a week, it’s not a question of if, but when you will have an accident (at least a minor one), or experience some other problems on the road. Keep in mind that background checks are very common in this profession, and it makes no sense to tell lies in this interview. In a case that you had an accident, they will eventually find it out.
Everyone makes mistakes, and employers are aware of it. For most companies it is not a problem if you caused an accident in the past. But it is a problem if you try to conceal it, or can’t admit making a mistake (and blame other person for your mistakes).
Be honest. Explain what happened, and say that you learned your lesson. Ensure the interviewers that you won’t make the same mistake in the future.
Imagine you are running late for a delivery, because you got a puncture or are stuck in a traffic jam. What could you do to preserve customer service quality without risking safety and exceeding speed limits on your way?
This job isn’t only about driving a truck on a speedway. You will take cargo from someone and you will deliver it somewhere. In some cases, the entire production of the business may rely on your delivery. And, obviously, you will communicate with these people. Or at least you should.
Show the interviewers that you understand the complexity of the job, and importance of a top-notch customer service. You can say that you would call the customer as soon as you experienced delay (or even a potential delay) and would keep them updated on the progress. You should also ensure the interviewers that you will risk safety of neither you nor cargo just to get somewhere exactly on time.
How comfortable are you with being away from home for a week or longer?
The biggest drawback of this job is being away from home. Sometimes for a week, sometimes for longer. Now, you have a few options for an answer to this interview question.
The first one is saying that you feel home on a road (good answer especially when you do not have a family yet), and that you are seeking exactly this lifestyle while applying for a truck driver job.
Another good answer is saying that you discussed everything with your wife (when you have one), and that you both agreed it will be okay for you to travel away for week, or even for longer.
How do you feel about a slip-seating setup?
If they ask this question the chances are high that you will share the same truck with several drivers, or that you will drive different trucks in your job, and will always have to move your personal stuff from one vehicle to another.
Alas, that’s how many big distribution companies work. They want to maximize the use of their car park, and won’t let a truck standing in a terminal just because you have a day off.
Say that you understand how this setup improves efficiency, and that you are totally okay with sharing trucks with other drivers. Show them that you can look at your job also from a position of an employer (and what they try to achieve), and do not think only about your personal comfort.
Some other questions you may get in your truck driver interview
- How long do you plan to have this job?
- Which languages you speak, and which countries are you willing to travel to? (Are there any countries where you will not go?)
- Describe a time when you had to meet a tight deadline in your work.
- How would you foster good relationships with our clients?
Companies strive to hire new drivers, basically anywhere in the world. This makes your interview much easier, since they will be more benevolent, and will overlook a mistake or two in your interview answers.
Read this article once again, practice your answers, and research about your future employer–what they do, how many trucks they own, where they drive, what cargo they carry.
You should make it in your interview afterwards, and I believe you will make it. Good luck!
May also interest you:
- Salary negotiation tips – Basic rules you should remember when negotiating a salary in your interview.
- Bus Driver interview questions – Having responsibility for the passengers, the interviewers will test more than just your driving skills in an interview (prepare for behavioral questions and a personality test).
- Job interview etiquette – Regardless of your approach to the interviews, and your strategy in the meetings with the employers, certain borders should not be crossed.