Are You Prepared For a Truck Driver Job Interview?
Updated: Mar 20, 2019
I am the Operations Manager at DTS Logistics, Inc., an over the road trucking company. It is my job to interview and hire perspective drivers. From the time a driver sends in an application, throughout the interview process, and driving test, a driver will either make a great impression upon me or persuade me to put their file in the no hire section.
Before I tell you what I look for in a driver, let me tell you a little about DTS Logistics, Inc.
Since 2010, DTS Logistics. Inc, has provided transportation for exhibit freight across the United States.
We transport rigging, carpet, staging, and many other items, to and from convention centers, football stadiums, monster truck shows, museums, horse parks, etc.
DTS Logistics, Inc. has provided on site representation and transportation, for the move in and move out of SAP in Orlando Florida, from 2009-2015.
With our team of exceptional employees, we coordinated the transport of 50 trailers, from Atlanta, GA to Orlando, FL and back to Atlanta, GA. Our team of drivers, worked together with our team of managers, forklift drivers, and other technicians on the show floor to strategically load and unload freight in a timely manner.
DTS Logistics, Inc. recently delivered Macy's Pink Pig to Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta, GA.
DTS Logistics, Inc. delivered exhibit items to The Library of Congress, in Washington, D.C.
In the trade show industry, the show still goes on, even if the freight has not arrived. DTS Logistics, Inc. prides ourselves with on-time deliver being a big part of our commitment to customers and drivers.
Now for the important part. What are employers looking for in a driver, and what should drivers ask potential employers.
What I am looking for in a Driver.
I am looking for drivers who are dependable, on-time, well dressed, and safety conscious. It does not matter if you are male or female, I have found that many times a woman does a better job than male truckers.
First impressions are important.
Make sure that your application is completely filled out with as much information as possible. Provide not only previous your employer’s Name, address, and phone number, but an email and fax number, along with your previous dispatcher’s name.
If you are filling out a paper copy of an application, use a black or blue pen, write neatly.
Neat applications are much easier for me to read, but so is neat hand writing. Provide yourself with an added skill, fill out your application on a computer, I will be able to see you have a few computer skills.
These days drivers are required to use Electronic Logs. Paper logs are a thing of the past.
Many companies provide drivers with tablets or allow the driver to use cell phone apps for electronic logs.
As the trucking industry changes, so do the requirements.
Many times women seem to learn how to work with ELogs faster than men, but the Millennials out there are all from a technology based world.
I am willing to teach my drivers how to use electronic logs. For many of you, it’s a struggle to learn how to use electronic logs, for others it is the best thing to ever happen to driver logs.
When you go in for your interview, make sure to be on-time.
Almost nothing looks worse than a driver being late for a job interview. If you are running late or know that you cannot make your appointment time, make sure to call me, as soon as possible to make other arrangements. Keeping in contact is something I look for in a perspective driver.
Be sure to introduce yourself, be polite, and do not use profanity during your interview.
Along with being on time, I look to make sure that you are dressed in clean clothes. You do not need to put on a dress and high heals for a truck driving interview. You can wear a nice button up or polo shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes or boots. Make sure you are prepared to take a road test at your first interview, although rare, it happens.
Do not wear a ratty old t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops.
If you appear as a sloppy bum for your interview, then I will envision you walking onto a dock, dealing with customers that way. I do not know of any company that approves of a driver delivering loads in dirty clothes, flip flops, and their hair sticking up in all different directions.
Good Questions to ask me:
How often do your drivers get home? Depending on the company, drivers may be home every night, every weekend, or every three weeks. It is important to know what is expected of you as a driver.
Where do you run, all 48-states, regional, local?
Are your loads driver unload, no touch, or a mixture?
What is your base salary for new drivers?
Do you pay stop off pay after the first stop of a load?
How often do drivers get raises?
How often are drivers paid? Weekly, Bi-weekly, etc.
Do you provide direct deposit for payroll?
Are drivers paid mileage, hourly, or both?
What do your current driver's average in miles weekly?
Do you pay layover and detention time? If so when does the driver's time start? Most companies state that the first 2 hours of unloading or loading time, while receiving mileage pay is free.
How is mileage determined, by hub miles or truck routing software?
What benefits do you offer? Health insurance, 401 K, holidays, vacation, sick time? If so, how long do I have to be here before I am start receiving these benefits?
Ask about who you will be reporting to. Is it a small company with only a few people working in the office? Is it a big company with several offices across the country?
What kind of freight does the company haul? Freight of all kinds, refrigerated, specialty, flatbeds, etc.
What kind of equipment do you have? Trucks, Trailers.
Does your company pay for driver expenses, such as motels, tolls, truck washes, etc?
How are trucks and other equipment maintained, is it the drivers responsibility to take the truck in for maintenance service?
Do you provide training?
Is there a possibility of advancement?
While these are not the only questions, it is a start. If you would like to be provided with more questions to as a potential employer, leave a comment below. Your question may be featured in an up coming blog.
Many times I will ask to you come back for a drug screen and a road test, remember be on time and dressed in a clothes that are appropriate for driving. Don’t forget to bring a pair of gloves, so your hands don’t get all dirty while preforming a pre-trip and dropping and hooking a trailer.
While you are preforming your road test, I am not trying to make you nervous.
I understand what it feels like to have someone testing your driving skills. It is nerve racking. Take your time, go through your pre-trip inspection, climb into the truck and look around the dash, locate the light switch, turn signals, wind shield wipers, brakes, and all the other gadgets you need to drive.
Make sure your seat is in a good position for you to reach everything as you drive. Move your mirrors so that you can see the trailer and other traffic.
Don’t forget to put your seat-belt on!
When you are confident that you are familiar with were everything is, take a deep breath, release the breaks, and follow instructions on where to drive.
Make sure to use turn signals, check your mirrors before, during, and after a turn or lane change.
Be aware that every truck has its own unique way of shifting gears and making turns. More than likely you have never driven this truck before but do your best. I understand that during a road test it seems like everything wants to grind, jerk, or just be difficult.
When backing the truck, make sure to look at your surroundings, get out and look if you need to. Take your time, back up slowly.
If you are the least bit unsure, GET OUT AND LOOK!
It takes a lot less time to get out and look than it does to hit something. If you hit something, I am almost certain I will not hire you.
But if you take the time to get out and look, making sure that you put safety ahead of a need to rush, I am more likely to hire you.
Make sure to set your breaks every time you get out of the truck.
While there are other reasons for not getting a job, the top reason’s I would not hire you include you being late and not calling ahead to reschedule. You arrived to your interview and/or road test, dressed like a bum, in a dirty shirt, flip flops, and needed a bath. Or you did not put safety as your top priority.
Chances are very good, if your arrive on time. You are dressed in a nice manner. Portray dependability and safety conscious. Other factors include, a valid commercial class A drivers licence, with a clean, Motor Vehicle Report(MVR), and you must be able to pass a DOT physical and drug test, both to be given before you are officially hired.
However, many companies are unable to hire drivers with less than 2 years experience, because insurance policies are really high.
First impressions are important!
What's Next? I will look over all of your paperwork, send for previous employment verification, run a background check, and discuss potential employees with other management.
It takes time to go through all the official hiring requirements of the DOT, but give me a few days to a week to process everything. If you have not heard from me, please call to see where I am at in the application and approval process.
I hope that you got some great tips for your next job interview. If you are currently looking for an Over the Road driving job, contact my office.
Follow this link to DTS Logistics, Inc.'s short application form to get the process started.
I may receive a small commission for purchases made through links in this post, at no cost the buyer.