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Interested in becoming a truck driver? Or looking to make a change to a different company? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 231,100 openings for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Whether you're someone looking to break into the industry as a driver, or a hiring manager wondering how to best assess candidates, these questions can give you some guidance as you prepare for an interview.
Describe your background and any professional driving experience.
This one is very important, even if they don't have any previous experience. If someone is able to tell you about themselves and conducts themselves in a professional way, that in itself can speak volumes no matter what the content of the background actually is. And if they do have experience they can speak to, that's even better. This is the opportunity to explain why you're a good fit for the job.
How do you typically plan your route?
This is where you can flaunt your expertise if you do have any. What this is really asking is how efficient are you? Do you have a plan? And how much effort do you put in? It's best to give some clear examples, and perhaps tell the interviewer about a more challenging or long route you had to plan in addition to answering the question.
How do you handle deadlines, and have you ever missed one?
If you have missed a deadline, this is a good opportunity to explain why that happened and how you handled it (if you handled it well, of course). Was the customer upset? How did you resolve that conflict? Sometimes things happen and a schedule can get thrown off, but explaining this can show that you're reliable and will get the job done anyway. However, you'll want to make sure it was with good reason before you share, and not just because you were running late because of personal reasons.
Are you familiar with truck maintenance?
Truck maintenance is a regular part of the job as a truck driver. It helps keep the truck in good shape, and it's important to keep you safe while driving. Knowing your way around a truck, and under the hood, will go a long way in helping to secure this job. If you know your stuff, this is your time to shine as you explain everything you know.
How would you handle a situation where a customer is upset?
While much of truck driving is independent and consists of long hours behind the wheel on your own, an important part of the job is dealing with the customers who the shipments you're transporting are being delivered to. This is where you'll want to explain how you handle conflict. If you have a good example, this is the time to share that. If not, you can come up with a hypothetical and explain how you would resolve this issue.
Take this opportunity to highlight your skills and abilities to explain why you're a good fit. A new career in truck driving could be just around the corner.
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