The trucking industry is no different from any other in terms of recruiting and hiring experienced drivers. They want drivers who can hit the ground running with very little orientation. They want drivers they know they can rely on from day one. As such, recruiters conduct interviews with the goal of identifying the best possible candidates to whom they can offer employment.
Rest assured that recruiters know all the tricks of their trade just as drivers do. They know what questions to ask, and how to ask them, to get the kind of information they need to determine whether a hire is appropriate or not. Among those questions are the following top five:
1. Why did you apply for this position?
This question, or something similar to it, is designed to help recruiters understand the mindset of the candidate. Someone who applied simply because he or she needs a job that pays the bills may indeed turn out to be the best hire ever. Then again, companies would rather hire people who are passionate about what they do. They are hoping to find candidates who apply because they actually love truck driving and want to work with a company they believe is among the best.
2. How much do you know about our operation?
This question is big. Companies know that competition among employers is fierce in the midst of a severe driver shortage. They also know that a driver who takes the time to research their outfit is one who is just as concerned about who they work for as the employer is about hires. Any candidate demonstrating a working knowledge of a potential employer has a leg up. This, combined with experience, vaults a driver to the top of the list.
3. Describe your typical day as a truck driver.
Experienced drivers bring their own viewpoints and perspectives to the positions they are applying for. By asking candidates to describe a typical day on the job, recruiters can get a good idea of a driver’s mindset. Is this a person who sees negative in everything, or is he or she someone who tends to view things positively? Does the driver see the position as a team position or as an opportunity to work in relative isolation?
4. How can your contributions help our organization?
This is an especially important question in the arena of recruiting experienced drivers. For example, a company operating tanker trucks would benefit greatly from a driver who has both the necessary certifications and considerable experience. Driving tankers is something that’s awfully difficult to do solely with on-the-job experience. Recruiters want to know what new candidates brings to the table just in case there is someplace else they can be plugged in.
5. What kind of salary and benefits are important to you?
Often the competition for the most experienced drivers comes down to pay and benefits. Let’s face it, we all have to earn a living. Truck drivers are no different. But asking this question can reveal a lot about a candidate. If it’s all about the money, there is a real chance that an experienced driver could be lost down the road to a competitor that happens to offer a little more. On the other hand, a driver who is equally interested in home time may be a good catch if an employer includes guaranteed home time in it benefits package.
Recruiters ask specific questions to identify the best drivers available. For the experienced truck driver, knowing these questions and how to answer them creates a real advantage at hiring time.