You’ve worked hard for your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and now it’s time to start applying for trucking jobs. Trucking companies will be looking for hard-working and reliable folk to join their team, so you need to do yourself proud in the job interview. Working as a trucker requires you to act responsibly and work independently on the road. Showing these traits in the job interview will give you a good chance to be head and shoulders above the other applicants, and you’ll be on the road in no time.
1. Create a quality resumeYou might have lots of trucking experience, or maybe you’ve just scored your CDL. Either way, it’s key to put together a quality trucking resume that shows your skills and value to the company. This is the first impression you’re giving your potential employer and it needs to professional. You need to format your resume and make sure it is proofread with no errors. It can be helpful to throw a couple of bucks to a professional to put it together for you. Make sure you include:
- Job History
- Relevant Skills
- Employment and Personal References
- Qualifications and Licenses
2. Get your documents togetherIf the interview is going well, many trucking companies will ask for copies of your information during the interview stages to get the employment process started as soon as possible. It shows initiative and drive to have this all prepared. The hiring manager and HR rep will see you are respectful of their time and organized in your approach to work.
- A copy of your CDL
- An official copy of your birth certificate
- A copy of your social security card
- An official copy of your truck driving school certificate, if you have one
- Pre-hire letters from other companies considering hiring you
- Your CSA and DAC reports (if you have worked previously as a truck driver)
- A copy of your motor vehicle record (MVR)
- A copy of an updated DOT physical (which is required to get your CDL)
3. Dress for successJust because it’s a trucker interview doesn’t mean you can necessarily show up in jeans and a t-shirt. Presenting yourself as a professional in the interview and caring about your appearance shows you are serious about impressing your potential employer. Show the hiring manager and HR rep you respect the potential job position by wearing a button up shirt, dress pants and a tie (if you feel comfortable doing so). Similar to what you would wear to a wedding or an important event. Many trucking interviews are held over the phone. Smile when you talk. This will show in your voice and help set you apart from other interviewers. You will stand out from the other candidates by showing you are a professional driver, and you’ll be a step ahead in making a good first impression.
4. Prepare to be asked about your driving recordThis is an obvious question and you will have two options depending on your record. If you have a clear driving record then there is obviously nothing to worry about. However if you have a minor violation, you need to let them know. Don’t hope it won’t be found out, because it will. Be honest, let them know what happened and when it occurred (without making excuses). Follow this up by assuring the hiring manager you are a professional driver and respecting the law is very important to you. Trucking companies will know everyone isn’t perfect and mistakes happen, especially minor violations that occurred years ago. Make sure you are honest, and show your potential employer you are straight forward and hard-working.
5. Know the company you’re applying forYou’ll want to know that you’re working for the highest rated trucking company, who has the most to offer you. The best way to do this is to look up information on the company before the interview. Get a sense of the type of company you’re applying to, where their hubs are, and how many offices they have throughout the country. Look at what they haul, and get a sense of the type of jobs they do. A quick google search or two will tell you about the management and who you’ll be working for should you be successful. In addition to making sure you’ve applied to a good company, doing research before the interview shows initiative. The hiring manager will hear from your answers to their questions that you have come prepared, and this effort will be a big tick in their books toward your application. Browse Company Driving Jobs
6. Questions to ask the interviewerYou worked hard for your license and it’s important you find the company that’s the right fit for you as well. Usually in an interview there comes a stage when the hiring manager will ask if you have any questions. Use this opportunity to find out anything about the trucking company that interests you. Asking questions in an interview shows good initiative, and reflects you as a favourable candidate. You’ll leave knowing more about the company you could be working for and what you can expect driving for them, as well as showing you care about your place of employment. It’s good to ask at least one or two questions at this stage, you can think of them before the interview and use this list to help you:
- What is your home time policy?
- What can I expect my first year earnings to be?
- What will I be driving? What is the condition of the equipment?
- Is there a vacation policy?
- What are the main hubs?
- Is there assigned trucks?
- Clarify the difference between paid and unpaid miles.
- How are miles calculated?
- What is the average length of load?
- How many terminals does the company have? Where are they at?
- How many employees does the company have?