During the pandemic, a truck driver had the pick of the litter for a CDL driving job. Trucking companies would hire anyone with a pulse. Post-pandemic, though, prospects are a bit more slim.
Like any job, you can’t expect freight companies to hand you a position on a platter. You have to earn it. There’s no better chance to prove you deserve it than wowing them during the interview.
As you prepare for your interview, it’s worth knowing how it will play out. With that said, let’s run through the interview process–before and after–so you know what to expect.
Preparing for a CDL Driving Job Interview
Don’t wait until the last day to scramble in preparation for an interview. If you can, prepare at least a couple of days in advance. Take care of anything that needs doing before, not after.
The recruiter likely has your résumé, so prepare any additional supporting documents. Bring your up-to-date CDL license and supporting documents as a truck driver, to your driving job. Double-check in case your potential employer asks for anything else, such as work permits.
Set Calendar Reminders for Date and Time
It’s easy to oversleep or lose track of time before your interview. Take the necessary precautions to ensure you aren’t stumbling 10 minutes past your time slot.
Many people find that it helps to set an alarm at least 30 minutes before the interview. Notating it on your calendar app could also help. You can use the time before your interview to do a final run-through of documents and your answers.
Dress and Groom Well
As the saying goes, dress to impress. People only need about seven seconds to form a lasting first impression of you. Having a clean, buttoned shirt and perhaps some slacks will do wonders.
Make sure to take a shower, comb your hair, and shave the day of. Poor grooming casts unwanted aspersions on your character, so don’t neglect those little details. This builds important habits for advancing your career prospects later.
Be on Time
You may have an online interview, depending on who you apply to. Prepare in advance by checking that your internet is working and that you have a functional webcam and a quiet place to take the call.
If it’s an in-person interview, give yourself ample time to travel to the interview location.
The Interview Process
Interviews are scary for everyone, no matter how skilled or experienced. It’s entirely natural to feel a bit nervous. So, to help you manage your nerves, let’s run down the actual interview process.
Introductions and Greetings
First, the interviewer will take some time to get to know you. Put a smile on your face and make sure to be attentive to their questions.
In telling about yourself, keep it job-related. Even so, be loose and friendly–show that you’re an engaging team player. It may not be the main thrust of the interview, but you’ll be leaving a good impression.
Now comes the hard part. Interview questions vary wildly from company to company, and there’s no way to predict what they’ll ask. So, prepare yourself for these general themes:
- Discussing related work experience
- Analyzing your handling of various work challenges
- Your driving habits and abilities
Be forthcoming, but don’t sell yourself short. After all, an interview is like an advertisement for your services. No one is perfect, so find ways to spin your history and experience to your benefit.
Make sure to be clear and concise with your answers. Avoid unnecessary fluff, such as irrelevant details about previous jobs. Remember, you must respect the interviewer’s time as they have respected yours.
The interviewer may go over points of interest on your résumé or supporting documents. You may have to discuss past mistakes, such as traffic violations or accidents. Give as much information as you can, but still keep a positive spin on things.
Discussion of Job Specifics
With that done, it’s time to dig into the juicy details. The recruiter will tell you more about the position you have applied for. Pay close attention, as they often are quite frank about what you’ll be doing–and what they’re looking for.
They may also offer additional related opportunities. These could be “lease to own” programs and hotshot freelancer options.
Make sure to take note of everything. You’ll easily forget important bits of info otherwise.
Now, the interviewer will turn the time over to you. Do you have any questions about the job, the compensation, or perhaps the typical schedule? Ask those questions now.
Feel free to be honest. If you have any scruples about pay or your responsibilities, it’s best to address them here. You don’t want to find out there’s bad news on day one of the job!
After the Interview
The interview is certainly the most stressful part, but the waiting can be agonizing in and of itself. Depending on the company, it could take several days, a week, or longer before you hear back. Here are some recommendations as you wait for a verdict.
Don’t Count Your Chickens Yet
There’s a good chance you’ll get the job, but you can’t hang everything on a single prospect. Instead, continue working or attending interviews–whatever you need to do.
Plan for the contingency that you don’t get the job. This will help to curtail disappointment and dismay if the unfortunate happens.
Reach Out to the Interviewer
There’s no harm in asking for infrequent updates on your status. In fact, many interviewers take this as a sign of interest. They may even consider you more seriously over candidates who didn’t ask.
This can be a friendly email or phone call. Be quick and to the point. Tell them you’re eager to hear from them and still interested in the job.
Work With Morris Trucking
A CDL driving job opens a pathway towards a fruitful career with freight companies. The interview is where the rubber meets the road–in a manner of speaking. Prepare well in advance, and you’ll knock it out of the park.
Morris Trucking helps you achieve your destiny with the best trucking jobs for owner-operators. Swing by our careers section for openings.