Going on an interview is usually a stressful situation for most, but if you prepare ahead of time, and go into it feeling confident and comfortable, it can go a long way in making it a smooth event. One key aspect of the interview process, is the portion where the hiring agent offers you the chance to ask questions. More often than not, the interviewee is not sure what to ask, and so that portion of the interview is wasted. Doing some research and being prepared with good relevant questions is a great way to show not only that you have done some homework, but also that you are familiar with your field and have some professional questions in mind. When it comes to a position in the trucking and transportation field, here are some good questions that can help you in formulating some for your interview.
Time Home Policy: Most long-haul drivers who spend a considerable amount of time on the road, are provided with a given amount of time each week that they are off and home. Understanding exactly how that policy works out is something you need to know. For instance, does the day off begin at the time to check-in off the road, and go for exactly 24-hours from that point? If you are promised two days off, and you return from a trip at noon and clock out, do you return at noon two days later, or are they expecting you there at a normal morning shift of 8:00 AM? These types of logistical time questions are important to work out to avoid any complications.
Provided Equipment: Long haul truckers spend most all of their time with the equipment provided to them by the company, so it is important that you know what you will be using and if it is something you are comfortable working with. Will you have an air-ride suspension? Will you have a sleeper on your truck, and if so, how big of an area is it? Do not leave these type of things to be a surprise for you down the road.
Salary, Layout Pay and Bonuses: Demand for drivers is pretty strong still, so do not let yourself be undersold. Be aware of the going rates in your area, and know what you should be getting. Keep in mind the cost of living in your area, because while a certain salary may sound like a good deal, if the cost of living in your area is high, it obviously won’t go as far. Layover pay is something most firms give, but you need to be sure to confirm that. Layover is that time you have to wait between scheduled loads that are out of your control. Be sure you are being paid for that time. Some companies do offer bonuses, so it is always good to at least inquire about it.
Salary versus Benefits: Keep an eye on the amount of benefits and out of pocket expenses that will come to you. If the benefit coverage is a bit lower than needed, then be sure you compensate for that in a higher salary figure. Remember it is a whole package deal. Just because you are given benefits in general, be sure they will be adequate enought to cover you and your family situation.
Do they cover Lumpers: A lumper is someone that is available for hire at the warehouse. Some companies may pay and expect you to load your own loads, while others will cover the cost of your using a lumper. Be sure you understand what they will and will not compensate you for.
These are but a few of the questions you should feel comfortable asking with the hiring manager during the interview. These are hopefully some questions that can assist you in addressing these and other issues you’ll need to know before accepting a position. If you know of others you’d like to share, please comment below.