The 5 Best Interview Questions for Hiring Truck Drivers 22 Jul 2019


Shipping is booming right now. From online shopping to retail inventory, your trucking company is handling an incredible amount of business. Almost too much. In 2017, trucks moved 70.2 percent of all domestic tonnage in the United States.

Transporting all that cargo may be growing your business, but it’s not helping your drivers’ workload. You need to find more truck drivers to tackle your expanding business.

How do you discover which semi truck drivers are qualified for the job? You have to optimize your interview questions for truck drivers. Find out who’s right for the job and who’s not by using prompting questions.

The right interview questions make it easy to spot the right hire, but which questions should you use? Here are five interview questions designed for truck driver applicants and the type of answers you should look for.

1. How much experience do you have as a commercial semi truck driver?

Some applicants are fresh out of driving school or just received their commercial driver’s license. While not all candidates need years of experience, certain jobs and routes call for an experienced driver.

A good answer is a truthful account of the driver’s experience. After you know how much experience your applicant has, you can decide if they match the requirements you set for the job.

Experience isn’t always vital for the job. However, every trucking job requires good organization and planning skills. How do you test your applicant’s skill level?

2. How do you plan and organize your route?

Planning routes takes serious organizational skills. If drivers make a single mistake, they’ll miss their deadline. Drivers have to account for multiple factors, such as high traffic areas and road construction. They also have to figure out how long they can drive without tiring out.

A good answer would describe in detail how an applicant plans their routes. The candidate should include how they deal with traffic, construction, driving times, and bad weather.

Unfortunately, no matter how much planning you do, issues can still pop up. Drivers usually have to deal with challenges by themselves when they’re working. You’ll want to find out how drivers deal with the unexpected.

3. Have you ever dealt with a shipment setback? If so, how did you handle it?

Every driver will face problems on the road. Whether the problem is mechanical or an issue with the cargo, drivers need to have the skills to handle any obstacle.

A good answer should show that the candidate is an efficient problem solver and remains calm in tense situations. If the driver hasn’t dealt with a shipment setback before, ask them to describe how they would deal with a potential problem on the road.

Facing setbacks alone is difficult, yet it’s far from the only challenge. Drivers are by themselves for long periods. Without help and support around them, drivers need to have a reason to stay motivated.

4. How do you stay motivated on the road?

Drivers are by themselves for most of their job. Without people around to support them and hold them accountable, drivers can easily slack off or quit from stress. If drivers are going to succeed, they need to be self-motivated.

A good answer includes a realistic motivation for being a trucker. For example, applicants may be motivated by their family, personal achievement, or career advancement.

Motivation is critical if your drivers are going to stick around, but there’s one more question that’s vital if your business is going to hire this driver. How would your applicant deal with a car accident?

An orange warning triangle on the ground by a semi truck stalled on the side of the road

5. How would you deal with getting into an accident?

Any driver can get into a car accident. Incorrectly handling an accident could spell legal and financial trouble for your business. Whether it’s their fault or not, drivers need to know how to deal with a car accident.

A good answer should show that your applicants don’t panic in tough situations. They should follow the right procedure and take steps to ensure that they and others are safe.

When drivers deal with accidents correctly, they protect you and your company. Shielding your business from legal problems is just one of the benefits of using the right interview questions. Getting the right driver is another.

Your applicants have answered plenty of questions. Now that you know more about them, you can pick the person who’s right for the job.

Do You Have Any Questions?

Trucking moves over 10.5 billion tons across the country each year. To move all that cargo, you’ll need some fantastic drivers. Using the right interview questions makes it simple to find the best drivers.

Do you have the right questions? Including these five questions will optimize your interview process for truck driver applicants. The right questions will help you make the best hires so you can keep getting shipments where they need to go.