Truck driver job interviews can sometimes feel a little one-sided, with the interviewer (most-likely a driver recruiter) asking you, the driver, all the questions and you simply answering them.
However, it’s important to remember interviews can also be a great time for you to ask questions and learn about the company you’re interviewing with. Use this list of questions to ask trucking companies the next time you’re preparing for an interview to make sure you get all the information you’re looking for.
Top questions truck drivers should ask during interviews
1. What benefits does the company offer?
Benefits can be just as important as pay, so don’t overlook them when considering a job. Interviews are a great time to learn more about companies’ truck driver benefits packages and get more in-depth information about their offerings.
Also, keep in mind that benefits can include more than just health insurance and a 401(k). Be sure to ask your interviewer if the company offers additional perks like holiday and vacation pay and free facility amenities.
2. What are the company’s safety standards?
As a truck driver, safety is likely one of your top concerns, and your safety should be the top priority of any company you drive for. You can usually get a good feel for a company’s safety values by asking questions around training, truck technology and company policies.
Asking about safety standards may also lead to valuable discussions about what sort of equipment and technology the company uses.
3. Does the company offer tuition reimbursement?
Did you know some carriers will reimburse you for obtaining your CDL? That’s right. If you are new to truck driving and just earned your CDL you’ll likely be able to take advantage of tuition reimbursement programs.
For example, with Schneider’s tuition reimbursement program, drivers can earn up to $400 per month (up to $7,000 total) in addition to their regular salary.
4. What type of equipment does the company operate?
As a truck driver, you rely on a variety of equipment to get the job done every day – from the truck you’re driving to the trailer you’re pulling.
So, be sure to ask your recruiter plenty of questions about their company’s truck specs and the equipment you would be using. Clarify what brand of truck you would be driving and whether it would be a manual transmission or automated manual transmission and what year it would most-likely be.
5. Does the company have a slip seat policy?
Although many truck drivers receive assigned trucks that only they or their partner drive, some drivers may be required to share trucks with other drivers. If you applied for a local, home daily job at the company, it’s important to ask about their slip seat policy.
Slip seating is a method of driving where multiple truck drivers share a truck. Slip seat drivers are not assigned a specific tractor, but drive whatever tractor is available at the time.
If you aren’t interested in sharing your truck with another driver, be sure to ask our interviewer if their company has a slip seat policy on the account you’re applying for.
Find out if you would be expected to share your truck with another driver by asking your recruiter about whether their company has a slip seat policy.
6. How will you be loading or unloading freight?
Some driving accounts may require you to load or unload the freight you are hauling. You can usually find out if the job you’re applying for requires hand unloading/loading by checking the job listing.
If you know that your job will require hand unloading/loading, make sure to ask your interviewer how you will be expected to complete these tasks. This will help you find out if you’ll be using equipment like pallet jacks, forklifts, or cranes to move your freight or if you’ll be required to move freight by hand.
7. Does the company have a pet policy?
If you’re interested in taking your pet on the road with you, you’ll want to check what the company’s pet policy is.
If the company allows drivers to travel with pets, make sure to clarify if the company has any restriction on what kind of pet you can travel with, how many pets can be in a cab and if there are any weight or breed restrictions.
8. Does the company have a passenger policy?
Did you know that some companies will allow drivers to take their loved ones on the road with them? If traveling with a family member or friend is something you’d like to do, ask your interviewer if the company has a passenger policy or program.
Schneider, for example, allows drivers to travel with friends over the age of 18 and immediate family members over the age of 10.
9. How does the company pay its drivers?
You may not realize it, but some driving accounts may pay drivers differently than others. Drivers could be paid using an hourly rate, a daily rate or their pay could be based on the miles they drive.
If the interviewer confirms that drivers are paid based on mileage, be sure to ask how the company calculates mileage. You can clarify this by asking your interviewer whether you’ll be paid in short miles, Household Movers Guide (HHMG) or practical miles.
10. Does the company offer accessorial pay?
Another factor that impacts driver income is accessorial pay. This form of pay is meant to compensate drivers for services they perform outside of just hauling and maintaining freight.
Accessorial pay may include loading and unloading pay, detention pay, stop-off pay, layover pay and more. Talk with your interviewer to find out what accessorial pay is offered on your account and how much you can anticipate earning.
11. Does the company offer any military benefits?
Some companies will offer specialized benefits for veterans and active service members. At Schneider, these military benefits include credit for military service, a Military Apprenticeship Program, extended benefits for active service members and so much more.
Make sure you take full advantage of the military benefits available by asking your recruiter about their offerings.
12. Does the company have driver bonus opportunities?
In addition to their standard pay, companies may also offer bonus pay for drivers. These bonus opportunities often reward people who refer new drivers to the company, as well as drivers who have clean safety records or ideal fuel efficiency and performance.
Some companies like Schneider can also offer additional sign-on bonuses to new drivers just for joining the company.
13. Does the company offer room for advancement and promotion?
Career growth is an important part of any job, and truck driving is no different. Set yourself up for success by making sure that the company you’re interviewing with offers career progression or advancement opportunities.
These opportunities may include the ability to transfer to new driving accounts or the possibility of taking on a leadership role like a driver trainer or instructor.