The Job Interview Starts When...

Topic 20378 | Page 1

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G-Town's Comment
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In reading several recent posts in the diary section; a topic stood out as rather important, and perhaps one that we do not focus on enough.

The "job interview", when does it truly begin? With the call to recruiting? Yeah, sort of, but not really. The recruiter screens candidates, almost cursively. Most recruiters are not equipped or have the time to conduct a thorough and detailed evaluation. So when does the interview really begin?

The job interview begins while you are attending Company-Sponsored Training. It starts the minute your feet walk into the hotel or your butt-cheeks hit the seat of the shuttle van. Everything is fair game; including how you interact with hotel staff, your shuttle driver and yes, even the eateries you frequent while in school. You are being evaluated to determine if you are an individual of quality character, having an attitude and conduct that are well suited for employment as a professional driver. This "qualification" evaluation does not stop until the day you are promoted to solo or team status (depending on the company and the job). The competition begins almost immediately, and will help to prepare you for "when" you are out here, earning a living.

And even if you are attending a private school or community college course, the same evaluation process will occur, although a tad less conspicuous. The individuals that consistently apply themselves, put forth effort and yes believe it or not, show up on time, will get the needed, one-on-one attention from the instructors. Thus, increasing their quality of training and probability of success. Although there is equality in the price of school, assume the instructors will offer their objective and subjective evaluations to any prospective employer sourcing for qualified driver trainees at their establishment. Their reputation is important, and in many cases the only thing that differentiates them from their competition. They will not enthusiastically recommend a student who just squeaked by, one with a negatively charged attitude that was cause for frequent disruptions.

Show up early, well rested, with a clear head ready and eager to focus on learning. Follow all instructions, written and verbal. Ask if further clarity is required. Do not be a lemming...own your training. Own it! And for Pete's sake, stow the i-Phone or Droid, silence them. I have seen students get tossed for taking a cell call during classroom instruction or out in the practice yard. Please trust me, all this good and bad stuff will get noticed along with your driving progress. If there is a question of skills; requiring additional practice and assistance...the student who takes it seriously will get the help sooner than those just coasting, along for the ride.

So please, never assume someone isn't listening or watching or making notes. Keep you game face on at all times and conduct yourself professionally, respectfully and pay attention. The job interview is's on from day one. Impress...don't disappoint.

Good luck to all who read this...if so inclined please feel free to comment. Be safe.


Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

icecold24k's Comment
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Agree with this 100%..... We were even told at Prime welcome to the longest job interview of your life. From the moment you check into the hotel, all the way through orientation, even all through training you are being watched and being assessed on you will deal with and react to many different situations. Never let your guard down at any moment. Nothing is official until you complete the official new hire paper work and given your driver code. Very solid advice here.

Chris eff's Comment
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Wow, that really answered some questions for me. I've started training and something's were unclear or even a surprise. I was informed by email that I was being offered a job upon completion of training and passing physicals and drug screens. Then I find out i may not even be hired even if I fulfill all of that with a good attitude. Basically what I keep hearing from other students. How frustrating. The unknown of whether or not I'll have a job when finished it nerve racking. On top of oweing money too whether or not hired. The good.. I always strive to have a good attitude, I studied hard before I came, past all my tests and physicals. The staff seems to like me.

G-Town's Comment
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Thanks Icecold. Hoping to get some additional input on this from those of you in school, about to start or recently promoted to solo or team status (1st seat).

Thank you!


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Chris eff's Comment
member avatar

Also pertaining to training It seems I have driving and backing down. The major thing with me though is it frustrates me that my recruiter seems a little slow at getting back to me and i still don't know if I'll have a job when finished. Even sometimes one other student says small discouraging things, but I just let it ride. I know I'm not here to get into arguments or debates. Just focusing on what I have to do. I must say though my background Mechanics and driving manual vehicles and studying consistently has paid off! I'm going through most of this program like a knife through butter. Manual trip planning threw me off at first try. I planned many trips but none like when driving a truck and using the scale of a map while also considering D.O.T regulations and fuel. But it only took me a day to get it down. I love maps by the way. Anyways that's my input and thanks for the advice.

Big T's Comment
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We were told day one to treat the time in school as one long interview. We were warned that the hotel would call the school and let them know if we were causing problems. We were also warned that big wigs routinely showed up at the school/terminal and they pay attention to how the students were acting.

When you drive for a company you aren't just a driver. You are the public face of company x and how you interact with the public has a direct impact on the image of company x. It doesn't matter if it is a shop worker, truck stop employee, motoring public, or shippers and receivers. So it makes sense that they are interested in how you behave in general.

You can be the best driver out there, but if you have a bad image they may not bring you on or keep you on.


The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.


A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Big Scott's Comment
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Chri F, relax. Don't worry about what other students say. You are there for you. They are not. Listen to your instructors, their job is to get you to pass the CDL exam. When you go on the road with a trainer, their job is to teach you how to drive.

What G-Town said is 100% correct. You call the recruiter, go through training, pass your CDL exam, go to orientation, get hired, go out with a trainer, upgrade to solo, get in your first truck. And, your butt is on the line every day. Drive safe, don't hit anything, don't get tickets, be on time and be professional at all times. Those are the basics to keeping your job. It's easy to get fired and just as easy to stay hired. Attitude, attiitude, attitude. Your attitude will determine your life.


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Danielle's Comment
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Thanks G-town for your words of wisdom!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Thanks G-town for your words of wisdom!

Thanks Danielle. It was one of your school diary entries that provided the motivation to start this thread. Good luck to you.

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