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For anybody that’s been out of the job market for a while, it’s great to polish up your answers to some pretty classic questions, but it’s especially important for recent vets to get a leg up on being ready to answer questions to land the right job.

The Most Classic Question: What three adjectives would you use to describe yourself?

Chances are you’re going to get asked this in literally every interview for every job you ever apply for. It’s good to have an honest answer. Make sure you’ve got at least one good story for each trait because a good hiring manager is going to want some examples.

Adaptability: Have you been in a situation where you addressed unpredictable circumstances or 

challenges, such as a mechanical breakdown?

Driving a truck for the long haul means being adaptable– it’s weird weather, it’s unpredictable fellow drivers, it is the occasional mechanical issue. Thinking on your feet comes with the territory. 

The right fit: Why do you think you’re right for this role?

Why do you think you’re right for this job? Make sure you do your research– trucking is easy to get into and there is a lot of potential to make great money, but are you okay with long stretches of alone time and adapting to stressful situations? If the answer is yes, then tell your interviewer that; it will be music to their ears.

Why would you like to work for our company?

Another thing to research; as a veteran you are in demand in the trucking industry! Do your homework to be sure that the carrier you’re applying for is giving you the best opportunities.

Travel: Are you comfortable traveling for a week or longer?

If you just returned home from deployment– you need to make sure that you’re okay with more time away– And that you’re family is okay with it too.

Safety: How would you describe your driving record?

If you’ve never driven a truck, then you can still answer this question. Are you a defensive driver? Do you ever drive angry? You would never, ever drive under the influence? Those traits are important in a truck driver too.

Stress: How do you handle work-related stress?

All jobs have stress– but as a truck driver you’re in a multi-ton vehicle at work every day. You’re decisions can mean life and death so it’s good if you can roll with whatever comes over the road.

Work Ethic: How do you keep yourself motivated as you drive for long periods of time?

The right answer is going to come from wherever you find the motivation to do any job well. Life is full of challenges, and if trucking is the right job for you, then you’re going to apply the integrity you put into anything else you put your mind to.

Long Haul: What’s the longest haul you’ve ever managed in your career?

If you drove a truck in the military this is an easy one. But if you didn’t, then draw on a long term project you’ve done in the past. Try to pick one with positive results you can share about.

Overcoming: Tell me about a time when you made a mistake and how you handled the situation.

We started with a classic interview question, and we’re finishing with one. Every person makes mistakes, but be ready to talk about how you overcame them and what you learned.

Follow Up Questions

Any good interviewer knows that they are being interviewed just as much as you are. Make sure you think through some questions to ask them: It shows you’re interested in the job, but it’s also a great opportunity to make sure this is a good fit for you. 

Ask Someone That’s Been There

BONUS TIP: Take some time to talk to drivers that work for the carrier you’re interested in while they fuel up– it takes about 15 minutes to fuel a truck and most drivers are going to be only to happy to tell you the good, the great, and the downright ugly. This might be the best part of the interview process. An inside scoop could save a lot of wasted time and heartache.