Secrets of getting your first HGV driving job

Set a good first impression

Personal ImageAt the interview stage it's important that you are fully prepared and well turned out.

You'd expect to drive a clean and tidy motor, so turn up clean and tidy yourself. Personal hygiene is important and although the boss doesn't want a beauty parade, it's not acceptable to wear dirty or torn clothes or a T-shirt with an offensive or lewd design.

Some companies issue uniforms to drivers but a lot don't, and if you turn up for an interview looking a mess, wearing something that is not in-line with the company image then your prospective boss can't help but think that if your showing your best impression at the interview then your image will probably only get worse.

Polish up your writing skills

You are going to be asked about your previous work and driving experience and this means you will need to complete an application form.  Make sure your writing is clear and legible.  

It's not just what you are writing about, it's how you present it.

The boss may be thinking about the company paperwork that you would need to complete at the start or end of each day or delivery, or in the worst case, an Accident Report Form. So your writing doesn't need the best grammar but it must be easily understood.

Think before you speak

When you're talking and answering questions, ensure your brain is engaged before opening your mouth.  

Be prepared

Prepare in advance of the interview and think about the typical sort of questions you are likely to get asked, or what you may be checked on (like Tacho rules). Have some answers already prepared in your mind.

Don't over exaggerate your driving experience otherwise on your first assignment you'll not come up to the companies’ expectations and that would be a big disappointment for the boss.  But equally don't do yourself down, if you've done well on your driving test with only a few (or even no) minor points you can show your driving pass certificate.

As an introduction to your driving experience, explain about the Driver Development Lesson you completed with Wallace School of Transport after you passed. Probably the boss, if they are based in the London area, will have heard about Wallace and about our good reputation (and qualified instructors) and so will be willing to consider you above any other newly qualified drivers who've not had accredited training.

Get some basic 'tools of the job'

As well as your Licence, DQC and Tacho Card, you will need:

• A Smart Phone - You've got to be contactable by your employer, but make sure it's hands free and remember your in-cab charger.
• Map Books (UK and London A-Z) - Yes, we know there are many Sat Nav's on the market, and you may have one (although you'd need to check if yours is programmed for large vehicles) but if technology lets you down you need to have something else to rely on.
• A pen and paper - Simple but vital
• Work gloves - Helps you keep clean and protected
• High-Viz Vest or Jacket (often issued by the company, but it's good to have your own as a standby)
• One-Time Only Camera - Did you know that insurance companies won't necessarily allow phone pictures as evidence in case of accidents.
• Torch

Could you be an ambassador?

Customer CareRemember to show courtesy and consideration. Many companies now see their drivers as their ambassadors.

Drivers are the public face of the company.

It's vital that your politeness and efficiency comes across during the interview as this will go a long way to creating a good impression as Customer Care for most companies is equally as important to getting the right goods, to the right place and the right time

Photo: Ruth WallacePublished on 2016-01-20 00:00:00 By Ruth Wallace

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After a bit of research, I ended up choosing Wallace and I'm glad I did. My first phone call was very informative and I had only to choose when to start the training. Got all the books from them, studied everything and passed my theory test first time. Went to do some practical training with Gerry the instructor and got my skills polished to a very high standard. Anticipate, not react. The best advice I could ever get. Passed my practical first time and also the following CPC theory and practical tests. If someone asks me where to go for a truck licence, my answer is 1000 times Wallace School of Transport. They care for you as if you were family. That counts more than anything.

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I passed the practical test first time and this is undoubtedly due to the professional and supportive manner in which I was instructed. Without this, I have no doubt that my progress wouldn't have been so quick or productive. Please once again pass my sincere thanks onto both the administrative staff and Michael himself.

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