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National Express West Midlands Interview
Questions

32 Questions and Answers by
Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 32

How do you balance life and work?

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National Express West Midlands Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    How do you balance life and work?

      It is essential to keep a healthy work/life balance to prevent burnout. Talk to the interviewer about how you can maintain that appropriate balance for yourself.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I find that with the right company, it's pretty simple to balance life and work. When I enjoy what I do it doesn't feel like a chore. I am always sure that when at home, my family gets my attention first. I take time on the weekends to do things for myself and ensure that I regenerate before the work week begins."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I ensure a strong balance between life and work by spending my free time doing the things that I love. I will go mountain biking, or take my kids to the swimming pool. By making the most of my personal time, I regenerate and perform better at work."

  2. 2.

    National Express West Midlands provides transport services to a multitude of clients. What do you know about our clientele and the channels of business we service?

      Before your interview, be sure to research National Express West Midlands and the types of clients and businesses they serve. In addition to their website, a quick Google search could tell you a lot about their clients and business channels. Give your best answer and be sure to ask the interviewer for further details. The more you know, the better off you will be in the next step of interviews with National Express West Midlands!

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "From the research I have conducted, my understanding is that you service businesses primarily within Retail, Automotive, Industrial, Food & Beverage, and Chemical. Is this correct? I would love to learn more."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I have researched your organization quite a bit and am impressed with the range of business and clientele to which you provide transportation services. From my understanding, you primarily service manufacturing clients who consider themselves to be small to medium-sized operations. I see that you have many longstanding relationships with your clients and that much of your business comes from a core group of returning clients."

  3. 3.

    When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?

      Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with delays in the workplace.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback, I will take a few moments to debrief with my manager and discuss what I could have done differently. Then, I move on!"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Setbacks happen for a reason, and they do not affect me emotionally in the least. I am a very pragmatic thinker and stay focused despite the challenges that come my way."

  4. 4.

    How would you describe your written communication skills?

      Being a clear communicator, in written form, is a critical skill to master. Have you taken any courses in communication and writing? Are you confident in your written communication skills? Talk to the interviewer about your written communication abilities and support your answer with a brief example or story.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I would describe my written communication skills as very strong and would rate myself as a 9/10. I have always had a penchant for writing and have taken university courses related to communication, writing, and journalism."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "My written communication skills are powerful. I often utilize written communications as a follow up to verbal communications. They provide a great resource for associates to go back to, and reference, plus they might answer any questions that come up along the way."

  5. 5.

    We run National Express West Midlands as a 24/7 operation. Do you have any limitations on your hours and availability?

      If you have any restrictions in your schedule, now is the time to discuss those. If you are not sure of the hour's requirement for this job it is okay to ask the interviewer for further details before you give your reply.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I understand that with a 24/7 operation there are many shifts available. Could you tell me more about what those look like?"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Because I have young children at home my preference would be to work as close as possible to their school schedules. With that said, I am always open to working overtime and covering shifts whenever needed."

  6. 6.

    What are your salary expectations?

      The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000, and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I am currently making $60,000 per year with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."

  7. 7.

    How would you describe your personality?

      Personality and character are two very different things. The interviewer is looking for more information on your traits vs. your integrity. These traits could include buzzwords such as introverted, energetic, and confident.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I would describe my personality as approachable, light-hearted, and positive. I believe that, if asked, my colleagues and supervisor would say the same about me."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Here are some words you can use to describe your personality:

      - Adaptable
      - Compassionate
      - Exuberant
      - Inventive
      - Persistent
      - Reliable
      - Sincere
      - Witty"

  8. 8.

    How many days were you absent from work last year?

      A part of being a diligent employee is to ensure that you are always on time and present when expected. It's great to even be 10 minutes early rather than just showing up right on the dot. Talk to the interviewer about your attendance.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I had zero unexcused absences last year. In total, I took 12 vacation days out of my 15 allotted days. I was sick just 2, and a note from my Doctor accompanied those. Once I was late due to a terrible snow storm, and I always try to be 10 minutes early for my shift."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I cannot recall the exact number, but I think it was around three days total. All absences were excused and with notice."

  9. 9.

    When have you had to make a split second decision? How do you react under unexpected pressure?

      Being able to make quick decisions and think fast on your feet sets top-notch professionals out from the crowd. We all make a lot of choices every day, so start off by telling the interviewer that you make a lot of quick decisions each day. Next, be prepared for a more significant example that will be sure to impress.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "My current position requires me to make tough decisions on a regular basis. I work well under pressure like that. With split-second decisions, I will always go with my initial instinct. Last week, I had two high-profile clients show up for a meeting at the same time. One client was late, and the other was early. I did not want anyone to feel bad for being late or too early, so I had each party placed in a different conference room. My colleague started the meeting with our early meeting while I met with the client who was late. It worked out well because I am no stranger to multi-tasking and I have great support staff."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "In my current fast-paced role, this happens often! We handle a lot of customer situations and put them first and foremost. Often, we have guidelines we follow, and there are also times when situations call for creative solutions to meet customer needs. I make split-second decisions when resolving these matters in the best interest of the customer and the company."

  10. 10.

    What personal traits do you look for in people you are hiring?

      Everyone has a "type," even in the workplace. Talk to the interviewer about the characteristics and personality types that you tend to hire and why you lean that way.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "type,"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I look at experience and qualifications but most of all, I seek relational competence. Someone who has the personality and fit to thrive in our fast-paced environment. When you have all of those things, you can truly fire on all cylinders."

  11. 11.

    At National Express West Midlands we connect businesses who need to ship their goods to companies who require those goods. This means that relationships are everything to us. What is your customer service philosophy?

      Because National Express West Midlands puts so much effort into their reputation, the interviewer needs to be confident that your philosophy on customer service aligns well with theirs. Be sure to research the National Express West Midlands website and take note of any keywords they use when it comes to their clients and services. Match your language with theirs.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I noticed on your website that you value your clients by actively listening to their needs. You also survey them regularly while staying on top of industry trends so that you can provide them with innovative new services. To me, customer service goes beyond friendliness and efficiency. You need to understand your customer's business needs and have the ability to analyze their future needs so that you can respond appropriately to their business landscape changes."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "My customer service philosophy is simple. I deliver the exact level of service to my customers that I would expect to receive, myself. Treating people with kindness is a simple first step to creating a strong and lasting customer relationship."

  12. 12.

    Although we have a great training program at National Express West Midlands, we are seeking to hire someone with an intermediate level of experience in our industry. What types of transportation services are you most experienced with?

      Although the answer to this question may be on your resume, the interviewer would like for you to expand on your experience and give them a bright idea of your expertise level in their industry. Be sure to highlight the knowledge you have that directly relates to the business focus of National Express West Midlands.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "The bulk of my experience in the transportation industry comes from my time as a dispatcher in Expedited & Emergency, Temperature Controlled, and Border Crossing focused transportation. I have approximately 12 years' experience total. I would rate myself as an intermediate to an expert level employee in most areas of transportation and freight."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "My experience in transportation services is vast. I have worked in this industry for the past ten years, primarily in heavy haul transportation. I do look forward to learning even more, through your training program."

  13. 13.

    Considering the multiple competitors that we have, why do you want to work for National Express West Midlands?

      Before your interview with National Express West Midlands it's a great idea to get to know who their competitors are, and what makes National Express West Midlands stand out from the rest.

      Research online through a Google news search, or on the company website. If National Express West Midlands has a 'News' or 'About Us' section on their website you will likely find some information on recent awards, industry accolades, etc.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "While researching National Express West Midlands and the local market I did see that there are a few competitors in our area. What stood out to me was the enthusiasm of your team when I first applied here, and also the fact that you recently won the coveted Transportation Leadership Award. In addition to all of this, I see that National Express West Midlands puts an important focus on carbon footprint. All of this makes you stand out from your competitors."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "From my research, I see that your business is the longest standing company in the area. Also, you have the most positive customer reviews online. After reading through your website, I saw a common theme of dedication to exceptional service and customer satisfaction. These are just some of the factors that make you stand out as the best potential employer in this industry."

  14. 14.

    At National Express West Midlands all of our transportation vehicles are outfitted with Qualcomm on-board computers. Do you have experience with this type of equipment?

      The interviewer would like further details on the types of software, programs, and technical equipment with which you have experience. How you rate your level of expertise will determine how much National Express West Midlands will need to train you if selected for the position. Discuss your level of exposure to Qualcomm onboard computers or similar programs.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have approximately five years' experience with Qualcomm onboard computers and other similar systems used for GPS monitoring and communication. I would rate my abilities in this system as Intermediate."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Although I have not worked with the Qualcomm system before, I do have experience with other onboard software. I am technically savvy and more than willing to start learning the Qualcomm system on my own time, before starting in this position."

  15. 15.

    Productivity and communication are our top concerns at National Express West Midlands. In your opinion, what suffers the most when synergy between dispatcher and driver is not present?

      The interviewer would like to know that you have a natural tendency to think about the good of the business and that you understand how important clear communication is within the transportation industry. Talk a little bit about the aspects of business you feel suffer the most when communication is not healthy between dispatcher and driver.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "When communication is not strong between a driver and dispatch, it can become a costly problem. When there is a strong synergy between the two, a company can significantly reduce fuel consumption and greatly improve customer service."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "What suffers most when synergy between dispatcher and driver is not present, is team morale. When communication is strong, employees want to stay in their jobs, they work harder, and are more motivated to make an effort for their company."

  16. 16.

    We seek to promote those who show initiative at National Express West Midlands. Where would you like to see your career grow in the next 5 years?

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  17. 17.

    The transportation industry is ever-changing. At National Express West Midlands we seek to hire individuals with a keen interest in this industry. How do you stay up to date on transportation related current events?

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  18. 18.

    Because of the nature of business at National Express West Midlands we conduct background checks on employees. This includes criminal background, credit, drivers abstract, and education verification checks. Are you willing to comply?

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  19. 19.

    Describe an ongoing problem at your current or former employer that you were able to overcome.

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  20. 20.

    If you could start your career over again, what direction would you take?

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  21. 21.

    How would you describe your work ethic?

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  22. 22.

    When have you had to think outside of the box to solve a problem?

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  23. 23.

    When you have a problem at work are you one to carefully consider what is at stake or do you jump in and hope for the best?

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  24. 24.

    List the top 3 skills that you have acquired in your last role.

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  25. 25.

    Do you think honesty is always the best policy?

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  26. 26.

    How can we motivate you on the job?

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  27. 27.

    When do you best demonstrate yourself as a leader?

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  28. 28.

    What sources do you look to when solving complicated problems?

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  29. 29.

    What could your current employer do for you that would have prevented you from looking for a new job?

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  30. 30.

    How long have you been looking for a job?

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  31. 31.

    Do you believe it is possible to be a good team member yet disagree with the leader?

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  32. 32.

    You have a couple of gaps in your resume. Can you explain these?

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