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Bus Driver Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated October 5th, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Careers     Sales    
Question 1 of 30
How important is it that stops and schedules be regular and on time? How will you help to make this happen?
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How to Answer
As a bus driver, staying on schedule is of critical importance to the people who rely on you to get to school, work, appointments, and engagements safely and on time. The interviewer wants to hear that you are committed to being on time and keeping critical bussing schedules. Speak a bit about what you plan to do to ensure that you respect the timelines and deadlines given to you.
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Answer Examples
1.
How important is it that stops and schedules be regular and on time? How will you help to make this happen?
As a bus driver, staying on schedule is of critical importance to the people who rely on you to get to school, work, appointments, and engagements safely and on time. The interviewer wants to hear that you are committed to being on time and keeping critical bussing schedules. Speak a bit about what you plan to do to ensure that you respect the timelines and deadlines given to you.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"It is of utmost importance that I am on time every single day, for every one of my passengers. Even being 5 minutes late can completely change the course of someone else's' day and I work very hard to remember and respect that. I show up to work on time and well-prepared. I do not linger at stops and am efficient when it comes to getting people on and off the bus safely."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have taken the bus as a passenger for many years, and I cannot express how important it is for the bus to be on time when I have an appointment or need to get to school and work on time. I will commit to being on time by starting my day off right and coming to work on time. I will adhere to the procedures given to me in this role to ensure a timely schedule for everyone who relies on me."
2.
As a bus driver, you will be responsible for the elderly and other vulnerable people. Have you worked in this type of environment?
Bus drivers working in public transportation do not just operate a bus. They also deliver essential care and services to the elderly and other vulnerable groups such as children and those with disabilities. The interviewer wants to see that you have compassion for others and a desire to ensure the comfort and safety of each one of your passengers.

Talk to the interviewer about any experience you have working around vulnerable groups. If you are new to your career, take the time to express how you enjoy helping others and extending help and kindness.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have worked as a bus driver in both the school system and the public transit system. Many times I noticed someone needing extra help; whether that be with directions, getting on and off the bus, finding something they dropped on the bus or assisting someone confused or lost. I am a caring person but also alert on the job, which means that I will be the first to notice when a passenger needs a bit of extra care from me."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am new to the workforce; however, I have a good amount of volunteer work in animal shelters, and a couple of elderly care homes. I have a genuine heart for people who need help and assistance, especially the elderly, those with disabilities, and small children, who cannot always speak up for what they need. I understand that part of working as a bus driving is keeping an eye out for the needs of everyone I serve."
3.
Why do you want to be a bus driver?
The interviewer would like to know why you have chosen bus driving as your career path. Feel free to discuss with the hiring authority what has motivated you to become a driver. Perhaps you look up to someone who has a career in transportation. Maybe you like the job security that comes with working in this industry. Whatever motivates you to be a bus driver, now is the time to share it!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am drawn to a career as a bus driver because it allows me the freedom to begin work early and be done my day for when my kids are home from school. I have been lucky enough to see them grow up and be there for them, something that very few parents can say. The opportunities have been great to me, and I am in this career for the long term."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I would love to begin my career working for the city in a government-based job. Both of my parents worked for the city and retired comfortably. I value the job security that comes with this type of career."
4.
Tell us about yourself.
The hiring authority would like to know about you, aside from what is on your resume. When asked an open-ended question like this, it can be challenging to know where to begin...and end! This question haunts many individuals who may have accidentally gone a little too in-depth into their personal lives. It happens.

Keep your reply light, and work relevant. Share how you became interested in this career path and what you enjoy about it. This question offers an excellent opportunity to describe yourself by discussing the strengths and qualities that you bring.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Professionally, I'd describe myself as extroverted and positive; I am in the public service realm after all. I love working around others and helping people get where they need to go every day. To hear their stories and get to know them is often very inspiring to me. In my personal life, I love to spend time with my family and take weekend trips to the mountains as often as possible."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am a calm and organized individual, with excellent written and verbal communication skills. These qualities have helped me to succeed as a university student, and now will help me to succeed as a bus driver."
5.
How solid is your geographical knowledge of our city and the surrounding area?
The interviewer wants assurance that you are confident in your knowledge of the city and surrounding areas. As a bus driver, you must have strong geographical knowledge and excellent recall skills. Talk about the time that you have spent becoming familiar with the routes you will need to know in this role. The employer may also have geographic testing available, so it's great to offer your participation in any tests they may want to conduct.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have lived here for six years, and have been a driver for the past five. My geographical knowledge is advanced; however, there is always more to learn. If you would like, I am happy to take any geographical tests you may need."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am new to this region but can quickly learn the structure and grid of our city and surrounding areas. Are there any tools you would recommend that I dive into, to prepare myself for this bus driver role?"
6.
How do you react when another motorist does something you deem to be dangerous, or irresponsible?
The interviewer wants to hear that you do not overreact when you see another motorist making poor choices on the road. As a bus driver, you will often see other drivers make poor decisions; regardless, it is your responsibility to remain professional and put safety first. Mention that you do not overreact in these situations, and you proceed without getting stressed.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have seen some pretty crazy driving including people cutting me off, tailgating me behind steep hills, or passing unsafely. I rarely give warning honks but have a couple of times over the past few years. I try to keep in mind that the average person does not understand how to operate a large bus. This means their patience level when it comes to my speed, merging, or pickup is not where it could be. In each situation, I try to come from a place of understanding and go on with my day."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Reacting to every driver who makes a bad decision would take a lot of energy out of me, considering I see a lot of mistakes and I am always on the road. I cannot bother to put that kind of energy into being mad at other drivers or reacting to their poor decisions. I make a conscious effort to let situations like that roll off my back."
7.
Are you available to drive a variety of shifts, even when called at the last minute?
Everyone has unique scheduling needs, and you know best what you can manage. If you have complete flexibility in your week, that is great! Just share that you can work anytime you are needed.

If you are unable to work long hours at all times of the week, share this information with the interviewer, including which times you are unable to work. It is essential to be honest so that you can land a mutually beneficial job.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I understand that working as a bus driver may require overtime, weekends, nights, and holidays. I am available for most anything so long as there is a bit of notice so that my family can prepare for my absence."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I attend night classes three days a week. Aside from this commitment, I have a pretty flexible schedule. Could you share with me more about the scheduling requirements for this position?"
8.
Take a few minutes to walk me through your formal bus driver training.
As a bus driver, it's crucial to have proper training and licensing. These requirements will vary from region to region, so be sure you fully understand what is required of you to be eligible for the position. For instance, many roles require a Class 1, 2, or 4 driver's license as well as an additional endorsement if you are specializing in any specific type of driving. If you do not have any formal training be sure to express an interest in educating yourself and meeting the requirements of this role.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have a Class 2 drivers' license with an S endorsement. I recently completed the School Bus Driver Improvement Program to obtain this endorsement. I have all mandatory intermediate-level training and had near-perfect test results from the commercial drivers' program. Are there any other credentials you would like to see?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am aware of the requirements for this role and am currently studying to obtain my Class 2 license. I want to learn more about what you require of me to succeed and grow as a driver for your organization."
9.
Would your current employer be willing to provide a reference for you?
Before your interview, make sure you have your references prepared just in case the interviewer requests them. If you don't feel comfortable using your current employer as a reference, explain that you have other references better suited at this time. Those can be past supervisors, co-workers, a volunteer coordinator, or even a professor.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My previous manager has since left the company, and I would be happy to provide his information, as well as some other helpful references. I prefer to postpone contacting my current boss, seeing as they do not know I am looking for a new position."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am happy to provide you with a reference from the volunteer coordinator at the animal shelter where I volunteer weekly. I can also provide you with a character reference from one of my university professors."
10.
Tell me one thing about yourself that you would like to improve.
The interviewer would like to know that you continually seek to improve yourself professionally. This question is another way of asking, 'What is your greatest weakness?' Saying 'nothing' is not an option here. Self-improvement is required by everyone, no matter what stage we are in, in life and career. Talk to the interviewer about something that you would improve about yourself. Then, discuss what you are planning to do to achieve that.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe that post-secondary education is crucial and, unfortunately, I did not get the opportunity to go to university. I think it would greatly help me in my driving career to have formal education in hospitality or communications. I plan to take online courses in the evening and weekends to complete a post-secondary diploma or degree."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"If I could improve anything about myself, I would choose to improve my teamwork skills. As a student, I did not get a lot of opportunities to work in a group or team setting. Most of my work has been independent, so I look forward to growing from a more collaborative team environment."
11.
How would you rate your customer service skills from 1-10? Provide an example to back your rating.
Delivering excellent customer service should always top of mind for you. As a bus driver, you are building trust with your passengers and helping them get to appointments and meetings all day long. The interviewer wants to know that you actively seek out the opportunity to deliver more than the bare minimum when it comes to serving others. Rank your customer service skills from 1-10, with ten being the best it could be. Next, provide an example for the interviewer so they can see your service in action.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I would rank my customer service skills as a 9 out of 10 simply because they are exceptional, but there is always more to learn. I often look for opportunities to go over and above when it comes to my passengers. One memorable time was when a woman was struggling to get her groceries and stroller onto the bus. I put the bus in park and went to help her. She was so thankful that she ended up calling our central hub that day to compliment my kindness."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"While attending school, I used to work as a hostess at a restaurant. I recall one couple who accidentally left their to-go box and credit card behind after they paid their bill. I ran out to the parking lot to find them and give them the items they left behind. My customer service instinct is strong, and I like to help others, so for that reason, I would rank myself as a 10/10."
12.
Talk to me about the dispatch or radio equipment you are most experienced with.
The interviewer wants to know that you will be competent when it comes to the type of equipment you will be using in this role. When on-boarding, the less technical training required, the faster you will become a high performing member of their team. If you are not familiar with the type of equipment they use, it is a great idea to ask for a few details. This way, you can let the interviewer know what your current capabilities are.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I understand that you use the Motorola APX2500 two way radios as well as Verizon Connect Reveal for monitoring driver behavior and maximizing safety. In my current role, I use a variety of software, including Cellcontrol, GPSTrackit, and Manage Petro. It took me some time to learn these systems, but now I am confident in my ability to remain organized and prioritize safety, using a variety of tools. "
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am tech-savvy and confident in my ability to learn your systems quickly. I have watched YouTube tutorials on the most commonly used dispatch and radio equipment, which I believe will give me a head-start in my training."
13.
We need bus drivers who are timely and reliable. How often are you late or absent from work?
Bus drivers need to be reliable and on time since they are responsible for getting passengers to work, school, appointments, and more. Show the interviewer that you value punctuality and reliability. If you have missed work in the past year, share why you were absent, and the steps that you took to ensure you did not leave your employer hanging. Perhaps you had to take your child to the hospital, and you called to explain the situation rather than just not showing up.
Situations happen from time to time, and the hiring authority is aware that there will be times when circumstances are out of our control. The key to a great response is to show that you are accountable when unexpected things happen.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I was raised to be 10 minutes early to everything that I commit to, and I take that effort seriously. My previous employer will be able to share my attendance records with you. I can tell you that I was late just once this past year because of a flat tire on a freezing day. I notified my boss immediately, called for a tow truck, and made it into work just 2 hours late."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"One day, I was stuck in gridlock traffic on the interstate due to an accident. Of course, situations happen that are out of our control; however, it's all about how we handle them. I missed class that day, but I was sure to email my professor and explain the situation. I caught myself up on what I missed, ensuring that I did not fall behind."
14.
Have you ever been convicted of a DUI?
As a bus driver, trusted with the safety of others, you need to share if you have ever received an impaired driving conviction. Keep in mind that employers can run a simple background check to confirm your response. A simple 'yes' or 'no' answer to this question is all that is necessary, but if you care to elaborate, you can cautiously do so.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I did receive a DUI about 12 years ago. It may not show up on my record, but I would like to be fully transparent with you. Now, my driving record is clean as a whistle."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have never been convicted of a DUI and have a clean driving record. I am happy to comply with any background checks you require."
15.
What will we gain by hiring you as a bus driver?
The interviewer wants to hear one unique thing that sets you apart from every other candidate who they may be interviewing. Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. If you are having troubles thinking of your best qualities, try reaching out to a few colleagues, family members, and friends and ask them for their opinion. You'll probably be surprised at the consistency in their responses! Take these top skills and express to the interviewer what they will gain by bringing you on their team.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have over a dozen years of experience driving bus for the public school system. I have a proven track record of safety and will bring that focus on safety with me. Having been a part of the transport industry for so many years, I have seen a lot of regulation change and have adapted to every change with ease."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"You mentioned earlier in the interview process that you were struggling with retaining drivers for the winter months, which greatly impacts the timeliness of your routes. I am comfortable driving in the winter and have no problem showing up to work in all weather conditions."
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30 Bus Driver Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. How important is it that stops and schedules be regular and on time? How will you help to make this happen?
  2. As a bus driver, you will be responsible for the elderly and other vulnerable people. Have you worked in this type of environment?
  3. Why do you want to be a bus driver?
  4. Tell us about yourself.
  5. How solid is your geographical knowledge of our city and the surrounding area?
  6. How do you react when another motorist does something you deem to be dangerous, or irresponsible?
  7. Are you available to drive a variety of shifts, even when called at the last minute?
  8. Take a few minutes to walk me through your formal bus driver training.
  9. Would your current employer be willing to provide a reference for you?
  10. Tell me one thing about yourself that you would like to improve.
  11. How would you rate your customer service skills from 1-10? Provide an example to back your rating.
  12. Talk to me about the dispatch or radio equipment you are most experienced with.
  13. We need bus drivers who are timely and reliable. How often are you late or absent from work?
  14. Have you ever been convicted of a DUI?
  15. What will we gain by hiring you as a bus driver?
  16. What characteristics make you a good bus driver?
  17. How do you feel about working long hours, overtime, holidays and weekends?
  18. What was the closest you came to an accident while driving on the job? Did you learn anything from the situation?
  19. How do you build rapport with your passengers?
  20. Are you able to pass a full background check, including criminal history and drug screening?
  21. Does traffic congestion stress you out? How will you handle working peak driving times in our city?
  22. What do you know about the mechanics of a bus? Are you able to troubleshoot minor issues?
  23. How would you describe your work ethic?
  24. How long do you see yourself working as a bus driver?
  25. In the event of an accident, what procedures would you follow?
  26. If you were to encounter icy conditions, how would you handle the situation? What type of road conditions are you accustomed to?
  27. How well do you know our city and its bus routes?
  28. What attracted you to our transit company and this bus driving position?
  29. Have you ever been terminated from a driving job?
  30. What is the most enjoyable aspect of operating a bus?
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