Fleet managers are important in the logistics and transportation industry. Another name for a fleet manager is a transportation manager. They are the gurus of supply chain management because their dealing involves people, production, and transport. Therefore, to be a successful fleet manager requires an amalgamation of education, skills, and experience. If you are an aspirant for a fleet manager opening in a firm, then prepare with the following questions and answers. Sharpen your interactive skills and take mental notes on how to respond to the specific questions for your upcoming interview.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Job?
I applied for this position because I am interested in the top-notch experience one gains by being employed in your firm as a Fleet Manager. It is undoubtedly a dream of every aspirant to land a position in your company because of the enormity of your operations and the latest technology you constantly incorporate into your business. I am sure that the skills and experience I possess are at par for this opening and I can learn a lot from this experience.
2. What Are The Roles Of A Fleet Manager?
A Fleet Manager is supposed to schedule and route vehicles. He is supposed to track vehicle maintenance. He works closely with the suppliers. He budgets and plans fuel costs. He is responsible for tracking the vehicles. Ensuring their licensing. He also supervises the drivers. He is responsible for coming up with smart ways of reducing fuel consumption and cost-cutting.
3. What Are The Qualities A Fleet Manager Needs To Be Successful?
A Fleet Manager should possess several qualities including the ability to multitask. Adaptability is critical for this role because of the changes in the environment and geopolitical situation which may interrupt the supply line. A Fleet Manager should be able to manage stress and stay intrinsically motivated. He should be able to communicate with people so interpersonal skills are important. The ability to converse in multiple languages is a bonus skill for fleet managers because he has to deal with drivers and other people who might not know the foreign language. He should be able to make prompt and pragmatic decisions. He should have an analytical acumen and proficiency to handle the software.
4. What Major Challenges Do You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
While handling a diverse set of people perhaps the most difficult thing is to make others understand your expectations from them. As a Fleet Manager, I face this challenge while communicating to the drivers who are not as educated or are ill experienced. The driver needs to be able to understand the route with or without GPS so that fuel cost is kept in check and deliveries are made on time. It is difficult to handle such a workforce that is ill experienced, or less skilled to handle the responsibility. Of course, the drivers are recruited by the HR department of the firm, and I opine that enough scrutiny should be done to hire trustworthy, skilled, and competent drivers to meet the company’s needs of transport and the security of the cargo.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Fleet Manager?
As a fleet manager, my priority is to catch up on emails and meeting notes for the day so that, I am aware of the day’s incoming and outgoing cargo details. If there is an urgent matter I resolve it on a priority basis. I have a regular meeting with the drivers so that we are clear about the goal of the day and I relegate their daily tasks. I reiterate the safety requirements so that the responsibility of a driver is clear. After approving the vehicle maintenance and inspection reports the drivers set off for their deliveries. The rest of the day involves administrative responsibilities, reporting, and analysis that is done on the computer.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
I completed my bachelor’s in supply chain management and got an internship for a military regiment which allowed me to learn strict time management and discipline. Then I was hired in the same job as a contractual employee for a couple of years. I got an opportunity to study abroad for a master’s in Logistics management which is currently ongoing. I have been a full-time employee in your company for about a year and since there was an opening for internal hiring I leaped forward and applied.
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Are Required For This Role?
A Fleet Manager in a production firm should focus on two things, quality, and customer satisfaction. Both are linked to one another. If the quality deteriorates then it is hard to keep the customer satisfied. The modern-era consumer requires a fast-paced purchase mechanism. They want to buy their favorite product at the price they are willing to pay at the minimum delivery time. Reducing the time to deliver and keeping the customer satisfied should be in the mind of a Fleet Manager.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge You Foresee In This Job?
The outbreak of the pandemic was an eye-opening experience that jolted the transportation and logistics field. Any outbreak of a pandemic or endemic which might cause even a localized embargo on social gatherings or transportation would result in chaos because we are still recovering from the losses made in the pandemic lockdown. The problem is that every firm cannot hire an air solution or robotic solution for delivery service due to its cost. It may affect many companies if such a situation ever arises again. I think this is the reason why companies should ponder on the maximum automation of their value chain.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated At Work?
I am an intrinsically motivated person. Staying disciplined and achieving goals keep me motivated. I try to minimize every task into small achievable goals. When each goal is met, I feel enthusiastic to pursue the next. This mechanism is a project management strategy that helps me in every sphere of my life and keeps me going.
10. Describe A Time You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned?
As I mentioned that I have handled the military logistics and transportation. It is a critical responsibility because of the sensitivity of each transporting task. Therefore, my biggest challenge was handling the anxiety and fear of not being able to live up to the expectations of this responsibility. I would spend sleepless nights fearing mishandling the task or falling prey to loss of cargo due to theft by driver etc. I managed my anxiety through meditation and did not allow it to affect my performance.
11. Why Do You Feel Qualified For This Job?
I feel that my skills and experience are at par with the requirement for this opening. Furthermore, I am a competent individual who has strong credentials to manage the responsibility that comes with this position. My former experience has prepared me to handle a position like this and I am ready to step forward. I think will be able to make productive changes in fleet management, scheduling, and routes if given the opportunity.
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement
My greatest achievement was landing a government job on merit and then building the confidence and competency to handle that role. It was a worthwhile experience that helps me a lot in my current operations. I still couldn’t believe it when I was made part of the team as a contract employee.
13. How Should A Fleet Manager Handle Ill Experienced Drivers?
A bi-prong strategy should be used to handle ill-experienced drivers. Firstly, to ensure complete compliance with the expectations and job duties they should be communicated to the drivers. They should be asked to choose a route they think they can handle and allow them to manage this task. Then based on a performance level, the extent of responsibility can be increased for such drivers. Simultaneously raising the importance of a screening mechanism for abled driver recruitment should be pushed to the higher-ups.
14. How Do You Manage A Worker Who Has Shown Recurrent Poor Performance?
As a Fleet Manager, I consider myself the mentor of my team. I am constantly engaging with my team members to know if they have any issues. This interaction allows me to stay on top of things. It serves to motivate employees and boost their morale. If an employee has not shown at par performance, I first of all talk to them politely and privately. Through this session, I try to know if they are facing any challenges in understanding the procedure. Often poor performance occurs because employees do not clearly understand the work or need some training. If that is the case, I immediately arrange a training session for that employee.
15. How Can A Fleet Manager Make An Impact As A Part Of The Team?
A Fleet Manager is a great source of inspiration for the employees. By being organized, clear, and disciplined you are inspiring your subordinates to follow the same precedent for success. By actively communicating with your subordinates you are motivating them to participate in the decision-making process and share their valuable feedback. This allows your workers to think out-side-the-box and take their roles seriously. Thus, a fleet manager has a profound impact on his subordinates.
16. Does Modern Technology Assist A Fleet Manager?
Technology has affected all the nooks and corners of our lives. The emergence of SCM assisting tools is vital for all logistics firms. Especially in the wake of the pandemic investment in IT infrastructure is the need of the hour. Softwares of management such as data entry, record keeping, data management, reporting, and dashboards help the Fleet Manager to efficiently and timely manage his responsibilities and make pragmatic assessments and analyses.
17. How Do You Ensure That Your Fleet Member Can Finish The Task On A Given Deadline?
It is critical to meet the deadlines and daily targets. If a driver fails to finish the delivery on time it casts a bad performance on my behalf as well. Therefore, I maintain a recurrent update mechanism where I am continuously posted about the current position of the driver and his pending hours for the delivery. I ensure that there is enough time for the driver in an adverse situation such as unknown road blockage to have a contingency route for timely delivery. I think feedback and control are vital for a Fleet Manager. Without both, the results would be entropy which is chaotic for the system.
18. Would You Be Able To Relocate If There Is A Requirement?
Well, relocating is a big step and I would require time to consider the feasibility. However, exploring a new place and starting your life afresh has a certain appeal to it. I am an adventurer and I am open to changes. Any relocation would certainly not be a lot of issue for me in general. But I would require advance notice for any such change.
19. What Is The Most Enjoyable Thing About A Fleet Job For You?
As I mentioned before, I am a modern-era Columbus. I find joy in discovering new tracks, routes, and new places. It is my biggest passion and this passion is a driving force to enter and excel in this industry. I am discovering new and productive routes and delivery times which makes me excited. As they say, if you do what you’re passionate about, you would never get tired.
20. Have You Ever Encountered An Aggressive Driver? What Was Your Strategy?
I believe in behavioral sciences and I am curious about their latest research on occupational psychology. I deploy the same tactics while dealing with my workforce. I have not dealt with any aggressive drivers because luckily all my employers hire drivers after deep scrutiny. In case I encounter such a driver, I would try to listen and pacify his mood until there is room for discussion on the behavior, requirement, and repercussions.
21. Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?
I have planned to complete my specialization in the field and provide excellent consultancy for the transportation needs of private firms. I think businesses should be continually evaluated for increasing the efficiency of the value chain. Consultancy keeps the tabs on the transportation requirements and continues to provide purview for improvements and client satisfaction.
22. Have You Worked On Any Fleet Management Software?
Yes, I have. Locus Track IQ is a powerful tool for fleet management. It is also able to provide industry-specific solutions. For inventory management, Odoo inventory is an excellent tool. I have used the fuel dashboard for fuel budgeting and costing.
23. How Much Important Is Adaptability For A Fleet Manager?
Adaptability is vital for surviving in the dynamic environment of the logistics industry. It is certainly vital for a Fleet Manager because each day a Fleet Manager is pushing through a stack of tasks/ deadlines. He has to tackle the unprecedented changes and challenges erupting from the external environment. Adaptability is inevitable for such a job. Furthermore, managing the driver’s adaptability would help to adjust the personality according to the driver’s acumen to make him understand the jo requirement and get the desirable effort from him.
24. Summarize Yourself In Three Words?
I am a collaborative person who has his way with people. Public dealing has taught me to adjust according to the person I am speaking to as I have dealt with myriads of different drivers. I am keen and I have a very sharp sense of observation. I can collect information and use it to make quick and informed decisions. I am also a very curious person who is willing to learn as learning is a vital part of growth.
25. Which Leadership Style Is Suitable For A Fleet Manager?
I strongly support that for handling the drivers and mechanical staff, authoritative leadership styles befits the job requirement. This way you can keep a grasp on the subordinates and maintain the accuracy of the information and avoid deception or worse, theft. The sense of control on the drivers adds a sense of responsibility to them which is very much needed for the transporter of the goods.
A Fleet Manager is pivotal for logistics. The ease of transportation and globally expanded value chains have made this role even more crucial and complex. There are stress management and time management factors that firm foundation for this role and a person aspiring for such a position should be able to effectively manage both. We congratulate you on getting an interview call for this position. In order to help you secure your place in the firm as a Fleet Manager, we have collected a bunch of inspiring questions and answers. We sincerely hope that reading this article helps you to ace this interview. Let us know if you were able to inspire and get the job!