Best Fleets tips and tricks for the questionnaire and interview

Published on October 23, 2023

When it comes to the Best Fleets to Drive For questionnaire and interview, what’s the best way to get ready? Whether you’ve participated in Best Fleets for 15 years or you’re new to it, we have a few tips to save you time and help you deliver a clear picture of who your fleet is and what makes it special.

Where do I start? (more like ‘when’)

The questionnaire is more intensive than people expect, so give yourself enough time to work through it carefully. The goal is to get a comprehensive picture of your company, so take your time. Put another way: start early. Some of the questions are straightforward, but others require details on specific programs and processes—give yourself enough time to gather the information you need.

Try to book your interview early for two reasons—one, the spots fill up quickly. Two, remember that things happen, and you may need to reschedule. If the people you are counting on to participate in the interview get sick or have to pivot to another issue, you’ll want to leave yourself enough time to book a different time slot (which will be hard to do if you schedule it for the very last week).

A note about deadlines: the cutoffs for nominations, completing the interview and getting in your driver surveys are hard deadlines, and exemptions and extensions aren’t allowed. Think of the deadlines like a bridge washout—once it happens, there’s no getting through.

Use your team

Think about how you put new hires through your orientation program—you probably have your HR person cover the HR material, your safety person covers safety and training, and so on. So, use those experts when working through the questionnaire—in the benefits, pay and incentives section, have your HR person on hand to help. Have a mentoring program? Get the details directly from one of your mentors to make sure you have all of the details included. They may have insight into what is happening in their part of the program that may not be written down elsewhere.

When it comes to the interview, have those same people on hand—if some clarity on a specific program is needed, having your expert available will help nail down the details quickly and efficiently.

What you don’t need: some participants think that their answers need to have a marketing spin, so they bring in the marketing team for both the questionnaire and the interview—but that ends up hurting more than helping. Scoring is based on the specific details of your programs and policies, so a straightforward description of what you’re doing is all you need, without any marketing spin (making a program sound flashy won’t earn any more points than just telling us what it is).

Just the facts, ma’am

Got a whole list of programs and you’re not sure how to lay it out? Use a list of bullet points if it helps (we don’t mind). In fact, formatting it like that will help your interviewer get a clear picture of what you’re doing which allows for a better conversation in the interview.

If you’ve been in the program before, answers from your previous years’ questionnaire will be there, so you can pull some material from there. HOWEVER: Remember that we want to know what new and fresh things you are doing for your drivers, so if you are using some information from previous years, make it clear what new things you are doing also—find a way to highlight what’s new, such as “new this year” headers or putting information from the current year in bold.

Get specific

Get into the specifics of your programs and initiatives. Do you give your drivers clothing? Tell us what you’re giving them, whether it’s a pair of gloves or a winter coat, and how often. Do you have a pet policy? Give us some extra info if you have rules around size, breed, and species or if you have a cleaning deposit. In this case, more is better, because those details will help distinguish you from the other participants.

Pro tip: Share your mistakes. Did you try and roll out a new initiative only to have your drivers reject it, so you had to pivot to something else? That kind of thing is extremely helpful because it’s an example of you listening to your drivers. Maybe the initiative itself didn’t work, but you just proved that your communication strategy with your drivers is working. We want to hear about it.

Putting all of this together, what you’ll really need is some planning. Pick your interview time early, and then work toward that. Pull together the team you’ll need to answer the questions and confirm who you’ll have in the interview. And most important of all—relax. This is a chance for you to tell the story of your company, your way, and it’s a chance to show off. But remember, the program is called Best Fleets To Drive For for a reason—keep your focus on what you’re doing for your drivers and why you’re a great company to work for.